Take aways

  • The European market for pesticides (plant protection products) is worth € 11b per year and equals 350 000 tons. 48 300 tons (13,8 percent) are believed to be illegal, counterfeited or substandard products.
  • The hazards are unknown as authorities only test food sample with residues from single known and registered products, not the cocktail effect of different pesticides.
  • Annual inspections coordinated by EU agency Europol has since 2015 discovered and seized 0,94 percent of the believed to be 48 300 tons spread each year.
  • In six investigated countries all in all 17 seizures of illegal pesticides have been brought to court for the last five year, leading so far to one (1) conviction to jail and one major fine. Most sanctions are administrative fees on the level of traffic tickets.
  • Law enforcement agencies are frustrated with the low detection and close to zero sanctions.
  • The actors are companies working both sides of the law, organised crime groups, occasional gold-diggers and small-scale smugglers.
  • China followed by India is the main source of illegal pesticides in Europe while China at the same time has taken the lead in the legitim manufacturing of plant protection products.

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