Following the recent publication of a report by non-governmental organizations on the export of unauthorized pesticides in Europe to 85 countries, including Morocco, the National Office for Sanitary Safety of Food Products (ONSSA), wished to provide some lighting.
The office thus underlines that Moroccan imports of pesticides used in agriculture represent only 2% of total European Union (EU) exports of these products. These are mainly pesticides based on 1,3 Dichloropropene, Paraquat and Hydrogen cyanamide.
1,3-Dichloropropene (1.3 D) alone represents 87% of these imports. It is a pesticide with nematicide action, used for disinfecting the soil against nematodes well before cultivation, explains ONSSA, noting that this pesticide is currently approved and used in several countries around the world, in particular the USA, Japan, Australia.
In EU countries, its use is still authorized through the granting of exceptional authorizations, particularly in countries producing vegetable crops and red fruits, adds the office, which specifies that in addition, on 1, 3-Dichloropropene is currently under review in Europe with a view to its possible re-approval based on new scientific data.
Moreover, out of the 41 active ingredients mentioned in the said report, the Moroccan agricultural sector is concerned by 8 active ingredients, 4 of which have already been withdrawn from the national market (Propargite, Atrazine, Carbendazime and Acetochlor). Also, ONSSA has scheduled the 2021 review of Paraquat, 1,3-Dichloropropene, Hydrogen cyanamide and Triasulfuron.
It should be noted that ONSSA regularly reviews active ingredients. In fact, between 2018 and 2020, the Office withdrew 15 active ingredients from the national market, notably Chlorpyriphos-ethyl, Chlorpyriphos methyl, Dinocap, Amitrole, Trichlorfon, Carbofuran, Propargite, Dichlorvos (DDVP), Methidathion, Iprodione, Diflovidazine, Ethoprophos , Linuron, Propineb and certain preparations containing glyphosate. This is part of an integrated approach aimed at the rational use of pesticides to contribute to the development of sustainable agriculture.
It is within this same framework that the Office has already initiated in July 2020 the review process of 10 other active ingredients to submit them for the opinion of the interministerial commission of March 2021 and informed the companies holding the approvals of these produced in accordance with the regulations and procedures in force.
This pesticide review approach is adopted by ONSSA whenever necessary, particularly in the light of scientific data, the status of pesticides at international level and phytopharmacovigilance data at national level.