Active likely to be out of action in GB

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11 January 2024
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HSE proposal to withdraw approval of the active substance Mancozeb.

THE Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has conducted a review of the approval of the active substance mancozeb and proposes to withdraw the approval of the active substance in Great Britain.

Mancozeb (MZ) is a broadly-used fungicide for the control of plant diseases, including late blight in potatoes caused by the oomycete Phytophthora infestans (Mont.) It was banned for agricultural use by the European Union from January 2022 because of perceived hazards to humans and the environment. But while it was withdrawn from use in the EU and Northern Ireland, it remained available in England, Scotland and Wales.

MZ has been found to cause human health problems, including hepatic, renal, genotoxic, and hematological disorders. One of the degradation products of MZ in the soil is ethylenethiourea (ETU), a group B2 carcinogen, which has been found to be a drinking water pollutant. 

HSE has now reviewed the approval of mancozeb under Article 21 of retained Regulation (EC) 1107/2009, a process by which HSE may initiate a review of any aspect of the approval of a pesticide active substance at any point in light of new scientific information which indicates that it may no longer satisfy the criteria for approval.

This review considered the evidence for continuing approval of mancozeb, including supporting data submitted by fungicide manufacturers UPL Europe Ltd and Indofil Industries (Netherlands) BV (being the EU Mancozeb Task Force).

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Approval of mancozeb was due to expire in England, Scotland and Wales on January 31st, but this will be extended. It is likely there will be an interim period of three months but this has yet to be confirmed. Similarly, withdrawal periods for approved products containing mancozeb are yet to be confirmed by HSE. 

UPL Europe Ltd and Indofil Industries (Netherlands) BV have stated that they will advise their customers as soon as more information is available and help them transition to new modes of action.

"UPL Europe Ltd and Indofil Industries Netherlands BV fully appreciate the importance of mancozeb for the control of potato blight, in particular its multi-site activity for resistance management. We will therefore work closely with global and UK stakeholders and the UK authorities to evaluate what options are available to maintain the availability of mancozeb products in the UK," a combined company statement announced.

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