The experts of the company "August", the largest Russian manufacturer of chemical plant protection products (CPPP), assessed the draft law submitted to the State Duma of the Russian Federation aimed at strengthening state control over the safe handling of pesticides and agrochemicals. The functions of checking the import, sale, use and disposal of plant protection products are planned to be returned to Rosselkhoznadzor. In 2011, the department was deprived of these powers, but at the same time they were not transferred to anyone. As a result, for almost 10 years not a single supervisory agency has carried out checks “in the fields” to monitor compliance with the regulations for the use of pesticides, and also has not checked the composition of imported drugs. The amendments made to the legislation are designed to counteract the import, sale and use of counterfeit pesticides and agrochemicals that damage the agro-industrial complex, nature and human health.
In October 2020, the Russian Government submitted to the State Duma a bill providing for a serious tightening of control over the circulation of pesticides and agrochemicals in the country. It is planned that the appropriate powers will be vested in the Rosselkhoznadzor. The department has already performed control functions in this area until August 1, 2011. However, the current version of Federal Law No. 109-FZ "On the Safe Handling of Pesticides and Agrochemicals" does not imply control over their circulation either by the Rosselkhoznadzor or by other supervisory agencies, the explanatory note to the bill says.
“Domestic production of CPPP is in the area of attention of supervisory authorities, but imported products are not subject to such control: they look at the customs if everything is in order with the documents, but no one checks whether the composition of the imported product corresponds to what is declared in them,” states Vladimir Alginin, Deputy General Director of JSC Firm "August" for general issues. - A similar situation is developing in the field of pesticides and agrochemicals. Not a single supervisory authority today is authorized to carry out inspections of compliance with the regulations for the use of CPSP. How correctly they are used in terms of their dosage or frequency of treatments, ultimately remains on the conscience of farmers. And the consequences of mistakes and negligence affect the environmental situation, and the quality of manufactured products, and human health. As for the control over the sphere of trade in pesticides and agrochemicals, today it is in the competence of Rospotrebnadzor and the police. However, taking into account the huge number of tasks that they have to perform, the work of a specialized body represented by Rosselkhoznadzor, which has the necessary laboratory facilities and competent employees, seems to be an order of magnitude more effective in solving the problem under consideration.
The new version of Article 15 of Federal Law No. 109-FZ is intended to eliminate such "gray zones" of control: in accordance with it, supervision can be carried out both at the places of production and at the places of sale, storage, use, neutralization, disposal, destruction, burial of pesticides and / or agrochemicals. The federal executive authorities, which will be authorized to exercise such supervision, should be empowered to request the necessary documentation from citizens, legal entities and authorities of different levels, to visit all sites associated with the circulation of pesticides - from production and warehouses to fields and burial sites, make decisions on the prohibition of the import into the territory of the Russian Federation of consignments of pesticides and agrochemicals and file claims for compensation for harm caused to the environment by improper handling of them. The draft law also provides for the determination by the Government of Russia of specialized checkpoints across the state border through which pesticides and agrochemicals will be imported. Supervisory authorities will be empowered to work in these points.
It is assumed that the changes in legislation will intensify the fight against falsified and counterfeit pesticides and agrochemicals. Supervisory authorities will be able to identify them at all stages of circulation - from import to use. The explanatory note to the draft law notes the previous achievements in this area: “In specially created control and toxicological laboratories of the Rosselkhoznadzor, about 14 thousand studies of pesticides, agrochemicals and plant products were carried out annually. In 2010, 36 thousand tons of pesticides and agrochemicals were checked. At the same time, 464 tons of pesticides and 3,5 thousand tons of agrochemicals turned out to be falsified. Currently, such studies are not carried out at the federal level in the Russian Federation ”.
At the same time, the market for pesticides and agrochemicals in Russia is growing - for example, the volume of sales of CPPPs in the country for a decade has been increasing by almost 11% annually, which is almost four times higher than the world average growth rate. Domestic farmers, focusing on high yields, are introducing intensive farming technologies, increasing both the number of cultivated areas and the frequency of treatments. In light of these trends, ensuring effective supervision of the safe handling of pesticides and agrochemicals is becoming one of the important conditions for the country's food security. “The Ministry of Agriculture of Russia and the Rosselkhoznadzor regularly receive complaints on harm to the health of citizens, domestic animals, personal subsidiary farms, water sources due to the uncontrolled use of pesticides,” says the explanatory note to the bill.
“Pesticides, due to their high biological activity, pose a potential hazard to humans and the environment. Therefore, their circulation should be strictly regulated. Counterfeit pesticides pose an even more serious threat: in fact, their composition is unknown, no one has studied it - in contrast to the composition of drugs that have passed state registration and are approved for use, says Vladimir Alginin. - You need to understand that even small variations in the composition can lead to a significant increase in the toxicity of the drug. Residual amounts of counterfeit pesticides in food are hazardous to human health. Poor quality pesticides damage crops, and the effects can affect crops for several years. Nature is also under threat - the condition of soil and groundwater is deteriorating, flora and fauna are suffering ”.
According to data from the regions, which come to the Russian Union of CPPP Producers, the share of counterfeit pesticides ranges from 15% to 30% of the total turnover, and sometimes even more. 85-90% of all counterfeits are imported into the EAEU countries from China and India. Sometimes they are imported under the guise of other products - for example, detergents. If the imported drug has a certificate of state registration in Russia, this is by no means in all cases a reliable guarantee of quality. It is a common practice on the market when a manufacturer provides a high-quality drug for registration trials (often produced by a reliable company and already approved for use). And after successful tests, under the guise of a quality drug, a substance with an unknown composition is imported into the country. The new bill provides for the creation of an information system for the traceability of the turnover of pesticides and agrochemicals in the future, the obligatory entry into this system of information about them, as well as about transactions related to their turnover.
Based on the results of the consideration of the bill by the State Duma Council, it was recommended to include it in the preliminary program of the autumn session.
Material provided by the press service of the company "August"