The EU’s Advocate General, who is an adviser to the European Court of Justice, has called for restrictions around how member states can grant derogations for pesticides, the use of which has been prohibited within the European Union.

It is proposed that in future, derogations would only be granted in exceptional purposes and not for pests that occur on an annual basis.

For a derogation to be gained, “independent evaluation” with “independent data” would be required.

Standing committee

Currently, derogation applications from individual member states are approved by a standing committee on behalf of the European Commission. The only derogation currently in place for Ireland is for a clover-friendly herbicide, to assist the introduction of clover into established pastures and recent reseeds. The opinion followed a request from the Pesticide Action Network to the European Court of Justice to investigate current practice.