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Revision of the Plant Protection Products Ordinance: Ecotox Centre says yes, but

03. April 2024, Topic: Aquatic Ecotoxicology Soil Ecotoxicology Sediment Ecotoxicology Risk Assessment

Revision of the Plant Protection Products Ordinance: Ecotox Centre says yes, but

The Ecotox Centre and Eawag welcome a total revision of the Plant Protection Products Ordinance (PPPO). However, the two institutes are calling for improvements on important points, such as the adoption of EU authorisations or the precautionary principle. The ordinance must ensure that other regulations such as the Water Protection or the Environmental Protection Act are not undermined.

In a jointly submitted statement to the federal government, the Ecotox Centre and Eawag welcome the planned total revision of the Plant Protection Products Ordinance (PPPO). A convergence with EU regulations could be useful in terms of reducing administrative hurdles. However, Switzerland must continue to have the sovereignty and obligation to react independently to new findings. The two institutes write that it must be ensured that the products authorised in Switzerland always meet the level of protection required according to the current state of knowledge. Decisions made elsewhere under different conditions and based on possibly outdated scientific findings should not be relied upon alone. This applies to new authorisations and, in particular, to re-authorisations of plant protection products.

Do not abolish the precautionary principle

According to the consultation response, preventive measures are central to sustainable environmental protection. These should ensure that potentially harmful active substances and products are not released into the environment in the first place. For this reason, the precautionary principle previously enshrined in the PPPO should not be cancelled under any circumstances. This would ensure that the agricultural sector is provided with PPPs that are safe for humans and the environment according to the latest findings.

Make environmental monitoring mandatory

Both institutes are also in favour of environmental monitoring that records the effects of newly authorised PPPs on humans, drinking water and the environment. Such monitoring must also apply to substances that are to be re-authorised following a ban.

Letter from the Ecotox Centre and Eawag to the Federal Food Safety and Veterinary Office (FSVO) and consultation response on the revision of the PPP Ordinance
Download pdf, in German only

Text: Andri Bryner, Eawag

Photo: Adobe Stock, edu licenced


Dr. Marion Junghans
Dr. Marion Junghans Send mail Tel. +41 58 765 5401
Dr. Alexandra Kroll
Dr. Alexandra Kroll Send mail Tel. +41 58 765 5487

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