Produits Phytopharmaceutiques

ANSES announces the withdrawal of marketing authorisations for fungicidal plant protection products containing epoxiconazole in France

ANSES is today publishing its opinion on the endocrine-disrupting nature of the active substance epoxiconazole used in fungicides. On the basis of the criteria of the new European legislation on endocrine disruptors, the Agency confirmed the endocrine-disrupting properties of this substance, which is also included in the list of candidates for substitution at European level. It believes that products containing epoxiconazole need to be withdrawn from the market, and has notified the marketing authorisation holders of its intention.

Epoxiconazole is a fungicidal active substance used on a large amount of the land cultivated in France, mainly to treat the aerial parts of plants such as cereals and beets, in order to control the main fungal diseases of these crops. Each year, about 200 tonnes of epoxiconazole are sold in France.

This substance, which is persistent and toxic, a suspected carcinogen (C2) and presumed human reproductive toxicant (R1B), is still currently authorised in Europe and used in preparations for plant protection purposes. The marketing authorisations for these products include specific management measures and, in view of its hazardous nature, epoxiconazole is included in the list of candidates for substitution under European Regulation (EU) 2015/408.

Following the adoption of European legislation on endocrine disruptors in December 2017 and the implementation of the guidance document on identification published on 5 June 2018, ANSES immediately issued an internal request to assess the endocrine-disrupting properties of epoxiconazole.

This work led the Agency to conclude that epoxiconazole is an endocrine disruptor for humans and non-target organisms, with a worrying degree of hazard to humans and the environment. For this reason, ANSES has notified the marketing authorisation holders of its intention to withdraw 76 products containing epoxiconazole from the market.

ANSES has informed the French authorities of the withdrawal of products containing epoxiconazole in France, and will be forwarding its decision to the competent authorities of the European Commission and the other Member States.