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China to phase out high-toxic pesticides in 5 years, reevaluate pesticides registered for above 15 years
Aug 21, 2018

At the council meeting of the China Association of Pesticide Development & Application held in Wuhai of Inner Mongolia on August 9, 2018, Ji Yin, the chief agronomist of the ICAMA, in a summary report of pesticide registrations of 2017, disclosed that the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs would phase out high-toxic pesticides in the next five years, conduct a reevaluation of old pesticides registered for above 15 years, including glyphosate , carbendazim and imidacloprid, and expedite the process of formulation of industry standard applicable to niche crop pesticide registration and pesticide limit governance.


Pesticide registration in China is characterized by a large number of products and homogenized products, which lead to the emergence of a large number of cheap products in the market. This results in the oversupply of products and fierce market competition as well as a lack of market activeness. On the other side, registration of high-toxic pesticides is decreasing while that of environment-friendly pesticide formulations is increasing, which reflect the change of Chinese pesticide production towards green development.


Until the end of 2017, a total of 38,247 registered products stayed valid with the ICAMA, of which insecticide accounts for 38.9%, fungicide accounts for 25.8%, herbicide accounts for 25.3%, hygienic insecticide accounts for 6.7%, plant growth regulator accounts for 2.4%, rodenticide accounts for 0.3% and miscellaneous accounts for 0.7%. Compared to less than 30,000 registered products at the end of 2013, there has been a net increase of over 2,100 products each year on an average.



A total of 3,885 products were registered in 2017, which is the largest yearly number over the last four years. Among the increases, herbicide and fungicide have increased quite fast while insecticide has declined. 


Out of the newly increased products in 2017, the proportion of low-toxic and micro-toxic products grew stably having reached 94.1% while there were no registrations of high-toxic and extreme-toxic products in the year.


There is a serious issue of homogenization of registered products in China. The number of similar products has reached over 9,000, of which abamectin, imidacloprid, Dursban, glyphosate, beta-cypermethrin and phoxim have each had registrations of over 1,000 products. 


As for the registration and use of high-toxic pesticides, China has eliminated 43 kinds of high-toxic and highly hazardous pesticides such as BHC and DDT. At present, there are still 10 high-toxic pesticides staying valid for agricultural use. The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs is taking action to implement stricter control over the use of high-toxic pesticides and has completed a study of elimination of aldicarb, isocarbophos and phorate, which are planned to be banned in China. In the meantime, a plan is expected to be implemented to initiate the phase-out of isofenphos-methyl, ethoprophos, omethoate and aluminium phosphide. In the next step, a study will be conducted on the phase-out of carbofuran, methomyl and nitrochloroform.


At the same time, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs is prepared to reevaluate old pesticides, which have been registered for over 15 years, in batches. According to preliminary statistics, there are 478 kinds of old pesticides registered for over 15 years in China. It is preliminarily decided that 10 pesticides will be selected for reevaluation, including glyphosate, carbendazim, alachlor, butachlor, triazophos, imidacloprid, metolcarb and fipronil. Meanwhile, efforts will be made to periodically evaluate all other pesticides registered for over 15 years.