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Pesticide Ban to Hit Farmers

The State Administration for Quality Supervision and Inspection and Quarantine warned Chinese farmers and pesticide producers to prepare for an upcoming EU ban on a range of agricultural chemicals.

The administration announced on Friday that the EU would formally forbid the sale of 320 kinds of agricultural chemicals in its region from December 31. This will affect the export of more than 60 types of agricultural chemicals made by China, including 13 types of insecticides, some bactericides and weed.

Agricultural experts pointed out that these kinds of chemicals are widely used in growing various farm products around China, such as apples, oranges, tomatoes, cucumbers and grain.

Lin Wei, an official with the administration said the EU ban would not only influence the export of China's pesticides, but also probably prevent the country's farm products from entering EU markets, the China News Service reported on Friday.

China ranked second in the world in pesticide exports last year, and many of the agricultural chemicals were sold to the EU.

Also, China last year exported more than 400,000 tons of vegetables, fruits and grain to the EU, which earned the country US$270 million.

Lin suggested China's pesticide producers and farmers make early preparations to deal with the results of the ban in order to avoid economic losses.

Zhuang Wuji, a researcher with the China Import and Export Inspection Technology Research Center, said the current range of agricultural chemicals produced by China can hardly meet the rising international standards for food safety and environmental protection.

He said the pesticides banned by the EU this time account for more than half of the total number of kinds of pesticides produced and used in China. He warned that the pesticides the country produces are subject to standards of international trade and that the export of farm products is subject to both current and possible new technical trade barriers.
(Xinhua News Agency November 29, 2003)

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