Paraquat authorisation directive published
A directive reauthorising the herbicide paraquat as a permitted active substance has been published in the EU's official journal. Several countries that have banned paraquat unsuccessfully tried to block the decision (EED 06/10/03). The directive will enter force on 1 November 2004. Member states must apply its provisions from 1 May 2005. New environmental and health safeguards include a requirement for an industry stewardship programme. In reply to a recent parliamentary question, the Commission said it believed the new rules would reduce risks of paraquat use world-wide. See directive 2003/112 and parliamentary question and answer.