In a decision that will affect tillage farmers, the European Commission has banned the use of the herbicides Amitrole and Isoproturon, due to links with cancer, infertility and birth defects.
The ban will come into force on September 30th.
Amitrole and Isoporturon are endocrine disruptors which means they attack the hormone system.
Their use after September will result in cross compliance penalties.
Isoproturon is widely used in winter wheat crops and is contained in the products Protugan, Arelon, Croplink, Fieldgard and IPU 500.
Amitrole is best known as the active ingredient in Weedazol, used willow coppicing.
A European Commission spokesperson said: “The Efsa conclusions for Amitrole and Isoproturon did indicate critical areas of concern related to endocrine disruption but there were other serious concerns related to the risk assessment that were the basis for withdrawal of approval.”
Other endocrine disrupting chemicals are under review. Current bans on Flumioxazin, Flupyrsulfruron, Pymetrozine and Flutianil are unlikely to be rescinded in the short-term.
The European commission has been under pressure to act on safety concerns regarding endocrine-disruptors after a European court of justice decision in December 2015. This found that the commission had acted illegally, by“failing to adopt measures concerning the specification of scientific criteria for the determination of endocrine-disrupting properties”.