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AIC champions for more certainty following PPP regulatory decision

15 June 2020

AIC supported an appeal in the European General Court this week, which challenged the verdict on the Commission’s decision to withdraw three neonicotinoid insecticides, clothianidin, imidacloprid and thiamethoxam in 2013.

The trade association argued that the Commission did not follow the legal procedure for withdrawal of active substances and that the impact of the withdrawals was not assessed, nor a cost/benefit analysis undertaken by the Commission. With no certainty regarding whether other active substances could be withdrawn in the same way in the future, agronomists, seed businesses, farmers and growers would be unable to plan for their business needs effectively. 

The Commission’s decision to withdraw the three insecticides was challenged by Bayer and Syngenta in 2017, on the basis that there was insufficient evidence of any serious risk to bee health posed by the actives, the use of unadopted risk assessment guidance in the decision-making process, and taking disproportionate action in light of the perceived risk identified.

AIC acted as an intervenor in the case, as the withdrawal of the three insecticides was calculated to be very problematic for UK farmers and growers and, therefore, AIC Members.

Nevertheless, the EU Court ruled in favour of the Commission and confirmed that the Ruling on the three actives was valid.

Bayer subsequently launched an appeal against the verdict. As an intervenor in the original case, AIC supported the Bayer appeal due to the negative impacts on oilseed rape crops due to the loss of neonicotinoid seed treatments. 

A decision on the hearing is expected in September.

“AIC Members took the decision to intervene and support the challenge to this verdict,” says Hazel Doonan, Head of Agronomy and Crop Protection Sector at AIC. “The implications of this decision could have far-reaching effects on the regulation of plant protection products (PPPs) more generally within the EU and the UK following the UK’s exit from the EU.”


About AIC

AIC is the UK trade association representing the agricultural supply chain sectors of Arable Marketing, Crop Protection and Agronomy, Feed, Fertiliser and Seeds, since its inception in 2003. In all, AIC represents members responsible for some £9 billion of farm trade. A significant part of its work is political lobbying and influencing as well as supporting members with technical information.

AIC Services, which is the professional services arm of AIC manages a range of services, including Assurance Schemes recognised by UK government as essential tools to underpin feed & food safety alongside fertiliser security.  Currently these include:


Trade Assurance Scheme for Combinable Crops


Feed Materials Assurance Scheme


Universal Feed Assurance Scheme


European Seed Treatment Assurance


Fertiliser Industry Assurance Scheme


Feed Adviser Register


Renewable Energy Directive


Forage Assurance Scheme


AIC Services Palm Oil Credit Scheme

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