Counterfeit Pesticides on the Rise
The European police authority Europol seized around 1,150 tons of illegal and counterfeit pesticides from January to April 2022 as part of Operation Silver Axe VII. In the annual campaign, the authorities also identified current trends in the EU black market for plant protection products. They noted an increase in trafficking in illegal pesticides in southern Europe and the Black Sea region.
Operation Silver Axe VII has also shown that counterfeiting of common brands for herbicides, insecticides, and fungicides is on the rise. Increasingly, law enforcement agencies in the EU member states are uncovering activities on European soil in which products with counterfeit labels and packaging similar to well-known brands enter the black market.
According to Catherine De Bolle, Executive Director of Europol, unauthorized plant protection products, despite their low price, lead to high costs for agribusiness and the environment. In the course of the last Six Silver Axe operations, the authorities have already seized almost 5,000 tons of illegal and counterfeit pesticides. These figures and the worrying increase in counterfeiting activities once again illustrate the importance of effective product protection in the agrochemicals sector.
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