NEWS

EU warning over pesticide

The European Commission has sent first written warnings (Letters of Formal Notice) to Greece and another eight member states which have not informed the Commission about what they have done to limit the use of the pesticide methyl bromide, which is being phased out under EU law as it depletes the Earth’s ozone layer. Member states must report to the Commission every year about the exact amount of methyl bromide they have used, for which purposes and what they have done to reduce its use, as well as on their progress in using alternatives. Greece has not reported for 2003. It reported for 2002 and 2001, but failed to report on the quantities of methyl bromide authorized for quarantine treatments and the purposes for which methyl bromide was used. In addition, the information on using alternatives was insubstantial: Greece only gave information on several research projects and the evaluation of the alternatives, but not their use. After receiving a Letter of Formal Notice, member states are required to comment during an enquiry.