ECPA congratulates Spanish Environmental Police

Brussels, 17 December 2007 – The European Crop Protection Association (ECPA) congratulated the Spanish Environmental Police (Seprona) for its successful operation, «Don
Limpio», which resulted in the detention of eleven suspects and the seizure of 2,200kg of illegal pesticides in Almería, Southwest of Spain; the pesticide industry reiterated its
demand for improved enforcement and policing operations to reprimand those who sell and use illegal pesticides.

The detainees are accused of crimes against public health and infringement of Intellectual Property Rights. The eleven suspects, allegedly belong to a criminal network of illegal pesticide
trafficking, were operating in the Southwest of Spain. Their modus operandi was to introduce illegal pesticides onto the Spanish market through an importer, who sold them to intermediaries, who
sold them to the final users, farmers.
Since the illegal pesticide, isofenphos-methyl, was found on exported Spanish peppers throughout Europe earlier this year, Seprona has detained more than 15 people and seized about 4,000kg of
illegal pesticides.

ECPA’s Spanish member association, AEPLA, has been campaigning since 2003 against the use of counterfeit and illegal pesticides and, most recently, launched a nation-wide awareness raising
campaign against such products. AEPLA will continue to work with Seprona to stamp out the illegal trade in pesticides.

ECPA’s Anti-Counterfeit Project Manager, Rocky Rowe, commended this most recent development in Spain: «The fight against the growing problem of illegal pesticides urgently needs to be
intensified and requires increased political attention, as well as human and financial resources. Those responsible and affected need to lead – governments, farmers, the food value chain,
international and European organisations and the plant protection industry.

«In this light, ECPA strongly supports the efforts of Seprona and demands that the necessary resources are made available to guarantee the continued fight against those criminal networks
trading with illegal pesticides. Police and enforcement agencies are central to the fight against illegal pesticides, and Seprona’s efforts should serve as a good example for other
countries.«

ECPA is committed to combating the problem and calls on all major stakeholders to work together to minimise the import and use of counterfeit and illegally imported plant protection products.
This is needed to ensure the continued security of the food chain and the commitments to improved human and environmental health and well-being.

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