Focusing on the quality and safety of the farm product, the Draft Revision stresses on three aspects: 1) Strict management of the entire process; 2) Laying the onus of responsibility on the business; 3) Implementing tougher punishment to safeguard food safety. The agreed Draft Revision has included the following changes:
1.The management of pesticide production — previously controlled by several government departments — has now been shifted to the agricultural department, which will solely be responsible for pesticide registration, issuance of production and marketing permit, and punishment for violation. The shift in the responsibility will help eliminate overlapping duties among departments.
2.Temporary registration of pesticide has been canceled. Also, pesticide developer will be allowed to apply for pesticide registration. While transfer of registration data is allowed, transfer of registration certificate will not be allowed. Cancelation of temporary registration will raise the entry level for businesses, enabling registered pesticide developers to achieve advanced technical levels, and ensure the scientific nature of pesticides. This provision is expected to favor serious pesticide manufacturers.
3.With the implementation of the business permit system and further defining of the responsibility of businesses, pesticide manufacturers will be made responsible for the safety and efficacy of their pesticide. A sound pesticide quality and safety assurance system, and a callback system must be set up, so that severely impairing or risky pesticides can be recalled in a timely manner.
4.Pesticide users have been requested not to use poisonous or highly-toxic pesticides to control sanitary insect pest and aquatic plant pest, or to produce vegetables, melon, fruits, tea, herbs and mushrooms. Pesticides shall not be used in areas with drinking water sources.
5.With respect to those who manufacture and market pesticides without permit or sell poor quality pesticides and fakes, in addition to the existing punitive action, measures such as the imposition of higher penalty and blacklisting of violators will be undertaken. This will be a legal guarantee towards food safety and will boost the development of the industry, in line with the expectation of prime pesticide manufacturers, who produce highly-efficient and low-toxic pesticide in compliance with industrial standards.
“A strict supervision is required to control pesticide residue from the source, so as to provide a legal guarantee for safeguarding the meal table," said Premier Li Keqiang.
The amended Pesticide Control Regulation is scheduled for release soon. Yu Xinrong, the Vice Agricultural Minister, said the government's objective was to achieve zero growth in the use of pesticides by 2020.