Brazil court mandates that Anvisa regulate use of Tribomophenol for goals besides wood treatment
Dec. 13, 2016
Judge Denise Avelar from the 6th Civil Court of São Paulo, state of São Paulo, has handed down a judgment that Brazil’s National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa) should regulate the use of Tribromophenol fungicide for goals other than wood treatment, which is the only application purpose permitted in Brazil.
The judgment came after the Federal Public Prosecutor filed a public civil action based on information that a company was importing and reselling Tribromophenol. The fungicide is considered toxic and harmful to human health as well as the environment.
According to the prosecutor, the importer had sold the substance to 12 other companies. Only one of the companies had used Tribromophenol for the permitted goal, which is to produce wood preservatives. The others intended to apply it to other goals that are not permitted in Brazil, such as treatments for water and industrial effluents, as well as leather and paper preservation.
Anvisa alleges that such enforcement is not the responsibility of the agency but that of the Brazilian Institute of Natural Environment and Natural Resources (Ibama). However, Judge Avelar based her decision on Law No. 9,782/99, which determines that Anvisa has “the goal of promoting the population’s health and the commercialization of products and services under health surveillance, including the environment,” as well as the incumbency of “regulating, controlling, and enforcing products and services that involve risks to human health.”
"Therefore, I understand that the performance of Ibama should be restricted to cases where Tribromophenol is used as a wood preservative---this being the only use currently allowed in Brazil […] So, I verify the provenance of the request formulated at the beginning to validate the competence of Anvisa to regulate the use of the substance for goals besides wood treatment. There is a constitutional goal for which it (Anvisa) was created: to promote the protection of human health,” concluded the magistrate.
She determined that the autarchy must present a schedule of enforcement of the law within 60 days, as well as a results report after 180 days. Non-compliance with the decision would result in a daily fine of R$10,000.
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