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India may cancel Syngenta's pesticide import licenceqrcode

Oct. 12, 2011

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Oct. 12, 2011

India may cancel Syngenta's pesticide import licence

Indian government is planning to cancel the licence for Syngenta India, Indian arm of Swiss agrochemical firm Syngenta, for imports of a key pesticide molecule on charges that the company had imported the product prior to the grant of permission and that too from a source other than the one for which approval was sought. The Union agriculture ministry has also found that the agrochemical company tinkered with the manufacturing date of the product.

According to sources, the ministry has forwarded a proposal to repeal Syngenta’s certificate of registration for the imports of Emamectin Benzoate to the law ministry for vetting. "The cancellation may be announced pretty soon,” one source said, without giving a specific time frame. Emamectin Benzoate 5% is widely used to curb pests in cotton and vegetable crops, and is a key product of the company.

Sales of Syngenta, a global leader in crop solutions, rose 12% to $7.7 billion in the first half of 2011 from a year before on impressive growth in its crop protection segment.

In a notice to Syngenta served in late July, the farm ministry said: “...(Syngenta imported the molecule) without valid certificate of registration during July 2007 from unapproved source and putting the date of manufacture as the date of repackaging in their unit located in Goa, instead of the date of original manufacture of formulation. "...further, the import of Imamectin Benzoate 5% was made by using the certificate that was issued for indigenous manufacture under Section 9 (3B) for the same formulation in violation of Sections 9 and 17(1) (d) of the Insecticides Act 1968,” the notice added. The ministry had asked Syngenta to show cause in 15 days of the receipt of the notice why the company’s certificate of registration for Emamectin Benzoate shouldn’t be cancelled.

Earlier this year, the Registration Committee of the agriculture ministry formed a panel to probe the matter and found that Syngenta had “violated the provisions of Insecticides Act 1968 in respect of the import of the product Emamectin Benzoate 5%.”

On its part, Syngenta told the Registration Committee that it started the process of import “with the hope that the Certificate Of Registration will be issued to them in due course” after the publication of the minutes of the Committee’s meeting on its website that had approved the imports, although it didn’t have the certificate of registration in physical form, according to the content of the notice.

"Regarding the import of the material from Syngenta, US, instead of Syngenta, Switzerland, the source approved by the Registration Committee, they informed that the consignments were formulated by Syngenta, US (an affiliate of Syngenta, Switzerland) from the technical material manufacturered by Syngenta, Switzerland,” the ministry notice said. The notice, however, said the company accepted its mistake on the issue of putting the date of repacking the product in India as the date of its manufacture.

It also said the Registration Committee found the claim of Syngenta with regard to the source of import “legally incorrect when compared with the details of the source...furnished earlier by the company along with its application.” It also said the Committee “was not satisfied with the explanation given by Syngenta in its support”.

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