February 27, 2007
A leading producer of crop
protection products, Dow
AgroSciences (DAS), and a member of ECPA, has announced that
it is using a new patented technology to help protect its
products against the increased prevalence of illegal trade and
counterfeiting. The technique involves treating the active
ingredient in a crop protection product so that a quick and easy
test can determine whether a product is real or counterfeit.
The simple test, using rapid analysis kits, allows for immediate
identification of products to quickly determine the nature of
the active ingredient. In the UK, the kits are being provided to
the Pesticides Safety Directorate, which is responsible for
enforcement. "This means that at any point in the logistics
chain from manufacture to farm delivery we are now able to
quickly check whether a product is genuine and manufactured by
Dow AgroSciences. We can also identify whether our products have
been diluted." said Mike Carroll of Dow AgroSciences.
Rocky Rowe, campaign
manager of the European Crop
Protection Association (ECPA) anti-counterfeit campaign
said: "This is a great example of how companies are fighting
counterfeiting of their products. The companies all have
anti-counterfeit measures on or in their products and will
continue to introduce new and effective ways to prevent their
intellectual property from being copied or stolen. To help its
member companies advance marker technologies, ECPA is
establishing a marker technology team to look at all the various
technical, regulatory and commercial implications."
In 2006, ECPA started a multi-year Europe-wide campaign to fight
the increasing problem of counterfeiting and illegal trade. The
campaign involves a mix of political outreach, awareness
building, training and working with in-country authorities to
improve legislation and to better use and co-ordinate
enforcement agencies. It also involves investigative and legal
efforts to combat counterfeiters. Mr Rowe said: "Counterfeiting
and illegal trade of plant protection products is a significant
and growing problem with estimates showing that 5-7% of Europe's
plant protection products are illegal or counterfeit." The
nature and extent of the problem varies per market, with four
types of illegal activity identified: 1) sophisticated
counterfeit copies, 2) low-quality fakes and copies, 3) illegal
imports of legitimate products on sale in other parts of the
world, and 4) parallel trade abuse where legitimate parallel
traded products are substituted by counterfeits.
Unlike legitimate products, illegal products are untested and
unregulated and can damage farmers crops and the environment.
National governments and their regulators are responsible for
the regulation of plant protection products including
enforcement. Every year, up to ?30 million in tax revenues is
lost by European governments because of this illegal business.
Illegal products pose a challenge to food company reputations,
supply systems and export markets. The crop protection industry
suffers loss of sales, patent infringement, erosion of data
protection and damage to reputation. Left unchecked, illegal
trade in PPP's could reduce innovation and development of the
next generation of pesticides.
The European Crop Protection
Association (ECPA) represents the crop protection industry
interests at European level. Its members include all major
companies and national associations across Europe.
More information about the anti-counterfeit campaign:
More information about Dow AgroSciences' new anti-counterfeit
technology: Mike Carroll, Dow AgroSciences +44 (0)1235 437970