THE EUROPEAN Commission's deadline of evaluating by July 2003 the safety of the 800-plus active substances used in EU pesticides will be missed, with Brussels asking ministers and MEPs to extend the completion date to 2008.

Health and consumer affairs Commissioner David Byrne has admitted that when the EU agreed Directive 91/414 on the authorisation, use and control of plant protection products - insecticides, fungicides, herbicides etc. in 1991, there was a dramatic under-estimation in the work that it entailed.

In particular, ...

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