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Counterfeit pesticides damage EU economy

Intellectual property report shows lost revenue and jobs

by Glenn Hess, special to C&EN
February 20, 2017 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 95, Issue 8

The sale of counterfeit pesticides is costing European agrochemical producers about $1.4 billion (€1.3 billion) each year in lost revenue, according to a new study by the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO).

This equates to a loss of almost 14% of revenues and about 2,600 jobs in the EU because legitimate manufacturers employ fewer people than they would if not for competition from fake pesticides.

“Counterfeiting can affect every economic sector, and the pesticide manufacturing industry, which includes a large number of small and medium enterprises, is no exception,” says EUIPO Executive Director António Campinos.

The counterfeit pesticides enter the market primarily via smuggling. In the 28-member-nation EU bloc, Germany, France, and Italy have suffered the most in lost sales, according to the report.

Germany, the largest producer of pesticides in Europe, loses an estimated $316 million (€299 million) in annual sales and 500 jobs because of counterfeiting. The sale of illegally produced pesticides costs legitimate manufacturers in France about $254 million (€240 million) in revenue and 500 jobs each year, while the annual losses in Italy are pegged at $196 million (€185 million) and 270 jobs.


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