The Civil Guard intervenes 63 tons of agricultural pesticides harmful to the environment and the health of the consumer

This operation, which is carried out annually and coordinated by EUROPOL, is aimed at combating the manufacture, trade and irregular use of phytosanitary defense means in the European agricultural and horticultural sector

4 people have been arrested / investigated for the illegal use of phytosanitary products prohibited in the natural environment

The Civil Guard, in the framework of the operation SILVER AX IV, "has carried out 1,122 inspections and 564 complaints for different breaches related to plant health regulations in ports, airports, customs precincts, commercial facilities, farms and other related to the agricultural and horticultural sector. In addition, 63 tons of pesticides that violated the regulations have been apprehended / intervened.

This operation, developed annually and coordinated by EUROPOL, is aimed at combating the manufacture, trade and irregular use of phytosanitary and biocidal resources in the agricultural and horticultural sector, as well as to raise awareness among the population of the repercussions that these could have. activities for the environment and for consumer health.
The use of banned phytosanitary products and biocides as poisoned bait was the reason for the arrest / investigation of 4 people in the provinces of Zamora (1), Huesca (1) and Valencia (2) for an alleged crime against flora, fauna and domestic animals.

The market for phytosanitary products, one of the most regulated in the world

A traditional practice in agriculture is the use of certain compounds to control pests that destroy crops, which has evolved to the development of chemical pesticides in order to achieve the maximum development and yield of crops. This, on occasion, is achieved by making an incorrect and illegal use of the same, harming the environment and the health of consumers and users.
The phytosanitary market is one of the most regulated in the world. The improper use of pesticides can cause serious risks to public health and the environment, especially when it comes to substances that have been introduced without authorization or that are applied on farms incorrectly.

Spain, among the top 10 countries exporting agricultural products in the world

The presence of illicit or falsified pesticides, produced, imported and distributed, without any control measures within the European market represent a serious threat both to public health and animal health, as well as to the fields themselves.
The destruction of these pesticides can cause environmental damage in the medium to long term, not to mention the corresponding economic damage that it supposes for the companies that legally dedicate themselves to selling this type of product.
Spain is included in the list of the 10 main world exporting countries of agricultural products, according to data from the European Commission itself. This position in the market can have a very significant impact on the safety and health of populations, as well as the environment, if unauthorized phytosanitary substances are used. Counterfeiters and users of irregular pesticides consciously accept such risks and dangers.
Within the priorities of the fight against organized crime in the European Union, EUROPOL, in 2015 and through the AP COPY of Counterfeit Products, decided to adopt operational action OA 4.3, designed by the Food Safety Authority of the Netherlands, with the objective of fighting against trafficking and the use of false and unauthorized pesticides.
This operation, which was called Silver Ax, was born with a vocation for continuity and with the aim of fighting against a fraud that constitutes not only an aggression to the European market, but also a threat to health and to the environment.
Finally, it means that the Civil Guard participates as a partner of the LIFE project "Guardians of Nature" funded by the European Union and that, within the activities planned in it, the SEPRONA is in charge of carrying out operational actions aimed at the fight against the destruction or modification of the habitat of protected species. Thus, the activities carried out in the framework of Operation "Silver Ax IV" are part of said Project.
The operation has been developed by agents belonging to the SEPRONA and the Civil Guard Prosecutor Service, who have had the collaboration of the General Subdirectorate of Plant and Forestry Health and Hygiene, belonging to the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries (MAPA).

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