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Bayer has decided to stop sales of the potato seed treatment Monceren (pencycuron) with immediate effect due to the uncertain regulatory future of the product, and the potential consequences for potato crops treated with it.

The Maximum Residue Limit (MRL) for pencycuron is currently under review by EFSA, in a process that started in 2011. In December 2018 EFSA published its Reasoned Opinion (RO) on pencycuron MRL and proposed to revoke the MRL on potatoes and vegetable crops, which would mean the registrations on these crops being withdrawn.

Bayer subsequently submitted new data to defend its use on potato crops, which should be reviewed by regulatory authorities before any final decision is made.

Unfortunately discussion at decision meetings has been regularly postponed, and no final decision has yet been made. However, if revocation of pencycuron occurs this autumn, the likely scenario would mean crops would need to be treated by April 2020, and importantly, all harvested potatoes sold by October 2020, otherwise they risk being in contravention of a new MRL.

Given this unclear situation and the potential consequences for potato growers of using a product that could potentially mean concerns selling the harvested crop, being a responsible company Bayer has decided to stop sales of pencycuron containing products. It has also recommended distributors and agronomists advise growers to stop using the product until it receives the final decision of authorities on the MRL value.

If the company receives favourable news regarding the MRL, it will resume sales of pencycuron containing products.