He said that the registration of plant protection products could be simplified if the European Commission's plan to split Europe into climatic zones was to be approved. "A product authorised in a zone, would therefore be authorised for any other country in that zone. It would be much simpler than what happens now, when each member state has to apply for authorisation of a product individually. It should increase the availability of the protection products," Mason said.
He also said that a key amendment has been suggested so that certain active substances may be approved for up to five years despite meeting cut-off criteria, if it "is necessary to control a serious danger to plant health that cannot be contained by other available means".
Mason added: "The negotiations are not all negative. There are signs of agreement on certain points."
But he said there were several important issues not yet addressed. He said one of the types of active substances on the cut-off criteria list - "endocrine disruptors" - has never been clearly defined.