State of Rio Grande v. Sindiveg

2214152 - RS
No description
Final judgment
Brazil, Brasilia

Federated State of Rio Grande
Marlise Fischer Gheres

Neonicotinoid, Insecticid, Imidacloprid, Thiamethoxam, Clothianidin
Overturn a lower court ruling that the restrictions imposed by its law on the use of certain plant protection products were unconstitutional.
Superior Court of Justice (Superior Tribunal de Justiaça) of Brasilia, Brazil

October 17, 2023
First-instance judgment upheld, restrictions lifted.

On October 17, 2023, the Superior Court of Justice rejected the exceptional appeal lodged by the Federated State of Rio Grande for the annulment of a first-instance ruling that the restrictions imposed by the State Government on the use of certain neonicotinoid plant protection products were illegal.

The State of Rio Grande had passed a law restricting the use of three pesticides (imidacloprid, thiamethoxam, clothianidin) which had been approved by the federal agencies responsible for evaluating pesticide products, namely the National Health Surveillance Agency (Agência Nacional de Vigilância Sanitária, or ANVISA) and the Brazilian Institute for the Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (Instituto Brasileiro do Meio Ambiente e dos Recursos Naturais Renováveis, or IBAMA). These three pesticides, which belong to the neonicotinoid category, are known for their harmful effects on the environment and human health, and have been banned by the European Union since 2018.

The Syndicat de l'industrie des produits pour la défense des plantes (Sindicato Nacional da Industria de Productos Para Defesa Vegetal, or Sindiveg), representing the interests of a number of farmers and agrochemical manufacturers, challenged the decision and called for the restrictions to be withdrawn.

The Court of First Instance annulled the decision for unconstitutionality after recognizing that the restrictions on pesticide use imposed by the federated state would encroach on the federal state's competence in this area.

The State of Rio Grande appealed this decision, arguing that the need to define whether an additional normative competence allows federated states to refuse the registration of phytosanitary products duly registered with federal agencies (ANVISA and IBAMA), derives not from a constitutional text, but from federal law 7.802/89.

The Court stated that "although the petitioner invoked provisions of federal law, the contested judgment was based on an eminently constitutional foundation", which did not fall within the jurisdiction of the Court.

In fine, the first-instance judgment is therefore confirmed.