In my latest article for the Financial Times Magazine, I wrote about the malaise affecting lavender. Another problem lavender farmers face is due to the new EU regulations. As ABC News reports, “They fear European Union rules adopted last year and due to come in force by 2018 will threaten [them]. According to regulators, lavender oil’s potential to produce allergies places it firmly within regulations on chemical toxins. That means lavender products will have to bear labels involving bold black and red warning labels with messages such as “CAN BE FATAL IF SWALLOWED OR INHALED.” Producers say the rules are too extreme — they note that lavender oil allergies usually produce only rashes — and too expensive for small farmers.”
You can read more about this issue in Lavender Farmers Rebel Against EU Regulations.
One thing is important to keep in mind. Lavender is not the only material that falls under the umbrella of REACH directive (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals). REACH applies to all chemicals imported or produced in the EU. Whether lavender essential oil deserves to be classed in the same group as hydrochloric acid is open to debate.