The Advisory Committee on Pesticides provides independent advice to Ministers on matters relating to the regulation and use of pesticides, including applications for approval of new products and reviews of existing approvals. It usually meets in closed session (because of intellectual property and commercial secrecy considerations) approximately six times a year in York.
Deputy Chairman: Dr A Povey
Members: Prof C Brown; Dr J Cocker; Mr R Davis; Ms J Dean; Dr M Hare; Dr C Harris; Mr P Jackson; Prof T Lock; Prof P Matthiessen; Dr C Morris; Prof C Ockleford; Prof K Palmer; Dr W Parker; Prof R Shore; Prof A Smith; Dr S Waring; Dr S Wilkinson.
Apologies: Prof G M Hawksworth; Mr D Finnegan
Written comments received from:
Representatives from the following Departments and other organisations were present: Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra ); Science and Advice for Scottish Agriculture (SASA ); The Chemicals Regulation Directorate (CRD ); Health & Safety Executive (HSE ); Health Protection Agency (HPA ); Food Standards Agency (FSA ); Natural England (NE ).
In opening the meeting, the Deputy Chairman welcomed Prof A Smith to his first meeting as a Member of the ACP.
At its meeting on 15 May 2012, the Committee discussed the following issues:
1. Agenda Item 1: Minutes and Detailed record of discussion
1.1 a) 354th Meeting: Minutes [ACP 1 (355/2012)]
1.1.1 Agreed as drafted. link to minutes of 354th meeting)
1.2 b) 354th Meeting: Detailed record of discussion [ACP 2 (355/2012)]
1.2.1 Agreed as drafted.
2. Agenda Item 2: Secretary’s Report [ACP 3 (355/2012)]
2.1 The Secretary to the Committee reported on the recommendations made at previous meetings.
3. Agenda Item 3: Matters arising
3.1 a) Application for the extension of use of rodenticides [ACP 9 (355/2012)]
3.1.1 Two Members declared non-personal, non-specific interests in this item.
3.1.2 Members discussed issues remaining following recent email consideration of an application for outside use on six specific sites in Berkshire of brodifacoum and flocoumafen, rodenticides previously approved for indoor use only. Members provided detailed advice for CRD to take forward these applications.
3.1.3 Members agreed that the wider issues around the control of anti-coagulant resistant rats should be raised with Defra . Members requested that the Committee be kept informed of the results of this work and responses to the CRD consultation to help inform their advice to Defra.
3.2 b) Other Matters Arising [ACP 5 (355/2012)]
3.2.1 The Secretary reported on matters arising from previous meetings.
4. Agenda Item 4 : Bees [ACP 7 (355/2012)]
4.1 One Member declared a personal, non-specific interest in this item and left the meeting for the duration of this discussion.
4.2 Members heard that following the Buglife Report discussed at previous Meetings of the ACP and its Environmental Panel there has been steady parliamentary, public and media interest in possible neonicotinoid effects on bees and other pollinators. Recent publication of two studies (Whitehorn et al and Henry et al) has resulted in intensified interest.
4.3 The ACP advised a considered approach to all of the data, assessing the reliability of the studies, the relevance of the doses used, the end points measured and comparability with other available studies. Members identified additional information that they would require to inform further consideration of current approvals of the neonicotinoid insecticides.
5. Agenda Item 5: Respiratory Sensitisation and Respiratory Protective Equipment requirements for microbial pesticides [ACP 8 (355/2012)]
5.1 Following discussions at previous Meetings, Members discussed proposals for standardisation of Respiratory Protective Equipment (RPE) requirements when using microbial pesticides. The Committee agreed that there should be consistency in recommendations.
5.2 The ACP agreed that the level of RPE required as a standard for biological pesticides should be FFP3, and that all approval holders should update labels at the next printing.
6. Agenda Item 6: Pesticides Regulatory Policy Issues [ACP 6 (355/2012)]
6.1 The Committee received an update from CRD on current issues relating to Government policy on plant protection products.
6.2 Members sought clarification on the implications of new legislation particularly in relation to hazard based assessment and zonal authorisation. CRD agreed that while there may be some changes to the work of the Committee, the ACP is invaluable to the UK, and CRD will continue to seek its advice on difficult issues and how the EU regulatory role is approached.
7. Agenda Item 7: Reconstitution of the ACP [ACP 13 (355/20120]
7.1 Members considered their response to the consultation on the future of the ACP, and draft terms of reference for the Committee in the event of it being reconstituted.
7.2 They agreed that it was of utmost importance that the independence of the Committee be retained, and that there should be no change in the perception of independence as a result of the proposed reconstitution. Whilst welcoming the introduction of the Science Advisory Council to coordinate the work of all of the Defra committees Members reiterated that it was essential that the chair should retain access to Ministers.
7.3 Members commented that as the current Committee provides advice on plant protection products and a group of biocidal products, it was important that the terms of reference detailed the planned scope of the ACP’s remit.
7.4 The Secretariat would work with the Deputy Chairman immediately after the close of the Meeting, and forward its agreed response to the consultation before the deadline that evening.
8. Agenda Item 8: Update on the working groups [ACP 13 (355/2012)]
8.1 Members heard that further comments on the draft Pesticide Adverse Health Effects Surveillance Working Group (PAHES) were awaited. It was likely that this report would be provided to support the formulation of EC guidance on monitoring adverse health impacts.
8.2 Following discussion at the last ACP and COT Meetings, the Bystander Risk Assessment Working Group (BRAWG) draft report was being updated with a view to presenting the finalised report to each Committee by the summer.
9. Agenda Item 9: The Open Meeting 2012 [ACP 11 (355/2012)]
9.1 The Committee agreed that the topic for the 2012 Open Meeting should be ‘The ACP and its changing role, and global pesticide issues.’ The format would follow that of recent meetings with opportunities for small ‘break-out’ groups to discuss separate issues.
9.2 Members would notify the Secretariat of any suggestions for guest speakers.
10. Agenda Item 10: Proposed Meeting Dates 2013 [ACP 17 (355/2012)]
10.1 Members agreed dates for Meetings during 2013. These would be published on the ACP website in due course.
11. Agenda Item 11: Date of next Meeting
11.1 ACP 356 to be held in Conference Rooms 1-3, Foss House, York, on Tuesday 3 July 2012, commencing 11.00am.
12. Agenda Item 12: Any other business
12.1 Members would consider a draft for the foreword to the 2011 Annual Report, and submit comments to the Secretariat by email.
12.2 Members considered items for information received since the last Meeting.