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 eight times a year in York.
Chairman: Professor D Coggon
Members: Professor A Boobis, Professor P Calow, Professor R Smith, Dr N Bateman, Professor G Matthews, Mr C Stopes, Dr V K Tohani, Mrs S Owen, Mrs E Brown, Mr J Orson, Professor P R McElhatton
Apologies were received from the following Members: Dr I Grieve, Dr C R Elcombe, Professor G Edward-Jones
Representatives from the following Departments and other organisations were present: The Pesticides Safety Directorate (PSD), Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra), Department of Health (DH), Health & Safety Executive (HSE), Food Standards Agency (FSA), Scottish Agricultural Science Agency (SASA) and National Assembly for Wales Agriculture Department (NAWAD), Environment Agency (EA), English Nature (EN) and IACR- Rothamstead (IACR).
At its meeting on 11 April 2002, the Committee discussed the following issues:
1. Agenda Item 1:
1.1 a) 290th Meeting: Minutes [ACP 1 (291/2002)]
1.1.1 Agreed as amended
1.2 b) 290th Meeting: Detailed Record of Discussion [ACP 2(291/2002)]
1.2.1 Agreed as amended.
2. Agenda Item 2: Secretary’s Report [ACP 3 (291/2002)]
2.1 The Secretary to the Committee reported on the recommendations made at the meeting held on the 4 March 2002.
3. Agenda Item 3: Matters Arising
3.1 a) Bone Oil Data Requirement [ACP 4 (291/2002)]
3.1.1 Item to follow.
3.2 b) Benfuracarb and Carbosulfan – Consumer Exposure Assessment to Residues in Sugar Beet. [ACP 6 (291/2002)]
3.2.1 The Committee discussed the assessment of consumer exposure to pesticide residues following treatment of sugar beet. The Committee discussed the production of sugar from beet and concluded that residues were highly unlikely to be present in sugar due to the production methods used. However, they agreed that where theoretical estimates of intakes of residues without correction for manufacturing losses exceeded the relevant reference doses [(Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI) or Acute Reference Dose (ARfD)], processing data should be required. Members noted that suitable generic processing data might be available from sugar manufacturers.
3.3 c) Azamethiphos (verbal report)
3.3.1 HSE confirmed that Ministers had accepted the recommendations made at the 288th meeting in relation to two products for domestic use. The approval holders were actively pursuing the suggested design issues.
3.4 d) CPA Survey (verbal report)
3.4.1 The Secretary confirmed that this report (288th and 289th meetings) was unavailable at the present time. It would be brought to the ACP for consideration as soon as possible.
4. Agenda Item 4: IDS Report [ACP 8 (291/2002)]
4.1 The Chairman of the Inter-Departmental Secretariat reported on the issues discussed at its meeting on 19th March 2002.
5. Agenda Item 5: Second Evaluation for UK Provisional Approval (COPR) of Fipronil in the product ‘Vi-Nil GR’ (Third Evaluation of Fipronil) [ACP 9 (291/2002)]
5.1 Members had first considered fipronil as a horticultural insecticide proposed for use incorporated into compost to control vine-weevil in non-edible ornamentals at their 274th meeting. At that time members had identified various data that would be required to support a commercial level of approval.
5.2 These data had now been provided, and members considered a further evaluation at this meeting.
5.3 Members confirmed that estimates of operator and consumer exposure were acceptable, although for full approval they requested further operator exposure monitoring to confirm the estimates derived from modelling.
5.4 Members confirmed that the environmental risk arising from waste compost disposal had now been satisfactorily addressed.
5.5 The Committee agreed to advise Ministers that ‘Vi-Nil GR’ should be granted a provisional approval for use as a horticultural insecticide for compost incorporation in non-edible ornamental plant production (container grown) under the Control of Pesticides Regulations.
6. Agenda Item 6: Position Paper – Sulphuric Acid use as an Agricultural Desiccant – Effects on pH of Surface Waters [ACP 11 (291/2002)]
6.1 The Committee considered data on the effects on pH of surface waters from spray drift of sulphuric acid when used as an agricultural desiccant. It was agreed that the impact would differ from water body to water body dependent upon the natural buffering capacity of the water. The Committee considered that a proposed code of practice including a 5m buffer zone would provide adequate risk management for this use of a commodity chemical.
7. Agenda Item 7: Revision of Directive 91/414/EEC. Hazard Triggers and Comparative Risk Assessment: An Analysis of Policy Options [ACP12 (291/2002)]
7.1 The Committee discussed a paper setting out advantages and disadvantages of adopting hazard triggers and different approaches to comparative risk assessment for pesticides.
7.2 The Committee agreed that the paper should be revised to reflect their discussion, with a view to the Committee providing advice to Ministers following the next meeting.
8. Agenda Item 8: Proposed Amendments to the Poisons Rules [ACP 14 (291/2002)]
8.1 The Committee discussed Home Office proposals to revise the Poisons Rules, and possible effects on the abuse of certain pesticides to poison wildlife.
8.2 Members suggested that the potential impact of the proposed changes on the availability of those pesticides implicated most frequently in wildlife poisoning cases should be discussed further by the Environment Panel and the views of the organisations involved in the Campaign Against illegal Poisoning of Wildlife should also be sought.
9. Agenda Item 9: Emergency Authorisations [ACP 15 (291/2002)]
9.1 The Committee discussed proposed procedures in relation to emergency authorisations for pesticides as provided for in Directive 91/414/EEC.
9.2 Members noted that the provision was to be applied in the case of unforeseen emergencies.
9.3 The Committee agreed that they were largely content with the proposed criteria against which applications would be assessed, and with the arrangements proposed for obtaining emergency advice from the ACP. However, they felt that this system would not be appropriate for the control of foreseeable pest problems arising from gaps in coverage because of the withdrawal of previously approved pesticides at review.
10 Agenda Item 10: Various ACP Matters [ACP 16 (291/2002)]
10.1 The Committee proposed items for the agenda at the next ACP open meeting, planned to be held in July 2002. These included by-stander risk assessments, Inter-Departmental Group on Health Risk of Chemicals (IGHRC) documents on uncertainty (289th meeting) and possibly recent press criticism of the regulatory process.
10.2 The Committee had been asked if it would be possible to video record the open meeting. However, members decided that this would not be acceptable.
10.3 The Committee then discussed its terms of reference. These are set out in the Food and Environment Protection Act 1985. They are very broad and members concluded open to some interpretation. Overall, Members were content that the current work of the Committee fell within these terms of reference; it was noted that the Policy Commission on the Future of Farming and Food recommended that the Committee should widen its remit and representation.
10.4 It was agreed that other issues set out in this paper arising from the Code of Practice for Scientific Advisory Committees needed to be discussed further and the paper would be considered again at the next ACP meeting in May.
11. Agenda Item 11: Position Paper on Annex 1 Inclusion of Quinoxyfen [ACP 20 (291/2002)]
11.1 The fungicide, quinoxyfen, is under consideration for inclusion in Annex I of Directive 91/414/EEC. Members considered a paper summarising the latest state of play.
11.2 The Committee concluded that they supported quinoxyfen’s addition to Annex 1. However, they agreed that revised environmental risk assessments should be completed where appropriate to reflect the levels of residues that could accumulate in soil. These assessments should be confirmed with the Chairman of the Environmental Panel.
12. Agenda Item 12: Aldicarb [ACP 21 (291/020]
12.1 The UK is the rapporteur Member State for the EC review of aldicarb, a carbamate insecticide and nematicide. The ACP considered this paper which particularly addressed the risks to birds and earthworms, the two areas where the European Commission had identified outstanding data gaps for this pesticide.
12.2 The ACP noted that there was already a good database from studies of the effects of aldicarb on earthworms. In their opinion, a currently ongoing field study was likely to give further confidence in there being an acceptable risk to earthworms under field conditions.
12.3 Similarly, there was a substantial body of evidence on the acute toxicity of aldicarb to birds. The ACP concluded that the chemical characteristics of aldicarb were such that the period of risk to birds would be in the first few days after application. Given the use pattern supported in this review, the Committee concluded that, whilst there might be a short term risk to individual birds, this may not result in significant effects at a population level. Members suggested that further advice on this should be sought from an appropriate expert in probabilistic risk assessment for birds.
12.4 Members noted the importance of aldicarb in providing control of nematode pests, and the majority of members concluded that it would be reasonable to allow the use to continue while the remaining uncertainties were resolved by further data. One member expressed the view that he would have difficulty in supporting Annex I listing due to these uncertainties.
13. Agenda Item 13: Date of Next Meeting
13.1 The next ACP meeting will take place on 23 May 2002.
14 Agenda Item 14: Any Other Business
14.1 No other business raised.
15 Information Papers
15.1 Several papers were circulated to members for information only