The Advisory Committee on Pesticides (ACP) 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.
Chairman: Professor D Coggon
Members: Dr D N Bateman, Dr J Cherrie, Mr J Clarke, Dr R Clutterbuck, Professor G Edwards-Jones, Dr C Elcombe, Dr I Grieve, Ms R Howells, Dr C V Howard, Professor D Macdonald, Dr L Maltby, Professor G Matthews, Dr P McElhatton, Dr D Osborn, Professor R Smith, Mr C Stopes, Dr V Tohani, Dr R Waring.
Apologies: Ms D McCrea
Representatives from the following Departments and other organisations were present: The Pesticides Safety Directorate (PSD), Health & Safety Executive (HSE), Department of Health (DH) Food Standards Agency (FSA), Scottish Agricultural Science Agency (SASA), Environment Agency (EA), Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), National Assembly for Wales (NAW).
At its meeting on 20 May 2004,the Committee discussed the following issues:
1. Agenda Item 1:
1.1 a) 306th Meeting: Minutes [ACP 1 (307/2004)]
1.1.1 Agreed. (view minutes of 306th meeting)
1.2 b) 306th Meeting: Detailed record of discussion [ACP 2 (307/2004)]
1.2.1 Agreed as amended.
2. Agenda Item 2: Secretary’s report. [ACP 3 (307/2004)]
2.1 The Secretary to the Committee reported on the recommendations made at the meeting held on 18 March 20043.
Agenda Item 3: Matters arising
3.1 a) First update of environmental risk assessment of booster biocides: screening of data requirements [ACP 5 (307/2004)]
3.1.1 In September 2000, the ACP had considered a review of the ‘booster biocides’. Booster biocides are defined as those active substances, other than copper and tin, used in antifouling products. A series of data requirements had been identified, and data to address the first tier had now been submitted and used to refine the risk assessments for all of the booster biocide active ingredients currently used in products approved for the UK market.
3.1.2 Members considered the refined risk assessments and agreed that current approvals for products containing booster biocides could continue, subject to the development of a robust method for the assessment of leaching rates. It was also recommended that this be taken forward with the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO). In addition, the Committee agreed that the estimated levels of product use employed in the risk assessment would need to be updated to inform the EU reviews of these substances expected to take place in 2006.
3.2 b) ECOguard® [ACP 19 (307/2004)]
3.2.1 The Committee had considered this item at their last meeting in March when it was decided that additional data were required.
3.2.2 One member declared a personal specific interest in this item and left the room while it was under discussion. (This did not happen at the March meeting due to a misunderstanding over the nature of the interest.)
3.2.3 The Chairman reminded members that there were two outstanding issues. The first related to clarification of the technical specification of the pesticide, for which the company had produced further data. These data were accepted by the Committee.
3.2.4 Secondly, the efficacy of the product was discussed. A majority of the Committee took the view that approval could not be recommended while data on efficacy that had previously been requested remained outstanding.
3.3 c) Further information regarding the toxicology assessment for metrafenone [ACP 16 (307/2004)]
3.3.1 At their meeting in July 2003 the Committee had recommended provisional approval for the use of metrafenone and identified confirmatory requirements which that needed to be addressed before standard approval could be considered.
3.3.2 Members agreed that further data provided by the company addressed some of their previous concerns but that it would be of helpful to clarify mechanisms further. They confirmed that their previous advice for provisional approval was not affected by the new data.
3.4 d) West Nile Virus: Report of a literature search for evidence of adverse health effects following spray application of Bti [ACP 17 (307/2004)]
3.4.1 In September 2003 the ACP had considered the use of insecticides and larvicides as part of the Department of Health (DH) contingency strategy to combat West Nile Fever by controlling the mosquito vector of West Nile Virus. This current paper had been produced in response to a request from the ACP that HSE conduct a search of the scientific literature for possible adverse effects in humans following the spray application of the larvicide Bti (Bacillus thuringiensis var israelensis).
3.4.2 Members concluded that the relevant literature was limited, but that it gave no indication of adverse effects in humans following the spray application of Bti that would impact on the DH strategy.
3.5 e) Update on Guidance and Strategies for Fungicide Resistance Management [ACP 20 (307/2004)]
3.5.1 At a previous meeting, the Committee had asked PSD for a report on resistance management strategy for fungicides.
3.5.2 A paper on this was now presented to members. One member advised the Committee that a detailed guidance document was currently being prepared and that this would also include insecticides and herbicides.
3.6 g) Other matters arising [ACP 24 (307/2004)]
3.6.1 The Secretary presented a summary of actions taken on other matters arising.
4. Second evaluation for inclusion of sulfuryl fluoride in annex 1 of EU directive 91/414/EEC and UK provisional approval (PPPR) of sulfuryl fluoride in the product 'ProFume', as a fumigant of grain stores and flour mills [ACP 6 307/2004)]
4.1 ‘ProFume’ is the proposed tradename for the new insecticide fumigant sulfuryl fluoride. A second application had been made for a commercial level of approval of ‘ProFume’ as a fumigant of emptied flour mills and empty grain stores to control all life stages of insect pest species. The new application addressed concerns raised by the ACP when they first considered the compound at their May 2003 meeting.
4.2 Members agreed that the data presented to the Committee met their requirements and enabled them to agree an ADI (Acceptable Daily Intake, ARfD (Acute Reference Dose) and an Acceptable Operator Exposure Concentration. [An AOEC was considered more appropriate than the standard AOEL (Acceptable Operator Exposure Level) in the case of this fumigant.]
4.3 It was agreed that provisional approval could be recommended, with clear conditions of use. These included restrictions to ensure that working practices are exactly in line with those assessed through the data submitted, exclusion zones around treated premises and the provision of confirmatory data relating to residue monitoring in flour after use of the product. In addition, members asked that it should be suggested to Defra that the compound be considered for inclusion in their atmospheric monitoring programme on global warming gases.
5. Environmental review of Chlorpyrifos - outcome of stakeholders meeting [ACP 7 (307/2004)]
5.1 The Committee considered the outcome of two meetings with representative user groups to discuss possible changes to the uses of chlorpyrifos.
5.2 One member declared a non-personal specific interest and was advised by the Chairman that he should not comment unless asked to do so.
5.3 Prior to discussion of the paper, one of the ACP members who had attended the stakeholders’ meetings asked for clarification of the resulting minutes. PSD agreed to re-draft some points to reflect more accurately what was said at the meeting; post-meeting comments would be shown as such.
5.4 The Chairman reminded Members that the approval holder was generating new data to address the Committee’s concerns over the risk assessment for aquatic life. Meanwhile, the stakeholder meetings had identified areas where restrictions might be made in the interim.
Members discussed the proposals listed below, and agreed that they should be adopted:
- For certain crops the maximum number of applications should be reduced from that currently permitted, or restricted where currently no restriction applies. (Crops affected are: sugar beet, grassland, gooseberry, onion, ornamentals soil drench, apples, pears, plums, strawberries and brassicas).
- For potatoes, use on ware potatoes should be revoked but use on seed potatoes retained.
- For raspberries the maximum total dose should be reduced but greater flexibility permitted in the number of applications that can be made up to this total dose - subject to checking by the Secretariat regarding the timing of these applications.
5.5 The Committee were advised that stakeholders had suggested that approvals could be revoked for use on carrots and for certain pest recommendations on cereals. They agreed therefore that revocation of these approvals should also be recommended unless the approval holder could provide a convincing argument for their continuation.
5.6 The stakeholders’ meetings had also discussed an extension of use, to control gout fly. The Committee decided that they would discuss this further when the additional data to inform the aquatic risk assessment had been received.
6. UK Review of Bone Oil [ACP 10 (307/2004)]
Item to follow.
7. Summary of the Environmental Panel meeting held on 15 April 2004 [ACP 13 (307/2004)]
7.1 The Chairman of the Environmental Panel presented this report, noting that discussion on EUFRAM (European FRAMework) and the wider biodiversity framework had raised concerns on how these new approaches would fit into the current regulatory framework.
8. Report of pesticides literature review published by the Ontario College of Family Practitioners [ACP 12 (307/2004)]
8.1 The Chairman presented a paper he had prepared on this review, setting out a number of concerns about its scientific quality.
8.2 The Chairman had asked the Secretary to seek the views of five other epidemiologists, of whom all were, or had recently been, independent members of other government advisory committees. He proposed that if their views were similar to his, then the matter should go to the Medical and Toxicology Panel meeting in October for further discussion. If, however, there were important differences in their assessment of the review, then he would first try to arrange a meeting of all the epidemiologists, following which, their discussions and conclusions could then be reported back to either the Panel or the full Committee, as was thought appropriate.
He wanted his own comments to remain confidential to members only at this stage to ensure that the initial responses from the other epidemiologists were independent.
9. Date of next meeting: 20 May 2004
10. Any other business
10.1 The Chairman spoke to Members about dealing with the media. He reminded them that while there was no problem in their speaking to the Press, they should make it clear that they spoke personally and not on behalf of the Committee.
He told Members that he did not expect them to make public comments on the workings of the Committee without first raising the matter with him, and if necessary, the PSD Chief Executive and then the Minister.
He then pointed out that as the membership of the Committee was in the public domain, it was important that when making public statements about pesticides, members did not comment on scientific issues which lay outside their individual area of expertise. If they did this, there was a danger to the scientific credibility of the Committee.
10.2 The Deputy Chairman noted that if members disagreed with the conclusions being drawn by the Committee, they had the opportunity to express their views at ACP meetings. The Chairman added that such disagreements would continue to be appropriately minuted and reflected in the advice given to Ministers.
10.3 The Chairman drew the attention of members to some correspondence from Georgina Downs that had been sent to them at her specific request. Members agreed that they had all had the opportunity to look at the material she had submitted previously to the ACP, and that they had considered it appropriately.
10.4 The Chairman reported on his meeting with a representative from the Pesticide Action Network (PAN).
10.5 Defra consultation papers on ‘CAP reform implementation: consultation on proposed and possible measures for implementation of cross compliance in England (Single Payment Scheme)’ had been sent to the Chairman and two other members. One of the members suggested that there should be a response from the ACP to reinforce messages regarding buffer zones and LERAPs (Local Environment Risk Assessments for Pesticides). It was agreed that the papers should be circulated to members who would forward any comments to the Secretary, for collation and submission on behalf of the Committee.
10.6 Papers on a Defra Consultation on the Revised Code of Practice for the Safe Use of Plant Protection Products had been sent to all members. It was agreed that the Secretary would also coordinate a response on this consultation and members were asked to forward their comments to her before the next meeting.
[Professor David Coggon