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.
Chairman: Professor D Coggon
Members: Mr J Clarke, Dr R Clutterbuck, Dr C Elcombe, Ms R Howells, Professor D Macdonald, Dr L Maltby, Professor G Matthews,
Ms D McCrea, Dr P McElhatton, Professor R Smith, Mr C Stopes, Dr V Tohani, Dr R Waring.
Apologies: Dr D N Bateman, Dr J Cherrie, Professor G Edwards-Jones, Dr I Grieve, Dr C V Howard, Dr D Osborn,
Representatives from the following Departments and other organisations were present: The Pesticides Safety Directorate (PSD), Health & Safety Executive (HSE), Food Standards Agency (FSA), Department of Health (DoH), Scottish Agricultural Science Agency (SASA), Environment Agency (EA), Rothamsted Research Centre (RRes) Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).
At its meeting on 15 July 2004, the Committee discussed the following issues:
1. Agenda Item 1: Minutes and record of the previous meeting
1.1 a) 307th Meeting: Minutes [ACP 1 (308/2004)]
1.2 b) 307th Meeting: Detailed record of discussion [ACP 2 (308/2004)]
1.2.1 Agreed as amended.
2. Agenda Item 2: Secretary’s report. [ACP 3 (308/2004)]
2.1 The Secretary to the Committee reported on the recommendations made at the meeting held on 20 May 2004
3. Agenda Item 3: Matters Arising
3.1 a) Drift reduction in relation to the application of Chlorpyrifos in the UK. [ACP 11 (308/2004)]
3.1.2 At an earlier meeting, a Committee member had undertaken to provide a short paper considering the suitability of low drift nozzles as a risk reduction strategy for chlorpyrifos and this was now presented.
3.1.3 The Committee noted the contents of the paper and agreed that the use of reduced drift nozzles should be encouraged. They asked to be kept informed about any relevant new data which arose on this subject, as it was felt that without further developments it would not be possible satisfactorily to specify the use of reduced drift nozzles as a condition of approval.
3.2 b) Consultation on the ‘Green Code’ revisions [ACP 25 (308/2004)]
3.2.1 ACP Members had provided some written comments in response to the consultation on the revised code of practice for the safe use of plant protection products (the ‘Green Code’). The Chairman asked if Members had any further comments to add to the points raised.
3.2.2 One or two Members advised the Chairman that they were responding separately either as individuals or through other organisations, and it was agreed that the comments already received would now be forwarded by the Secretary.
3.3 c) Prosulfocarb - company comments [ACP 16 (308/2004)]
3.3.1 The first evaluation for UK approval of prosulfocarb as a herbicide in cereals had been considered by the Committee at its meeting on 18 March 2004. At that time Members had concluded that they were unable to recommend any level of approval, and highlighted a number of outstanding issues that needed to be addressed. Further information had now been provided by the applicant in the areas of mammalian toxicology and operator exposure.
3.3.2 One member declared a non-personal specific interest in this item and was informed that he should therefore only contribute to the discussion if asked to do so by the Chairman.
3.3.3 The Committee agreed that some of the concerns raised at the earlier meeting had been addressed but that additional information was still required to enable them to reach a decision on other issues.
3.4 d) Other matters arising [ACP 20 (308/2004)]
3.4.1 The Secretary presented a summary of actions taken on other matters arising.
4. Alternatives to Conventional Pest Control Techniques in the UK [ACP 21 (308/2004]
4.1 A previous version of this paper was last considered at the January meeting. The Chairman explained that the main body of the paper now presented had been amended, but that it currently did not include any recommendations. Concern had been expressed at the earlier meeting that these were not fully developed. However, because of difficulty in finding a suitable date, the Sub Group that drafted the report had not yet been able to get together to revise them.
4.2 Proposals were made for a few further amendments to the text now presented. Members agreed that the document should be finalised as soon as possible, and it was hoped that discussion by the Sub Group could be concluded in time for a final draft of the paper to come before the Committee in September.
4.3 In the meantime it was agreed that the recommendations made in the draft of the report which went to the January meeting, should be re-circulated to Members so that they could submit additional written comments and suggestions for consideration by the Sub Group.
5. Application for approval of ‘Exosex CM’ to control Codling Moth in Apple and Pear Orchards. [ACP 9 (308/2004)]
5.1 This application was part of PSD's 'Pilot Scheme' to investigate the best practice for processing applications for ‘alternative’ pest control products. ‘Exosex CM’ contains 0.1 % w/w codlemone pheromone in a patented trap.
5.2 Members noted that the assessment followed internationally agreed OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) guidelines for this type of product, and discussed the data provided, which they agreed were well presented. They concluded that confirmatory efficacy and ecological toxicity data requirements would best be met whilst the product was in commercial use and larger areas were being treated.
5.3 Members agreed that they could recommend provisional approval of the product with confirmatory requirements for efficacy and ecological data,
6. First evaluation for UK Provisional Approval (COPR) of Beauveria bassiana, in the product ‘Naturalis’. [ACP 8 (308/2004)]
6.1 Beauveria bassiana is both a naturally occurring, endemic soil organism and an entomopathogenic fungus, which has been isolated from a wide range of infected insects throughout the world. Approval was sought for the strain ATCC 74040. The product ‘Naturalis’ is an oil based suspension concentrate containing 2.3x107 viable spores per ml and has been developed for the control of whitefly in a number of protected crops.
6.2 The Chairman pointed out that consideration of this product raised a number of issues that would require further advice from expert microbiologists. Members agreed.
6.3 In addition, Members noted some other aspects of the evaluation on which further information would be required. These related to physical chemistry and mammalian toxicology. It was therefore not possible for them to recommend provisional approval at this stage.
7. Second evaluation for UK Provisional Approval of Prothioconazole (JAU 6476), in the products ‘Proline’ and ‘Redigo’. [ACP 10 (308/2004)]
7.1 Prothioconazole is a new triazole fungicide being developed to treat various diseases in cereals. Approval was requested for ‘Proline’, an emulsifiable concentrate foliar spray containing 250 g prothioconazole per litre; and for ‘Redigo’, a flowable concentrate for seed treatment containing100 g prothioconazole per litre. The Committee was presented with an evaluation of additional data that had been submitted in response to questions on the application raised at an earlier meeting. The UK is also acting as Rapporteur Member State with respect to an application for inclusion of prothioconazole in Annex I of Directive 91/414/EEC.
7.2 The Committee discussed the additional data provided by the company and agreed that, with the exception of one issue which could be clarified with an absent member outside the meeting, they could now recommend provisional approval. (Post meeting note: this issue has since been resolved and provisional approval recommended.)
8. UK review of Oxadiazon – Company submission of further information requested by the ACP [ACP 7 (308/2004)]
8.1 Following discussion of this review at the Committee’s March meeting, further information had been requested regarding operator exposure levels. Additional data had been submitted by the company and were now presented for consideration by the Committee
8.2 Members agreed that the additional data needed full evaluation and asked PSD to undertake this in time for consideration at the November ACP meeting. This would enable any regulatory action that was necessary to be implemented before the next spray season.
9. Report of the Environmental Panel Sub Group on Wider Biodiversity [ACP 5 (308/2004)]
9.1 At their meeting in May 2003, the Committee had discussed an earlier version of this report and as a result the Sub Group had made amendments to the research project being carried out on their behalf. The project had since been completed and the report ‘Development of a scheme for the assessment of risks to wider biodiversity arising from the use of pesticides’ was now presented to the Committee by the Sub Group Chairman.
9.2 Members welcomed the report, which they agreed was a very useful document. They noted that in addition to describing a possible enhanced risk assessment scheme for pesticides, it raised other issues on biodiversity that were outside the Committee’s scope of responsibility, and they discussed how these should be taken forward.
9.3 The Committee agreed that the report should be commended to PSD and Defra, and suggested that issues covered in the paper should form the main topic for discussion at the ACP Open Meeting in November. The Chairman thanked the Sub Group and the authors of the report for their hard work on the project.
10. Literature Review of Epidemiology Papers for the years 2001/2002 [ACP 6 (308/2004)]
10.1 This review had been discussed at the last meeting of the Medical and Toxicology Panel, and revised to include Panel Members’ comments. The document was now presented to the ACP.
10.2 As at meeting ACP 305, when the literature review of epidemiology abstracts for the year 2000 had been presented to the Committee, one member suggested that the paper should be published. As before, several other members disagreed. In their view, the purpose of the review was to scan the epidemiological literature for new research that might have implications for pesticide regulation. The comments appended to abstracts were informal notes to aid this process, and did not constitute a detailed critique of the sort that would be expected in a published scientific review. To produce such a review would be a much more time-consuming process, and would be unlikely to have additional impact on the regulatory process. It was agreed, however, that a list of the abstracts reviewed each year since 1999 should be published on the ACP website.
Members noted that as a consequence of the review, the Medical and Toxicology Panel had suggested that the Committee on Mutagenicity be asked to look in more detail at studies of cytogenetic biomarkers in humans exposed to pesticides.
11. Date of next meeting: 16 September 2004
12. Any other business
12.1 Members briefly discussed a letter to the Chairman from someone who was concerned about the level of lobbying that the ACP appeared to receive from "anti-pesticide" groups. Members agreed that those who lobbied the Committee were not necessarily representative of general public opinion. However, they felt they should be open to submissions from all who wished to make them. The important thing was to evaluate the relevant science rigorously. Members also considered possible dates for next year’s meetings.