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: Prof D Coggon
Members: Dr J Cherrie, Mr J Clarke, Dr C Clutterbuck, Dr C Elcombe, Prof V Howard, Ms R Howell, Dr A Leake, Prof L Maltby, Dr P McElhatton, Dr M McPherson, Dr I Grieve, Prof R Smith, Dr V Tonhani, Dr R Waring.
Apologies: Dr N Bateman, Prof D Colman, Prof G Hawksworth, Prof D Macdonald, Ms D McCrea, Dr J Best, Dr M Camlin, Dr R Bromilow, Mr S Dyer, Ms L George, Ms L Harrison, Ms F Holloway, Dr S Popple, Mr D Renshaw, Dr K Wilson.
Written comments received from: Prof G Hawksworth
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) Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra)
At its meeting on 22nd September 2005, the Committee discussed the following issues:
1. Agenda Item 1: Minutes and Detailed record of discussion
1.1 a) 314th Meeting: Minutes [ACP 1 (315/2005)]
Because of a clerical error, not all members had received the latest draft of the minutes of the previous meeting. It was agreed, therefore, that the correct version should be circulated to all members after the current meeting, and confirmed by correspondence.
1.2 314th Meeting: Detailed record of discussion [ACP 2 (315/2005)]
1.2.1 Because of a clerical error, not all members had received the lates draft of the detailed record of the previous meeting. It was agreed, therefore, that the correct version should be circulated to all members after the current meeting, and confirmed by correspondence.
2. Agenda Item 2: Secretary's report. [ACP 3 (315/2005)]
2.1 The Secretary to the Committee reported on the recommendations made at previous meetings
3. Agenda Item 3: Matters arising.
3.1 a) Re-submission of Prosulfocarb. [ACP 17 (315/2005)]
3.1.1 Members considered further information supporting this application for approval.
3.1.2 One member declared a non-personal specific interest and was informed that he should therefore only contribute to the discussion if asked to do so by the Chairman.
3.1.3 In light of the new information, members felt that their previous concerns had been fully addressed and advised that provisional approval would be appropriate.
3.2 b) Pinoxaden. [ACP 28 315/2005)]
3.2.1 Members considered a short report confirming the validity of a study submitted in support of this active substance.
3.2.2 The ACP agreed no further action was required.
3.3 Rural use of Rodenticides: Mandatory certification of professional users. [ACP 24 (315/2005)]
3.3.1 At its 302nd meeting in September 2003 the ACP had considered recommendations from the Environmental Panel relating to the use of anticoagulant rodenticides in rural areas, and the effects on non-target wild-life. The Environment Panel had endorsed the findings of the Rodenticide Risk Assessment Technical Working Group (RRAT), but added an additional recommendation that professional users should be required to hold certificates of competence.
3.3.2 Members of the ACP had felt that they needed more information before they could make any recommendations relating to the certification of professional users of rodenticides and had requested this paper outlining the advantages and disadvantages of such a scheme.
3.3.3 The paper concluded that a robust case for mandatory certification could not be made on the evidence currently available, and that the proposal would be unlikely to survive Ministerial, Cabinet Office or Parliamentary scrutiny. Members accepted this, and suggested that as an alternative, efforts should be made to develop and promote voluntary schemes. It was agreed that HSE would explore whether support might be available from the Learning and Skills Council.
3.4 d) Other matters arising. [ACP 13 (315/2005)]
3.4.1 Members noted the progress of other matters arising. They recorded their pleasure that the pesticide application research facilities at The Silsoe Research Centre were to remain in the UK following their transfer to The Arable Group. They also agreed that following on from discussions at the July ACP meeting, two members would work together in bringing forward a proposal for a bio-monitoring study of agricultural workers exposed to organophosphates in the UK.
4. Application for first inclusion of fluopicolide as an agricultural fungicide in the product 'EXP 11120A' for use on potatoes. [ACP 15 315/2005)]
4.1 Fluopicolide is a new active substance and is intended for use as a fungicide for control of late blight of potato. The applicant had sought provisional approval for the product 'EXP 11120A' in the UK. The UK is also rapporteur for inclusion of this active substance in Annex 1 of 91/414/EEC.
4.2 One member declared a non-personal specific interest and was informed that he should therefore only contribute to the discussion if asked to do so by the Chairman.
4.3 Overall, members concluded that the data supported a provisional approval for this product subject to further clarification of issues relating to bird reproduction.
5. Application for first inclusion of aminopyralid in annex I of 91/414/EEC and for UK provisional approval (PPPR), in the product 'GF-839' as an agricultural herbicide on grassland. [ACP 16 (315/2005)]
5.1 Aminopyralid is a new foliar acting herbicide. The applicant had sought approval for its use in permanent and rotational grassland for the control of annual and perennial broad-leaved weeds. The UK is also rapporteur for inclusion of this active substance in Annex I of 91/414/EEC.
5.2 It is proposed that aminopyralid will be used in a novel type of formulation. Members agreed that a standardised definition would need to be decided upon by the EU.
5.3 Members concluded that before making any recommendation for provisional approval, further information needed to be provided and assessed.
6. Application for first inclusion of ethaboxam in Annex I of 91/414/EEC and for UK provisional approval (PPPR), in the product 'LGC-30473 10% SC' formulated as a suspension concentrate containing 100g/L ethaboxam. [ACP 16 (315/2005)]
6.1 Ethaboxam is a new active substance and is intended for use as a fungicide for control of grapevine downy mildew. The applicant had sought provisional approval in the UK for use on grapevines. The UK is also rapporteur for inclusion of this active substance in Annex I of 91/414/EEC.
6.2 Members identified a number of issues about which they would require further information before they could consider a provisional approval for this product.
7. Report from Medical and Toxicology panel meeting 14 July 2005. [ACP 23 (315/2005)]
7.1 Members considered a short report from this meeting.
7.2 Members welcomed the document and noted the need for a number of amendments.
8. Pesticides Exposure - human health surveys. [ACP 22 (315/2005)]
8.1 Members considered two recent surveys.
8.2 The first survey, by the National Poisons Information Service (NPIS), related to enquiries to the NPIS about pesticide products between April 2004 and March 2005. Members noted that most enquiries related to products approved for use in the home or garden, and that a significant number of enquiries related to incidents arising from inappropriate storage and from small children accessing solid pesticides such as slug pellets.
8.3 Members agreed that it would be helpful for the report of the survey to be made available to the public on the ACP website.
8.4 The second survey covered incidents reported to pesticide approval holders. It was noted that all companies had responded to this survey. This was in contrast to the previous (first) survey of this kind, following which it had been necessary to withdraw the approvals held by several companies that had failed to respond.
8.5 It was noted that relatively few human health incidents were related to professional spraying, and that several of those which had been reported, related to exposures some distance from the spraying activity.
8.6 Members also noted that a number of reports concerned children entering recently sprayed grass fields. Members agreed to ask PSD to explore whether there was a need to add this exposure scenario to the standard risk assessments that are performed for agricultural pesticides.
8.7 Members proposed that incidents of skin rashes should be collated to check for any emerging patterns in relation to specific products.
8.8 The Committee was informed that PSD had already approached both the British Retail Consortium and the Crop Protection Association asking them to review aspects of stewardship for amateur products. Members commended this timely action, and asked to be kept informed of progress.
9. Bystanders - a hazard based approach. [ACP 25 (315/2005)]
9.1 Because time was short, members agreed to defer the discussion of this paper to a future meeting.
10. Report from the USA on pesticides exposure in schools. [ACP 26 (315/2005)]
10.1 Members considered recently published data from the USA on health incidents relating to pesticides exposure in schools, and a summary of several recently published bio-monitoring studies.
10.2 It was noted that exposures in schools appeared to account for only a minority of pesticide exposure incidents in children.
10.3 Members considered the relevance of the findings to risk management for pesticides in the UK. They noted a significantly higher occurrence of aerial spraying in the USA compared to the UK. Also, differences in climate meant that in the USA use of insecticides was relatively more frequent. Members suggested that in schools in the UK, pesticides were most likely to be used in kitchens and on playing fields.
10.4 Members commented that many of the symptoms recorded were relatively non-specific and might not necessarily be a manifestation of toxicity.
10.5 Turning to consider the bio-monitoring studies, members noted that the transfer of pesticides into the home on the clothing and unwashed hands of operators appeared to contribute significantly to exposures in their families.
10.6 As might be anticipated, the highest exposures were associated with orchard spraying, and members recommended to PSD that it would be a valuable addition to the ongoing bio-monitoring study to include a study of orchard spraying.
11. Date of next meeting
11.1 The next meeting will be the annual open meeting on Wednesday 16th November. Members noted that the focus of the open meeting would be on combined risk assessment for dietary exposures and this would provide an opportunity for public involvement in discussions on the proposed methodology for such risk assessment.
11.2 The next closed ACP meeting will be on Thursday 17th November.
12. Any other business
12.1 Report from the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution.
12.1.1 Members noted a press release announcing the publication of the report, 'Crop Spraying and the Health of Residents and Bystanders' (pdf 1.38Mb, 184 pages ). They agreed this report would require a carefully considered response from the ACP, which should be provided in the latter part of the year. One member suggested the possibility of arranging a special meeting to consider the report, and it was agreed that this should be pursued.
12.2 Correspondence with Ms. Georgina Downs. [ACP 27 (315/2005)]
12.2.1 Members agreed that the Chairman should draft a reply to a letter from Ms. Georgina Downs.