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 J G Ayres
Members: Dr J Cherrie, Mr J Clarke, Dr R Clutterbuck, Prof. D R Colman, Dr C Elcombe, Dr I Grieve, Prof G Hawksworth, Dr C V Howard, Ms R Howell, Dr A Leake, Prof L Maltby, Dr G M McPherson, Dr H Rees, Prof R Smith, Dr V Tohani, Dr R Waring.
Apologies: Ms D McCrea, Dr P McElhatton, Dr D Osborn
Written comments received from: 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), Health Protection Agency (HPA), Scottish Agricultural Science Agency (SASA), Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), English Nature (EN), the Environment Agency (EA).
At its meeting on 19 September 2006, the Committee discussed the following issues:
1. Agenda Item 1: Minutes and Detailed record of discussion
1.1 a) 320th Meeting: Minutes [ACP1 (321/2006)]
1.1.1 Agreed as drafted. (Minutes of 320th meeting)
1.2 b) 320th Meeting: Detailed record of discussion [ACP2 (321/2006)]
1.2.1 Agreed as amended.
2. Agenda Item 2: Secretary’s report. [ACP 3 (321/2006)]
2.1 The Secretary to the Committee reported that no recommendations had been made since the previous meeting.
3. Agenda Item 3: Matters arising
3.1 Future work on the protection of migrant workers’ health and safety [ACP 10 (321/2006)]
3.1.1 Members considered a paper prepared for the Health and Safety Commission (HSC concerning the protection of migrant worker health and safety).
3.1.2 It was suggested that the ACP ask HSE to inform employees and employers about the vocational qualifications available.
3.1.3 Members discussed the need for a monitoring study in the UK and identified some issues that would be important to include in a study design, such as pesticides used in high volumes. It was noted that as migrant workers often have seasonal contracts, they could be difficult to locate. The language barrier could also be a problem, and should be taken into account when collecting data.
3.1.4 It was agreed that a group be formed to investigate a monitoring study and produce an outline brief. HSE would be invited to attend.
3.2 Ethaboxam [ACP16 (321/2006)]
3.2.1 Ethaboxam is a new active substance and is intended for use as a fungicide for control of grapevine downy mildew caused by Plasmopara viticola. Provisional approval has been requested in the UK for the product ‘LGC-30473 10% SC’, a suspension concentrate containing 100(g/l) Ethaboxam, for use on grapevines.
3.2.2 Members considered further information supporting this application for approval.
3.2.3 As the Committee on Mutagenicity COM will consider ethaboxam at their October meeting, Members decided to await further COM advice before considering this for approval in UK.
3.3 Other matters arising [ACP28 (321/2006)]
3.3.1 Members noted progress on other matters arising.
3.3.2 In particular, Members were informed of plans to hold an Expert Meeting to discuss endocrine effects as discussed at the Medical and Toxicology Panel Meeting.
4. Report of the Medical and Toxicology Panel Meeting [ACP 14 (321/2006)]
4.1 Annual Literature Study 2005
4.1.1 The Panel had reviewed the annual literature study for 2005. It was agreed that it was useful to have this compilation of data from different sources. The paper was expected to be discussed at the November ACP meeting.
4.1.2 Data on accidental exposure had shown that most of the incidents reported had involved poor storage or difficulty in interpreting the label. It was suggested that PSD should produce more advice on safe use and storage of pesticides.
4.1.3 It was also suggested that a letter be sent to Pesticide Incidents Appraisal Panel (PIAP) noting the improvements made to date but recommending an improvement in the speed and extent of their reporting.
4.2 Special Meeting
4.2.1 It was proposed that a special meeting be arranged to discuss altered hormonal levels and resultant ‘down stream’ effects, involving important interested parties. It was agreed that the agenda would need to be specific to avoid duplication with other groups and make most use of the available time.
4.2.2 Members agreed to produce a proposal for the meeting, and to consider which other organisations would be interested in being involved or contribute to funding the event.
5. Pesticide Related Human Health Surveys from NPIS and approval holders [ACP 25 (321/2006)]
[link to the summary report from NPIS].
5.1 Members noted that many of the reported incidents related to products sold in high volume. However, it was noted that the number of incidents involving home and garden products was high in comparison to the volume of products sold.
5.2 Members discussed methods of accident prevention, and it was noted that the Amateur Use Action Plan was already part of the Pesticide Strategy and the implementation group would be asked to consider the data from these surveys.
5.3 It was clarified that the report classed ‘children’ as being under the age of 14. A member commented that it would be useful also to distinguish between children aged under and over 5.
5.4 The ACP agreed to write to NPIS providing feedback on the report.
6. Biological monitoring on pesticide exposures [ACP 24 321/2006)]
6.1 This interim report was considered by the Members. This study is measuring exposure of operators, workers, bystanders and consumers to specific pesticides.
6.2 The Committee noted the progress made, and looked forward to receiving final version of the study.
7. Consultation on Thematic Strategy and 91/414 replacement [ACP 15 (321/2006)]
7.1 Members had been invited to consider this consultation on Thematic Strategy and 91/414 replacement.
7.2 Members provided comments on the documents. A draft response would be prepared for consideration at the November meeting of the ACP.
8. Emergency Guidelines [ACP 17 (321/2006)]
8.1 Members expressed their appreciation for this guide which had been produced at their request. The guidelines brought together previously agreed procedures, and included the current definition of an ‘emergency’.
8.2 Following discussion of the guidelines, the Secretary agreed to seek further clarification of the scope of emergency applications.
9. Pesticide hazard in UK arable and vegetable production [ACP 21 (321/2006)]
9.1 The ACP considered these studies, which assessed variation in hazard over time.
9.2 Members agreed that the reports were interesting and requested clarification on some issues from the author.
10. Voluntary buffer zones for bystander protection [ACP 27 (321/2006)]
10.1 Mr Clarke declared a non-personal specific interest because ADAS had produced the report ‘Costs analysis of possible changes in pesticide practices’.
10.2 This report investigated the possible impact for farmers if they adopted voluntary unsprayed areas adjacent to neighbouring properties.
10.3 It was noted that Common Agricultural Policy CAP cross-compliance requirements already demand a 2m compulsory field margin, with additional voluntary 2m, 4m and 6m buffer zones. Payment is received according to the size of field margin applied. The scheme advice suggests that these margins be used to protect environmental features such as streams and hedges.
10.4 Advice on using these margins does not currently refer to fences or houses, and Members asked that Defra consider including them in the guidance. It was noted that there were different schemes in place in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
11. Date of Next Meeting
11.1 The Open Meeting will be held on Monday 13 November 2006 and the closed meeting on Tuesday 14 November 2006 at the Monkbar Hotel, York.
12. Any Other Business
12.1 Members had considered the information submitted for information since the last meeting.
12.2 Members agreed that a PhD student could be admitted as an observer to the next closed meeting, subject to his agreement to confidentiality arrangements.
12.3 A Member asked for clarification about a press announcement regarding European Community decision making on certain active substances, and queried whether the ACP should be involved. The article referred to decisions to be taken on the final EC review list 1 compounds, and the UK line had previously been agreed with Ministers.
12.4 A Member asked for an update on what is happening about Occupational Exposure Limits OEL for sulphuric acid following their abolition in UK pending further data evaluation in EU. The Secretary will ask the HSE to follow up this item.