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: Ms A Baker, Prof C Brown, Mr J Clarke, Prof D Colman, Dr C Elcombe, Prof G Hawksworth, Prof C V Howard, Ms R Howell, Dr A Leake, Prof L Maltby, Prof P Matthiessen, Dr G M McPherson, Prof C Ockleford, Dr D Osborn, Dr H Rees, Dr V Tohani, Dr R Waring.
Apologies: Dr J Cherrie.
Written comments received from: Dr J Cherrie.
Representatives from the following Departments and other organisations were present: The Pesticides Safety Direcorate (PSD), Health & Safety Execcutive (HSE), Food Standards Agency (FSA), Health Protection Agency (HPA), Environment Agency (EA).
At its meeting on 20th March 2007, the Committee discussed the following issues:
1. Agenda Item 1: Minutes and Detailed record of discussion
1.1 a) 323rd Meeting: Minutes [ACP1 (324/2007)]
Agreed subject to minor amendment. (Minutes of 323rd meeting)
1.2 b) 323rd Meeting: Detailed record of discussion [ACP2 (324/2007)]
Agreed subject to minor amendments
2. Agenda Item 2: Secretary’s report. [ACP 3 (324/2007)]
The Secretary to the Committee reported on the recommendations made at previous meetings.
3. Agenda Item 3: Matters arising
3.1 The Secretariat aimed to present a paper at the next meeting giving an overview of the topics discussed at ACP meetings over the past two years. This would allow the Committee to consider the possibility of allowing public attendance at meetings other than the Open Meeting.
3.2 The Chairman of the Pesticides Incident Appraisal Panel, PIAP, had apologised that he was unable to attend an ACP Meeting until ACP 326, when he hoped to attend to discuss PIAP with the ACP.
3.3 Members welcomed the decision of Ministers after correspondence with the Chairman regarding a review of the disposal of rodent bodies following rodenticide treatments.
4. Spirodiclofen – application for provisional authorization [ACP 6 (324/2007)]
4.1 Members considered a request for provisional approval for UK use of a new insecticide, Spirodiclofen, on apples, pears, strawberries and ornamentals. The Committee heard that PSD were adopting a new approach for this active substance, using the EU Evaluation carried out by the Rapporteur Member State, RMS, in an attempt to reduce duplication of effort and hence encourage earlier application for approval in the UK for this relatively minor use.
4.2 Members expressed concern over the quality of the EU draft assessment report (DAR), especially in the toxicology data section. Lack of transparency and uncertainty about the mechanism of toxicity meant that the Committee was unable to assume that a threshold approach was appropriate to set reference doses such as the ADI.
4.3 Members considered that on residues, operator exposure, environmental fate and ecotoxicology, approval could be supported on apples and pears, based on the information contained in the DAR and the additional risk assessments undertaken by PSD. However, regarding efficacy, members felt they were unable to reach a conclusion as the information available was inadequate.
4.4 Members expressed their concern that the DAR was not of adequate quality to enable them to use it as the basis for an approval despite the EU consideration being relatively advanced. They agreed to draw this concern to the attention of Ministers.
5. Gramoxone Inteon: proposed formulation change for a liquid paraquat product [ACP 10 (324/2007)]
5.1 The Committee considered a proposed formulation change for a liquid paraquat product, and the implications for human safety of the replacement of the ‘stench agent’ with a less offensive ‘olfactory alerting agent.’
5.2 Members heard that reports had been received of of headaches, nausea, vomiting and giddiness problems experienced by operators in hot countries from use in plantations, and that these could on occasion be evident in very hot weather in the UK. Members noted that problems in the UK could be avoided by use at cooler times of the day.
5.3 Having considered samples of the proposed new formulation, Members agreed that the replacement of the current stench agent was not appropriate because it could result in a higher incidence of paraquat poisoning incidents.
6. Tolyfluanid and the possible formation of nitrosamines in drinking water following treatment with ozone [ACP 17 (324/2007)]
6.1 Members heard that approvals for products containing Tolyfluanid had been suspended following a voluntary withdrawal because a new metabolite had been identified which may, in the course of ozone treatment of water for drinking water supply, be converted into a nitrosamine. This was first identified in Germany.
6.2 The Committee considered that this was not an issue that was restricted to pesticides, and heard that the European Commission, other Member States, the Drinking Water Inspectorate (DWI) and the Environment Agency were investigating further.
6.3 Members agreed that the company should be commended for the very precautionary approach taken with the voluntary suspension of two products, and were content with the continuing investigations.
7. Consideration of Agenda for next Open Meeting [ACP 9 (324/2007)]
7.1 Members heard information obtained from a questionnaire completed by attendees at the 2006 ACP Open Meeting. A number of suggestions had been received regarding potential topics for discussion, and one about the format of the meeting.
7.2 The Committee agreed to a change in the format and timing of the meeting, using an introductory presentation to be followed by a number of smaller group discussions involving groups of up to fifteen people.
7.3 Members agreed that the most appropriate topic for discussion would be the revision to 91/414, and that group discussions could be held to discuss questions arising from this.
7.4 It was reported that lay members of the committee along with the Chairman and a member of the secretariat have begun work on the ACP communication strategy, of which the open meeting is an important part, and that a paper will be presented to the next meeting.
8. Application for UK provisional approval (PPPR) for Revus containing Mandipropamid [ACP 12 (324/2007)]
8.1 One Member declared a non personal specific interest, and therefore only responded to questions referred by the Chairman.
8.2 The Committee heard that the evaluation of this application that had been based on the EU draft assessment report (DAR) of the Rapporteur Member State (RMS).
8.3 The Committee felt that this DAR was understandable, clearly presented and easy to evaluate.
8.4 Members agreed that provisional approval could be granted on all aspects of this application with the exception of efficacy, as they preferred to await advice from the Fungicide Resistance Action Group, FRAG, meeting on 21st March on resistance management for this group of fungicides. It was agreed to finalise the ACP advice by email once the outcome of the meeting was advised.
9. Report from the Pesticides Forum [ACP 14 (324/2007)]
9.1 The Chairman of the Pesticides Forum presented an introduction to the work of the Forum, and updated members on recent discussions.
9.2 Members requested that they should be added to the stakeholders’ email to enable them to be advised of updates to from PSD’s website and to be sent web links to alert them to the availability of and to view and download copies of minutes and other relevant documents from the Pesticides Forum.
10. Date of Next Meeting
15th May 2007 at the Monk Bar Hotel, York.
11. Any Other Business
11.1 Members considered whether a response to consultation on the Draft Levy Board UK Order 2007 and partial regulatory impact assessment would be appropriate. It was agreed that relevant members will consider the need for an ACP response, and if necessary provide a draft response for discussion at the next meeting.
11.2 A Position Paper on the First UK Approval for the use of Laminarin was presented to the Committee. Members expressed concern surprise that no reference doses had been set as there is are possible activity effects on respiratory immune function. The Chairman explained that there was some, somewhat inconsistent evidence of association in epidemiology studies, but that causality had not been determined. Members agreed that there were no major concerns in this case, and that they had no objections to the mutual recognition.
J G Ayres