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, Dr J Cherrie, Mr J Clarke, Prof D R Colman, Prof G Hawksworth, Prof C V Howard, Ms R Howell, Dr A Leake, Dr G M McPherson, Prof P Matthiessen, Prof C Ockleford. Dr D Osborn, Dr H Rees, Dr V Tohani, Dr R Waring.
Apologies: Dr C Elcombe, Prof L Maltby
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), National Assembly of Wales Agriculture Department (NAWAD), Natural England (NE), the Environment Agency (EA).
The Chairman recorded his thanks to those members leaving the Committee at the end of 2007, Mr J Clarke, Prof D R Colman, Dr C Elcombe, Dr V Tohani and Dr R Waring
At its meeting on 13th November 2007 , the Committee discussed the following issues:
1. Agenda Item 1: Minutes and Detailed record of discussion
1.1 a) 327th Meeting: Minutes [ACP 1 (328/2007)]
1.1.1 Agreed as drafted. (link to minutes of 327th meeting)
1.2 b) 327th Meeting: Detailed record of discussion [ACP 2 (328/2007)]
1.2.1 Agreed as drafted
2. Agenda Item 2: Secretary’s report. [ACP 3 (328/2007)]
The Secretary to the Committee reported on the recommendations made at previous meetings
3. Agenda Item 3: Matters arising
3.1 a) The Open Meeting [ACP 23 (328/2007)]
3.1.1 Members discussed the ACP Open Meeting held on 12th November 2007, and agreed that the working group based format had resulted in a successful meeting, allowing greater participation of the attendees. Feedback from attendees had been positive, and it was agreed that a similar format should be used for the 2008 Open Meeting.
3.1.2 A précis of the ACP view of key conclusions from the Open Meeting, along with the meeting’s presentations, will be posted on the ACP Website.
3.2 b) Draft reply to consultation on pesticides regulation [ACP 15 (328/2007)]
3.2.1 Although Members generally welcomed the proposed consolidation of legislation, they discussed some specific concerns to be included in their draft response to the consultation paper.
3.3 Minutes from the September Meeting of the Medical and Toxicology Panel [ACP 21 (328/2007)] and Monitoring of medical and scientific literature for epidemiological studies [ACP 7 (328/2007)]
3.3.1 Members agreed that the Minutes of the Medical and Toxicological Panel Meeting held in September 2007 can be posted on the ACP website.
3.3.2 The Committee noted that an increasing number of publications report respiratory problems possibly associated with pesticide exposure. A quick review of positive associations with named pesticides had shown most were not approved in the UK . It was agreed that the ACP would work with PSD in ‘scoping’ a possible formal literature review. Involvement of the Group of Respiratory Physicians (GORPs) at HSL would also be useful.
3.3.3 Members agreed that the Committee on Toxicity should be asked to consider updating their review of literature after reports in the literature of effects following non-acute exposures to OPs
3.4 Other Matters Arising [ACP 5 (328/2007)]
3.4.1 Members heard the NPIS had been considering ways to improve the response rate to their questionnaires and were hopeful that some changes to the database might result in improvements after 2008.
3.4.2 The Committee discussed the format for the 2007 Annual Report, and agreed that a short hard copy publication should be produced to include a short synopsis of the key aspects of ACP work during the year. A draft would be considered at the March 2008 Meeting.
4. Residues Summary for the use of Chlorpropham in potato stores [ACP 9 (328/2007)]
4.1 Members considered the residues summary for the use of Chlorpropham in potato stores following assessment of re-registration applications.
4.2 The Committee noted occasional high residues which have exceeded the Maximum Residue Levels (MRL), and may have resulted in consumer exposure above the acute reference dose. Members discussed the toxicological effects of Chlorpropham, and although they were concerned over the possible erosion of safety margins, did not consider residues of this level were likely to result in serious health effects. Members noted that, due to the lack of alternative effective products chlorpropham was very important to the industry and used widely. They also noted that potatoes stored throughout the EU were also likely to have been treated with chlorpropham
4.3 Members identified a number of possible causes of the variability in residues data, including application levels and distribution, storage conditions and methods, and crop factors. They heard that company and industry representatives were unable to identify the key factors, but there had been some research into ways of improving the potato fogging process. The industry stated that it was eager to improve processes, with better training, certification of contractors and better control of operators and storage staff.
4.4 The Committee concluded that the most appropriate way forward was for the industry to work with PSD to an agreed timetable to define an approach that would result in the lowering of residue levels. Further research into the factors causing variability in residue levels would be helpful, particularly fog distribution within potato stores. They agreed that the potatoes treated with the highest doses of chlorpropham were most likely to be restricted to use in the processing industry, and washing, peeling and cooking leads to a significant reduction in residues of chlorpropham. Members would seek information over the disposal of discarded potato peel. The plan would be considered at the next meeting of the ACP.
4.5 The ACP agreed to approach the Pesticides Residues Committee (PRC) to consider whether there was any need to adjust their surveillance of potatoes in the light of these residues data.
5. First evaluation for UK provisional approval of pyroxsulam [ACP 6 (328/2007)]
5.1 Two Members declared non personal specific interests in this item.
5.2 Members considered the first evaluation for UK provisional approval (PPPR) of Pyroxsulam as an agricultural herbicide, in the product ‘GF-1274’ noting also that UK was the rapporteur member state for the inclusion of Pyroxsulam in Annex I of directive 91/414/EEC.
5.3 The Committee identified a need for some confirmatory historical control data to complete the human risk assessment
5.4 The ACP agreed that the product label should identify a possible risk of damage to sensitive following crops from soil residues and that further confirmatory data was needed to identify appropriate safe planting intervals for some of these crops
5.5 Members agreed that the ecotoxicological studies already in progress should be evaluated but felt that all outstanding issues could be dealt with by PSD without the need to discuss further at future ACP Meetings.
6. Application for UK provisional approval for Crusoe containing ipconazole [ACP 8 (328/2007)]
6.1 Members considered Ipconazole, a new triazole fungicide formulated as ‘Crusoe’ a micro emulsion (ME) seed-treatment proposed for use on winter and spring wheat and barley seed. The UK is also rapporteur for inclusion of this active substance in Annex I of Directive 91/414/EEC
6.2 Members agreed that clarification was required on aspects of toxicology and of the risk assessment for wild birds and mammals.
6.3 The ACP concluded that further information was required before a provisional approval could be considered.
7. PIAP [ACP 13 (328/2007)]
7.1 The Chairman welcomed the Chairman of Pesticides Incidents Appraisal Panel (PIAP) who attended the meeting to discuss ACP concerns over the recording of pesticide incidents. The Committee heard the processes undertaken by HSE in recording such incidents, and learned that the resource for this work has been significantly reduced, essentially limiting inspectors’ work to fatalities and major incidents.
7.2 Members heard that pesticide incidents are recorded using a standard proforma, and they offered to suggest ways the reporting system could be improved in order to assist complaints officers to gather information necessary to complete investigations.
7.3 Members felt that, given the constraints under which it operates, the PIAP team provides a good level of service in providing information included in the reports. Members considered, however, that in order to make the best possible use of the data in the regulatory system, they should explore further possibilities for use of appropriate denominators to help set the findings into the broader context. Limitations in data collection indicate that the information considered by PIAP is unlikely to be representative of pesticide exposures in the United Kingdom . The allocation of more resources to data collection would be desirable.
8. Application for approval of ‘Nemguard’ as an agricultural/horticultural nematicide for use on carrots and parsnips [ACP 10 (328/2007)]
8.1 The Committee considered an application for a commercial level of approval for the use of ‘NEMguard Granules’ as an agricultural and horticultural nematicide for the reduction of nematode damage in parsnip and carrot crops.
8.2 Members noted that they had previously considered a very similar product and the only remaining issue to be considered was the product efficacy. Members agreed that there was not enough appropriate efficacy data to demonstrate a consistent effect or clear evidence of a dose response. It was considered inappropriate to recommend approval of any pesticide product in the absence of clear evidence of its efficacy.
9. Update from the Pesticides Forum meeting in October [ACP 20 (328/2007)]
9.1 Members heard an update from the Chairman of the Pesticides Forum on discussions at its recent meeting.
10. Date of the next meeting
ACP 329 on Tuesday January 29th 2008 , commencing 11am, at the Monk Bar Hotel, York
11. Any other business
11.1 One Member recorded a small change in interests.
11.2 The Chairman drew Members’ attention to the Consultation on the future of PSD, and encouraged Members to participate in the consultation process before the final decision is made by Ministers.
J G Ayres