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; Prof G Hawksworth; Dr A Leake; Dr G M McPherson; Prof L Maltby; Prof P Matthiessen; Prof C Ockleford; Dr D Osborn; Dr W Parker; Dr A Povey; Dr D Ray.
Apologies: Dr J Cherrie; Prof C V Howard; Ms R Howell; Prof J Parry; Dr H Rees.
Written comments received from: Dr J Cherrie; Ms R Howell; Environment Agency.
Representatives from the following Departments and other organisations were present: The Pesticides Safety Directorate (PSD ); Food Standards Agency (FSA); Scottish Agricultural Science Agency (SASA); Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra); National Assembly of Wales Agriculture Department (NAWAD).
Mr David Sadler-Bridge Dr Murree Groom and Dr Roy Neilson representatives for the applicant for item 4 were in attendance to present their case to Members.
At its meeting on 13th May 2008 , the Committee discussed the following issues:
1. Agenda Item 1: Minutes and Detailed record of discussion
1.1 a) 330th Meeting: Minutes [ACP 1 (331/2008)]
1.1.1 Agreed as drafted (link to minutes of 330th meeting)
1.2 b) 330th Meeting: Detailed record of discussion [ACP 2 (331/2008)]
1.2.1 Agreed as drafted, subject to the clarification of an acronym
2. Agenda Item 2: Secretary’s report. [ACP 3 (331/2008)]
The Secretary to the Committee reported on the recommendations made at previous meetings
3. Agenda Item 3: Matters arising
3.1 The Secretary reported on matters arising from previous meetings.
3.2 The Chief Executive of PSD reported to the Committee on the merger between PSD and HSE that took effect on 1st April 2008 . Members heard that all operational changes had gone smoothly and that business continuity was unaffected.
4. NEMguard [ACP 19 (331/2008)]
4.1 The Chairman had invited the applicant to attend the meeting to present their appeal against the ACP ’s earlier decision to advise that they could not recommend an approval for this product, as there was not enough appropriate efficacy data to demonstrate a consistent effect or clear evidence of a dose response
4.2 The applicant emphasised the variable spatial distribution of free living nematodes and demonstrated the damage caused to carrot crops. A statistical analysis from field trials was provided and the applicant postulated that this provided evidence of efficacy and dose response.
4.3 Members confirmed points of agreement with the applicant, but reiterated that their main concern was the overall inconsistency of the efficacy data which made formulation of label recommendations extremely difficult. It was not therefore possible to inform growers of the reliability of the application.
4.4 Members concluded that the company presentation did not resolve the concerns expressed at previous meetings. The ACP encouraged the development of alternative pest control products, but reiterated that they must be supported by evidence of a consistent effect, although this may be lower than with the use of conventional pesticides.
5. Setting unsprayed buffer zones for arable horizontal boom applications in the UK [ACP 13 (331/2008)]
5.1 Members considered some further data on spray drift, and the implications for buffer zones and other spray drift mitigation measures in the UK . They agreed that research indicates that there is a need to reconsider spray drift data used in risk management in the UK , and recommended that the issue be considered in a stakeholders consultation.
5.2 To ensure the UK industry is not further disadvantaged during the proposed consultation period, PSD agreed to take what measures they could to ensure the UK industry is not disadvantaged relative to other EU Member states
6. Consultation on the repeal of the Farm and Garden Chemicals Act [ACP 8 (331/2008)]
6.1 Members agreed a draft response supporting the proposed repeal of the Farm and Garden Chemicals Act.
7. Consultation on pesticides usage statistics [ACP 16 (331/2008)]
7.1 One member declared a non-personal, non-specific interest in this item.
7.2 The Committee discussed and noted the importance of the survey data, and identified information that they felt would be useful to be available from the report.
8. ACP Openness Survey Results [ACP 7 (331/2008)]
8.1 Members noted the low response rate for this survey, but welcomed the generally positive views expressed. They agreed that it appeared that the majority of responses were from stakeholders in the pesticide industry.
8.2 The Committee agreed to take note of the results, and repeat the survey at the time of the next ACP Open Meeting in an attempt to obtain a broader response from the public and other stakeholders.
9. Report from the Medical and Toxicology Panel [ACP 20 (331/2008)]
9.1 The Chair of the Medical and Toxicology Panel gave a verbal report of discussions of the Meeting held on 12th May 2008.
10. Date of Nest Meeting
10.1 Tuesday 16th September 2008, commencing 11:00am, at the Monk Bar Hotel, York.
11 Any Other Business
11.1 The Committee discussed proposed dates for ACP Meetings to be held during 2009. The Secretariat will publish these in due course.
11.2 Members discussed a paper giving an update on negotiations on the replacement for EU Directive 91/414 [ACP 24 (331/2008)], and noted that there could be serious implications for crop protection if the existing proposals were confirmed. The ACP had advised at earlier meetings that a hazard based approach to pesticide regulation was a major concern. Members agreed that environmental issues and likely global changes would mean that Western Europe crop production would be of even greater importance in maintaining food supplies in the future.
11.3 Members discussed correspondence between the Chairman and the Chair of the HSE, and remained concerned about the response received. They agreed that the ACP should continue to stress the importance of post approval monitoring remaining clearly on the HSE agenda.
J G Ayres