Pesticide subject to data-deficient review
ECPA calls for proportionate, evidence-based approach to support sustainable productive agriculture, farmers, and protect bees
Friedhelm Schmider Director General of the European Crop Protection Association (ECPA) commenting after the publication of the Scientific Review on the insecticide active ingredient fipronil published today said "Normally industry would be aware of the criteria to be used in an evaluation to enable the submission of the most appropriate data, but yet another EFSA evaluation is based upon unpublished assessment criteria, consequently creating data gaps. Companies should be allowed to conduct the necessary studies addressing the new information needs before any evaluation is completed."
This is the fourth report published by EFSA that uses rules assessing the risk that have not yet been officially released or validated; therefore the scientific evaluation lacks comprehensiveness, discards current dossier studies and brings inconclusive considerations, information gaps and creates mainly confusion. Taking into account this inconclusive report, ECPA highly recommends following a proportionate approach, considering relevant monitoring data and the risk mitigation measures already in place, which have proven that they do protect the bees if products are used according to label instructions.
Furthermore, ECPA highlights the importance of this key technology that forms part of farmers’ toolbox which is already facing problems in responding to current challenges of producing sufficient, affordable food while preserving the environment.
“We plead with regulators to take into account all elements and consider the potential impact on agriculture that any decision might have” - Friedhelm Schmider said.
“What is often forgotten, is that our industry also relies on healthy bees and other pollinators, as they play an important role in pollination of crops such as fruits, vegetables and nuts. Therefore, we are fully committed to work on proportionate measures managing any possible risk from pesticides”, Friedhelm Schmider continued.
Industry continues its investment into R&D aimed at meeting the crop protection tool demand and continues its commitment to both its joint-industry, partner and company projects aimed at further reducing risks of pesticide use. Recent findings of the European Commission’s Reference Laboratory have confirmed that both beekeepers and laboratories see pesticides as a minor cause affecting bee health, far behind diseases and parasites*; ECPA also believes that greater collective efforts should be made on the main threats to bee health such as Varroa mite, diseases and loss of habitat and forage, whilst making sure that the best agriculture and environmental practices are followed to ensure bee safety.
“We strive for working with all relevant parties to understand and develop solutions to the bee health problem." – Friedhelm Schmider concluded.
* See DG SANCO’s presentation: http://www.ebcd.org/pdf/presentation/304-Laddomada.pdf