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Regulatory Update: EFSA Issues Pesticide Evaluation

Posted: March 21, 2007

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The risk assessment methodology developed for this specific risk assessment task is based on internationally recognized methodologies. Owing to the high number of temporary MRLs that had to be evaluated and the limited availability of data[4], additional conservative elements were introduced in the calculations to overcome the data gaps and to have an efficient tool to manage the high number of calculations necessary. Therefore, the results of the calculations have to be considered as a first screening in order to identify those proposed temporary MRLs that are not likely to pose risk to consumers. According to EFSA’s risk assessment, 92 of the 236 active substances MRLs were unlikely to present a chronic[5] or acute[6] risk to consumers. For the remaining 144 substances, the first screening could not exclude a potential consumer risk and therefore further scientific assessment and/or risk management considerations are necessary. EFSA is ready to provide additional scientific advice to risk managers in harmonising temporary MRLs for pesticides at EU level.

EFSA has finalised its evaluation within the 6-month timeframe agreed with the Commission and will now forward it to the European Commission, Member States and the European Parliament.

[1] There are presently different permitted residue levels in the EU Member States. Until now each Member State has set its residue levels based on national diets and its own risk assessments. In order to ensure better protection for consumers in the EU internal market, the European Commission will now set EU-wide MRLs. The establishment of harmonised Maximum Residue levels for the active substances considered by EFSA is a precondition to make the Regulation (EC) 396/2005 on Maximum Residue Levels of pesticides fully operational.

[2] The temporary MRLs will be established as an interim measure. They will be subject to a detailed scientific assessment leading to the establishment of final MRLs following the comprehensive assessment of the active substances.

[3] The European Commission forwarded data for evaluation to EFSA on 236 active substances.