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Study on the Benefits of Pesticide Regulation in the United Kingdom - PS2533

Description
The use of pesticides is regulated at both the EU and the UK levels. The aim of the existing legislation is to protect (predominantly) the environment as well as the health of the consumers and workers involved in the manufacture and use of plant protection products.

The EU legislative framework on the controlled use of pesticides includes the following instruments:

1. Directive 91/414/EEC concerning the placing of plant protection products on the market; and

2. a number of Directives (76/895/EEC, 86/362/EEC, 86/363/EEC and 90/642/EC) fixing maximum residue levels for pesticides in and on certain products of plant origin, including fruit and vegetables.

Directive 91/414/EEC contains a positive list of ‘approved’ active substances (Annex I) and inclusion into this Annex requires that the manufacturer of the active substance provides evidence which shows that pesticides containing the substance are efficacious and safe for users, consumers and the environment when applied to a ‘representative crop’. Annexes II and III describe the extensive data requirements for inclusion of a substance into Annex I.

After inclusion of an active substance in Annex I to the aforementioned Directive, MRLs in foodstuffs for the active substance are set. MRLs are based on the highest residues expected to remain on a crop treated with a plant protection product in accordance with good agricultural practice (GAP), effectively the approved conditions of use. It is an offence to put produce into circulation containing residues in excess of the MRL.

However, at the UK level, the authorisation process focuses on the approval of plant protection products rather than substances. Following an Annex I inclusion of an active substance, the Pesticide Safety Directorate has four years to ‘re-register’ all nationally approved uses of products containing the active substance. At the outset of the re-registration period many of the national uses will be supported by older data packages - which although meeting national requirements may be insufficient to comply with the high standards specified in Directive 91/414/EEC. Annex VI of the Directive lays down ‘uniform principles’ for the authorisation of products.

The ‘re-registration’ process applies to all new active substances and to old active substances which are subject to review. The reviews are currently being undertaken by the EU authorities and involve approximately 1,000 different ‘active substances’ used in old plant protection products (although about 60% of these active substances have now been withdrawn). The ‘re-registration’ process could mean that those notifying plant protection products may have to generate new data for old substances to 91/414/EEC standards to cover existing uses. In addition new uses may be developed and/or existing uses lost (because the notifier is unable to demonstrate a ‘safe use’ or produce a modern data package at a cost which is economic).

The objectives of this project are:

1. To ascertain the most appropriate means of assessing the benefits associated with:

• securing an Annex I listing, for consumers, workers and the environment;
• the re-registration process, for consumers, workers and the environment;
• the MRL regime, for consumers; and
• an Annex 1 listing, the re-registration process and the MRL regime, in terms of economic and social
benefits.

2. To assess the benefits identified above.

In order to meet the project objectives, a literature review will be undertaken. The objectives of the literature review will be to:

• identify benefit types by stakeholder;
• identify the factors affecting the level of benefits; and
• identify relevant literature for the assessment and valuation of these benefits.

The literature review will be supported by case studies in agreement with the project manager at Defra.
Objective
1. To ascertain the most appropriate means of assessing the benefits associated with:

• securing an Annex I listing, for consumers, workers and the environment;
• the re-registration process, for consumers, workers and the environment;
• the MRL regime, for consumers; and
• an Annex 1 listing, the re-registration process and the MRL regime, in terms of economic and social benefits.

2. To assess the benefits identified above.

Project Documents
• Final Report : Study on the Benefits of Pesticide Regulation   (1412k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2007

To: 2008

Cost: £36,385
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Risk and Policy Analysts Ltd
Keywords
European Union (EU)              
Future EU Policy              
Pesticides              
Policy Analysis/Evaluation              
Policy Development              
Regulation              
Science Policy              
Fields of Study
Pesticide Safety