Improving authorisation processes for plant protection products in Europe
A scientific perspective on the assessment of potential risks to human health
Plant protection products, such as insecticides and herbicides, are used in agriculture to enhance food production. At EU level, authorisation processes aim to ensure that these products are not harmful for human health. At the request of the European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, the European academies examined the methods and procedures in place with a view to identify possible enhancements.
In their report, the academies suggest to further improve three elements: scientific data that underpin risk assessments; methods by which such data are analysed; and the organisation of assessment procedures and tasks allocation. Based on this report, the EU Group of Chief Scientific Advisors offers advice on reforming decision-making mechanisms related to agriculture to make Europe fit for sustainable food production. Commenting both documents, Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, Carlos Moedas said that the recommendations “aim to maintain and enhance our very high standards of food safety and environmental protection and to re-establish trust in scientific risk assessment.”
To substantiate its policy decisions, the European Commission established the Scientific Advice Mechanism (SAM). In this framework, the European academies provide scientific expertise through the consortium SAPEA (Science Advice for Policy by European Academies), part of which are the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences.
Edition / Volume: SAPEA Evidence Review Report, No. 3
Standard identifier: ISBN 978-3-9819415-5-5 / DOI 10.26356/plantprotectionproducts