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ECPA Welcomes EFSA's Scientific Input But Sees It As Late And Fears ED Rules Will Crush Innovation In Farm Inputs

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Notes to editor

(1). ECPA (European Crop Protection Association) represents the European R&D based manufacturers of plant protection products (pesticides).  Plant protection products are essential tools to help EU farmers protect their crops from pests and diseases.

(2). Under the new pesticides regulation, Regulation 1107/2009, substances considered to have "endocrine disrupting properties" in humans or non-target species will not be approved.  The inclusion of this hazard based criteria is a departure from the established tool of risk assessment for evaluating the safety of substances, where both the hazard and exposure to a substance is considered.  No criteria are included to define what are considered to be endocrine disrupting properties, however, the European Commission must come forward with a proposal for these criteria for pesticides by 13 December 2013.  

(3). Within the Commission, the responsibility for preparing the scientific criteria has been delegated to DG Environment, who has been tasked with developing criteria for the identification of endocrine disruptors which will be applied to general chemicals (REACH), biocides (Regulation 528/2012) as well as to pesticides (Regulation 1107/2009), and possibly also to cosmetics (Regulation 1223/2009).

(4). In February 2013, DG Environment released a revised proposal for the criteria for the identification of endocrine disruptors, " Revised version of possible elements for criteria for identification of endocrine disrupters " .  The final horizontal criteria are expected to be published in May 2013 after which they will be transposed into the different pieces of sectorial legislation, including Regulation 1107/2009 for pesticides.

(5). In September 2012, DG Sanco requested a scientific opinion from the EFSA Scientific Committee (European Food Safety Authority) as part of the input into the process for the development of the endocrine disruption criteria.

(6) The European Commission  has three non-food related Scientific Committees, these include: Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety (SCCS), Scientific Committee on Health and Environmental Risks (SCHER), Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks (SCENIHR).  Although these committees have the relevant expertise none have been formally consulted during the process for the development of the criteria for the identification of endocrine disruptors.

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