JSC attended the 17th International Fresenius Ecotox conference ‘Aquatic and Terrestrial Ecotoxicology and Risk Management’ which was held in Mainz, Germany on the 07/08 December 2017. Among others the conference was attended by industry experts, consultants, regulatory authorities and the EFSA.
Presentations focussed on the key areas of regulatory developments, development trends in European regulations, biopesticides, aquatic and bird & mammal risk assessment, modelling and risk mitigation.
Of particular interest was the presentation by Frank Streissl from the EFSA regarding the estimated release dates of anticipated EFSA Scientific Opinions and Guidance Documents. A Scientific Opinion on Amphibians and Reptiles is expected in January 2018 and an updated Bird & Mammal Guidance Document is due in mid-2020. No specific dates for the non-target arthropod (NTA), non-target terrestrial plants (NTTP), soil organisms and amphibians & reptiles Guidance Documents were provided. An updated Bee Guidance Document was also mentioned but, again, no release date was provided.
Another interesting topic concerned the regulatory framework around biopesticides and how the current EU regulation (EC No. 1107/2009) and OECD test guidelines are not necessarily suitable to assess the risks from these substances. Dr Mark Whittaker from APIS, UK presented several case studies to demonstrate the inadequacy of conventional test methods in the assessment of biopesticide toxicity. There are currently no specific test guidelines for microorganisms and there would appear to be a limited desire for developing these guidelines within Europe. There are, however, two current projects aimed at improving the test guidelines for microbial pesticides. The first is an EPA / BPIA project to improve the OCSPP guidelines in the US and the second project is an ICPPR Working Group on the impact of microbial pesticides to bees led by the Ctgb and the US EPA. Other representatives of the biopesticide industry also attended the conference and highlighted the need for regulatory developments in this area. A specific Fresenius BIOCONTROL conference “Biopesticides – Biofertilisers – Biostimulants” is being held on 05/06 June 2018 where these issues will be discussed further.
More information on Die Akademie Fresenius and future conferences can be found on their website: https://www.akademie-fresenius.com/
For advice on risk assessment and further information on the registration of plant protection products, biocides or general chemicals, or any other regulatory issues, please contact JSC on +44 (0)1423 520245, firstname.lastname@example.org
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