Stakeholders in the field of pesticides gathered in Parma, Italy to discuss EFSA’s ongoing work to implement cumulative risk assessment (CRA) of pesticides in European Union legislation.
The event attracted around 70 specialists from across Europe, including those from the scientific community, industry, national risk assessment bodies and the European Commission.
Jose Tarazona, head of EFSA’s Pesticides Unit, and Karine Lheureux, who leads the Authority’s Applications Helpdesk, welcomed participants to the information session. The meeting consisted of scientific presentations and discussion sessions to give all parties the opportunity to debate and clarify issues of importance.
The European Commission kicked off the event by setting out the legal framework for CRA. DG Sanco’s Veerle Vanheusden said implementing this important approach to the risk assessment of pesticides was one of the biggest challenges for the future. She added that EFSA’s work in developing CRA methodologies was valuable and progressing well.
During the full-day event, experts from EFSA and other scientific bodies delivered a series of presentations on the following aspects of CRA:
- The scientific basis and underlying principles of this approach;
- EFSA’s opinion on cumulative assessment groups (CAG) of pesticides, together with the outcome of the public stakeholder consultation on this document;
- The scientific opinion on the relevance of dissimilar mode of action (MoA);
- The scientific guidance on probabilistic modelling and the probabilistic tool delivered under the ACROPOLIS project funded by the EU Commission;
- Ongoing and future activities to implement CRA.
Question and answer sessions held at the end of each presentation allowed participants to explore issues with the speakers. Two longer discussion periods at the end of the morning and afternoon sessions also provoked stimulating scientific debate on the content of the presentations and the challenges of implementing CRA.
In his closing remarks, Luc Mohimont, deputy head of Pesticides at EFSA, thanked participants and speakers for their useful and interesting contributions to the event. The Authority’s growing body of work on combined toxicity of pesticides has delivered a robust methodology for CRA. We are now in the position to begin the implementation of the approach for pesticides in the EU with a high level of consumer protection, he said.
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