In the European Union, the use of pesticides is regulated and all EU Member States apply the same evaluation procedures and authorisation criteria in order to place a plant protection product on the market. EFSA’s task is to carry out the risk assessment for pesticides and to provide the European Commission with scientific support in decision making processes.

In EFSA, the Pesticides Unit and the Panel on Plant Protection Products and their Residues (PPR) are responsible for the risk assessment of pesticides. They manage the different aspects related to the following scientific areas:

  • Scientific advice on the risk assessment of pesticides, including the development of risk assessment methodologies.
  • Peer review of the safety of all active substances used in plant protection products in the EU.
  • Risk assessment in the framework of setting Maximum Residue Levels (MRLs), the permitted upper legal levels of pesticide residues in food and/or feed at the EU level.
  • Preparation of the Annual Report on Pesticides Residues: Compilation and analysis of the monitoring information on pesticide residues generated in EU Member States (including some EFTA countries), assessment of the actual consumer exposure to pesticide residues and recommendations for future pesticide monitoring activities at the European level.

These aspects were formerly managed by the PPR Panel and the PRAPeR Unit.