Pesticides guidance aims to harmonise field testing
New pesticides guidance has been finalised that harmonises the way terrestrial field dissipation studies (TFDs) are conducted in different regions of the world. The guidance was developed for the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) by a working group led by EFSA, the US Environmental Protection Agency and Health Canada.
The harmonised international guidance means that field dissipation/accumulation studies carried out in one country can be considered in risk assessments conducted in other countries and regions. In particular, it means that studies will be interchangeable between EU Member States and signatories to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), as well as other OECD countries.
Mark Egsmose, from EFSA’s Pesticides Unit, said: “We were delighted to be involved in developing this guidance which is an important scientific step forward. In the future, we hope that risk assessors in the EU and around the world will be able to make use of the same studies, and be confident that they have been carried out to the same rigorous standards using common criteria.
“The project is an excellent example of how organisations can work together to improve and harmonise approaches and methodologies.”
What are TFDs?
TFDs are essential for calculating the potential harmful effects of pesticides on the environment. They demonstrate the way pesticides behave in real field conditions and can therefore substantiate or challenge the results of laboratory studies. For example, TFDs have shown that in the field pesticides may dissipate at different rates and degradates may form at different levels from those observed in laboratory studies.