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Study of the different evaluation areas in the pesticide risk assessment process

on the Wiley Online Library

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Abstract

Both chemical and microbial active substances can currently be approved as pesticides in the EU, the provisions of their approval being set under Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009. Although sharing the same legal framework, chemicals and microorganisms used as pesticides have different risk profiles especially because once released into the environment, microbial active substances may produce secondary metabolites, multiply, spread and possibly genetically adapt or transfer antimicrobial resistance genes to other microorganisms. Consequently, the risk assessment process must adjust to the specificities ensuing from the chemical or microbial nature of the active substance. This specific programme focused on the risk assessment of microorganisms used as pesticides, especially on the low‐risk criteria linked to antimicrobial resistance and the risk assessment of secondary metabolites. The use of microorganisms in integrated pest management (IPM) programmes was also investigated. In 2020, the recently adopted Farm to Fork Strategy and the Biodiversity Strategy for 2030, two important action plans of the European Green Deal, called for a 50% reduction in the use of and risk from chemical and more hazardous pesticides. Many microorganisms are likely to be approved as low‐risk active substances, thus representing important tools to achieve this goal. Given the central role that microbial active substances could play towards a more sustainable food system, a need for information regarding the actual production of secondary metabolites by the microorganisms of interest and projects investigating IPM programmes at national and EU levels was identified.

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