The goal of the Directorate-General for Health and Food Safety (DG SANTE) is to make Europe a healthier, safer place, where citizens can be confident that their interests are protected. One of the areas DG SANTE is responsible for is the placing of plant protection products on the European market. Within DG SANTE the Unit E3 (Pesticides and biocides) is accountable for the implementation of Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009 . The purpose of this Regulation is to ensure a high level of protection of both human and animal health and the environment and at the same time to safeguard the competitiveness of Community agriculture.
The economic incentive for industry to apply for an authorisation is limited for certain uses. In order to ensure that diversification of agriculture and horticulture is not jeopardised by the lack of availability of plant protection products Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009 provides for specific rules for minor uses.
European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organisation (EPPO)
EPPO is an inter-Governmental organisation, recognized by the Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) as the Regional Plant Protection Organization for Europe, which has carried out work in support of minor uses since 1996. In 2003 EPPO published a Standard PP 1/224 describing the principles for determining the requirements for efficacy evaluation for minor uses of plant protection products in order to simplify the registration process. Since 2011 EPPO has provided short term funding to cover the costs of a scientific officer to work part time on extrapolation tables. On the EPPO website there is a dedicated webpage on minor uses and extrapolation tables, including many useful links to other global activities on minor uses
The EPPO Secretariat actively participates in the OECD Expert Group on Minor Uses. In 2014 EGMU reviewed two EPPO Standards and recommended their use by OECD member countries. The EPPO Ad Hoc Panel on Data Harmonization has recently developed a proposal to extend EPPO Computer Codes in a way which would facilitate exchange of data to support minor uses.
Coordinated Integrated Pest Management in Europe (C-IPM)
The C-IPM-ERANET consists of a network of 32 partners from 21 European countries (not all are EU Member States).
C-IPM considers IPM as a continuously improving process, ranging from optimisation of pesticide use within ´current´ crop protection systems, to substitution via the adoption of non-chemical strategies, and to a redesign of production systems.
The IPM-ERANET Work Package 3 is dedicated to identify IPM solutions for use in minor crops. It also addresses situations of exceptional plant protection needs in major crops. The IPM-ERANET W3 is currently in the process to select their research priorities. To identify the IPM crop/pest needs a table has been prepared based on contributions from ERANET participants and EU national contact persons for minor uses. Based on these table 10 priorities for minor uses have been set in November 2014 (at the annual ERANET meeting). The ERANET has launched 3 calls for research proposals. One of these calls concerns minor uses, which is Topic C: (a) Flies in vegetables, (b) Mites (spider, rusts and bud) in berries and small fruits and (c) Soil borne pests and diseases. The pre-proposals have been re-worked to full proposals. In December 2015 the final projects were selected. Projects should be transnational with a duration of maximum 3 years.
The final conference of the IPM ERANET was held on 6 December 2016 in Brussels.
Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)
In 1961 the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) was established with a trans-Atlantic and then global reach. Today the OECD has 34 member countries. More than 70 developing and transition economies are engaged in working relationships with the OECD.
OECD is a forum in which governments work together to address the economic, social and environmental challenges of interdependence and globalisation. OECD is also a provider of comparative data, analysis and forecasts to underpin multilateral cooperation.
The OECD work on agricultural pesticides (i.e. chemical and biological pesticides) aims to help member countries improve the efficiency of pesticide control, share the work of pesticide registration and re-registration, minimise non-tariff trade barriers and reduce risks to human health and the environment resulting from their use.
The Expert Group on Minor Uses (EGMU) operates under the supervision of the Risk Reduction Steering Group (RRSG). The EGMU is currently working on the following priorities to facilitate minor uses registration:
Develop a Guidance Document to address and solve problems related to minor uses;
Develop a Guidance Document on the exchange and use of international efficacy & crop safety data for minor uses;
Develop and maintain ways to organise information including recent minor use approvals, minor use needs (gaps) and current projects;
Develop processes for future minor use submissions in assessing trial protocols and establishing exchanges and sharing of minor use data or assessments;
Develop principles for data extrapolation, minimum data, crop grouping (including representative crops) and use of international data including zoning, and recognising authorisations.
The Coordination Facility will have an active role in the development of these documents.
The lack of crop protection products for specialty crops and minor uses on major crops is called the “Minor Use Problem” and the IR-4 Project was formed to solve this problem for US growers. Since 1963, the IR-4 Project has been the major factor in facilitating the registration of crop protection tools for U.S. specialty crop growers. The National Headquarters and overall program coordination are placed on the campus of Rutgers’ University (New Jersey, USA).
The Mission Statement for the IR-4 Project is simply to; “Facilitate Registration of Sustainable Pest Management Technology for Specialty Crops and Minor Uses”.
From a humble beginning in 1963 with only two staff members and a $25,000 budget to a staff of 125 full time equivalent members and a budget of over $37 million, the IR-4 Project has made a major impact on U.S. agriculture with over 26,000 specialty crop registrations.
Established in 2003, the Pest Management Centre (PMC) is the Canadian equivalent of the USA IR-4 programme. The PMC is a unique partnership between the grower community, federal and provincial governments, and the crop protection industry, to improve Canadian growers' access to new and reduced-risk tools and approaches for crop protection. PMC delivers two programmes: The Pesticide Risk Reduction Programme, which is focused on the development of strategies to reduce reliance on and risks associated with the use of pesticides in Canadian major and minor crop production; and the Minor Use Pesticides Programme, which responds to the needs of Canadian growers for increased access to new minor uses of pesticides.
The Minor Use Pesticides Programme (MUPP) is a joint initiative between Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) and Health Canada's Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA). The MUPP has an annual budget of 12 million CAD and PMRA an annual budget of 4 million CAD to assess applications for minor uses. The Minor Use Pesticide Programme (MUPP) is built on a foundation of seven research sites across Canada, which conduct about 350 trials every year on efficacy and residues.