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Chlorpyrifos - Changes to Authorised Uses

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Regulatory Update: 06/2015
Issued: 19th May 2015


To advise of changes to the use of the insecticide chlorpyrifos, which result in some currently authorised uses being restricted.

Key Message

As part of the European Union’s routine review programme, new human health based safety levels (known as ‘end points’) have been agreed for chlorpyrifos, an insecticide used to control insect pests in agricultural crops and amenity situations.

These new end points represent the latest assessment of risk against modern regulatory standards.

Risk assessments carried out by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) have indicated that some currently authorised uses of chlorpyrifos are likely to exceed the newly agreed end points, and we are swiftly evaluating new studies in order to ascertain whether risks are likely to occur in actual use.

With the full co-operation of product authorisation holders, where the risk assessments have already identified current uses that can no longer be supported, HSE are taking the precautionary approach of restricting those uses now.

The list of changed uses, which take effect from 21st May 2015, is as follows:

For full details of the changes to individual products, growers are advised to contact their supplier.

HSE and product authorisation holders are taking prompt action to communicate these changes in use through the supply chain, to ensure that products are appropriately labelled and used in accordance with the new restrictions.

Based on evidence from our risk assessments we do not expect an effect on human health from any commodities previously treated with chlorpyrifos. As such we do not consider it is necessary to take steps to withdraw any previously-treated food from the market place.

In light of the new end points, the European Food Safety Authority are reviewing the maximum concentration of chlorpyrifos residue permitted in, or on, food commodities. A lower end point often results in a lowering of EU Maximum Residue Levels (MRLs) and HSE anticipates that this will be the outcome for chlorpyrifos.

The regulatory action being taken will provide UK growers with the safeguard that apples and pears grown and harvested this year should not exceed any new MRLs .

Updated 2016-05-27