In line with the farm to fork strategy, for a transition to fair, healthy and resilient EU agriculture and forestry, including an ambitious target of the reduced use of plant protection products, the successful proposal will support research and innovation (R&I) to help agriculture / forestry sectors to remain productive and contribute to sustainable agriculture and forest health.
Project results are expected to contribute to all of the following expected outcomes:
- improve risk assessment of new so-called low-risk substances and plant protection products with the use of relevant methods;
- foster EU regulatory science and risk assessment of new low-risk pesticides for agriculture;
- ensure the safety of new low-risk pesticides used in agriculture through robust and transparent risk assessment;
- increase the availability of safe and environmentally friendly methods for plant protection and weed control to reduce risks to the environment, non-target organisms and human health.
Concerns are mounting over the effects of pesticides on the environment, non-target organisms and human health. Member States and EU policies seek to reduce the reliance on chemical pesticides for crop protection through the design and implementation of approaches that are more integrated and include restrictions on the use of several active substances. To ensure the lowest risk to human health and the environment, the development of so-called low-risk substances is encouraged by several regulatory incentives in the EU. However, the changing nature of low-risk plant protection products requires increased capacities in risk assessment. The plant protection products approval and authorization process has to keep pace with scientific and technological developments aiming to advance assessment methods of new low-risk plant protection products.
New products may seek EU market regulatory approval, thus proposals should need to consider and address relevant EU regulatory requirements as well as relevant guidance documents that are to be followed for the specific hazard characterisation and exposure assessment to achieve an appropriate risk assessment.
Proposals should contribute to:
- improve the risk assessment of newly proposed or specifically adapted low-risk pesticides such as new species/strains of microorganisms, ds-RNA-based pesticides, pheromones, plant extracts, and/or microbiome solutions or a new mode of application with the use of relevant methods;
- develop and advance the integration of different tools, technologies and methodologies to support the comprehensive and consistent risk assessments of new low-risk pesticides to ensure safety and sustainability;
- contribute to understanding the biological effects of these new substances and/or products;
- assess the impacts and risks of these new substances and/or products;
- assess and improve the level of certainty in risk assessments of new low-risk pesticides;
- identify the relevant additional studies required for assessing these new low-risk pesticides in order to establish that they have a hazard profile compatible with their classification as low-risk substances and plant protection products;
- contribute to the standardisation and validation of the developed tools, technologies and methods for risk assessments.
15 February 2022