Assessment of plant protection products and crop protection methods
For public and environmental health reasons, it is essential to evaluate plant protection products, fertilisers and growing media before they are placed on the market, as well as to monitor their residues in food and the environment.
Through its Regulated Products Assessment Department, Market Authorisations Department, Risk Assessment Department, and its Plant Health Laboratory, Fougères Laboratory and Maisons-Alfort Laboratory for Food Safety, the Agency:
- assesses the efficacy and risks of plant protection products (commercial preparations), fertilisers and growing media, before and after they are placed on the market;
- is in charge of issuing , withdrawing and amending marketing authorisations and permits for plant protection products, adjuvants, fertilisers and growing media;
- assesses micro- and macro-organisms likely to help with biological control of tree and plant pathogens and pests;
- is involved at European level in assessing the active substances of plant protection products and establishing acceptable maximum residue limits in food;
- acts in support of controls carried out by the French authorities on the presence of pesticide residues in food and contributes to the development of surveillance plans;
- compiles and exploits data on the presence of pesticide residues in the environment and food, including drinking water, in the framework of the French Observatory for Pesticide Residues (ORP);
- is in charge of setting up a phytopharmacovigilance scheme;
- conducts studies and research on dietary exposure to pesticides. It develops experimental models and analytical methods relating to the impact of pesticides on human health and the effects of multiple exposures.
Plant pathogens and plant pests: risk assessment, identification and surveillance
Through its Plant Health Laboratory the Agency:
- undertakes monitoring and alert missions and conducts collective expert appraisals to assess the risks to plant health (both cultivated plants and forest tree species) from plant pathogens, pests, weeds and invasive plants. It issues opinions responding to specific questions and undertakes risk analyses, including phytosanitary risk analyses (ARPs), which allow the State to determine whether a harmful organism should be regulated or deregulated and the nature of any corresponding plant protection measures to be taken.
- develops methods for identifying harmful organisms and supports the State by coordinating a surveillance network;
- oversees quarantine for plants prohibited on European territory which are introduced for research with a view to selecting new varieties.
Monitoring the emergence of resistance to plant protection products
In the current context, in which policies are being implemented to reduce agricultural inputs and promote sustainable development, it is essential for the experts to be able to study and monitor problems of resistance and obtain information vital for the responsible use of plant protection products.
Through its Lyon Laboratory the Agency:
- participates in monitoring resistance to plant protection products in organisms that can be harmful to crop development;
- contributes to developing and guiding surveillance and control plans concerning resistance of plant pests to plant protection products;
- studies the phenotypic and genotypic aspects of these resistance phenomena, develops detection methods and investigates the mechanisms involved.