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Plant protection products, biocides and fertilisers

Plant protection products and biocides are used by professionals and individuals on harmful organisms to destroy, deter or render them harmless. Before they can be placed on the market, the Agency is responsible for assessing the effectiveness of these products and the risks associated with their use. It also assesses fertilisers and growing media.

    Our actions

    Regarding marketing authorisations, these are issued on the basis of the findings of the scientific risk assessment, by ANSES for plant protection products, fertilisers and growing media and their adjuvants, and also for biocides.

    The Agency also monitors residues of these products in food and the environment, and the emergence of resistance to these products. 

    News

    Drosophila as a model for exploring the effects of pesticides on Parkinson’s disease
    Une mouche drosophile
    04/02/2022
    News
    Lyon Laboratory

    Drosophila as a model for exploring the effects of pesticides on Parkinson’s disease

    The Drosophila melanogaster or fruit fly may be used to assess whether pesticides induce an increased risk of developing Parkinson’s disease. This was the conclusion reached by scientists in the ANSES Lyon Laboratory’s Neurodegenerative Diseases Unit, who have been collaborating with researchers from the École Normale Supérieure in Lyon. Working on paraquat, they also showed that the effects of this compound on proteins were not strictly identical to those of ageing. We interviewed Jean-Noël Arsac, one of the authors of the study.
    Could mosquito traps provide an additional tool for controlling vector-borne diseases?
    16/11/2021
    News

    Could mosquito traps provide an additional tool for controlling vector-borne diseases?

    Mosquito traps are increasingly used in public spaces as a means to prevent mosquito bites and to control mosquito-borne diseases. However, the studies currently available are not sufficient to demonstrate the short-term effectiveness of these traps in preventing the spread of mosquito-borne diseases. ANSES is therefore encouraging their use primarily as a preventive measure (in the medium and long term) to reduce high mosquito density as part of an integrated control strategy. ANSES also points out that the marketing and use of these traps must comply with regulations. In recent decades, a number of mosquito-borne diseases – such as dengue, chikungunya and Zika – have spread outside tropical regions. The use of mosquito traps as a complement or alternative to other techniques for controlling the spread of viruses, is a relatively recent idea. In France, the operators responsible for limiting the spread of mosquitoes are appointed by the Regional Health Agencies (ARSs). Some 15 operators currently exist, but they do not all use mosquito traps in the same way. ANSES conducted a literature review to assess the effectiveness of the mosquito traps used by operators as part of vector control. Several ways to attract female mosquitoes Two main types of trap are used to catch female mosquitoes, which are the only ones able to bite and to transmit pathogens. The first type of trap simulates an egg-laying site. A water-filled container uses a variety of means, including insecticide and glue strips, to trap the females when they come to lay their eggs. The second type of trap attracts mosquitoes by simulating the breathing of a living being through the diffusion of carbon dioxide (CO2) and/or the use of visual or olfactory attractants (for example, lactic acid to simulate human body odour). A control method to be used alongside other techniques “ We have a body of evidence showing that both types of trap can have a preventive effect in reducing the mosquito population in the medium and long term (over several weeks, months, or even years), providing that they are well maintained and used in sufficient numbers ,” says Johanna Fite, head of the "Vectors" unit at ANSES. “ However, they are not a magic solution. Traps are most effective when used in conjunction with other control methods , particularly the elimination of breeding sites. " No studies concerning the impact of traps on the spread of disease Some operators place traps when cases of vector-borne disease are identified. Traps are set up for a period of three to six weeks around the homes of infected people. The expert appraisal conducted by ANSES identified no data shedding light on the effectiveness of traps in quickly containing the spreading of disease when the viruses are already in circulation. The Agency therefore recommends that research be carried out in order to collect data on this question and to determine the best conditions for the deployment of these traps, based on different epidemiological scenarios, including an isolated case, an outbreak and an epidemic. Pending these additional data, mosquito traps should be used only as a preventive measure, or in cases where it is not possible to use an insecticide, for example when the area to be treated is inaccessible or close to a waterway. A reminder needed of the regulations CO2, lactic acid and other substances used to attract female mosquitoes are biocidal substances. Traps using these substances must therefore comply with the regulations on biocides . They also require marketing authorisation (MA). To date, no applications for marketing authorisation have been filed in France for mosquito traps using CO2. Under the terms of a transitional regime, the marketing of traps using CO2 produced through combustion is authorised until July 2022. After this date, it will no longer be possible to sell traps without a marketing authorisation in France. Applications for marketing authorisation must include documentary proof of the effectiveness and safety of these traps. Finally, devices will not be able to make claims such as "zero nuisance" or "mosquito-free home" without proof.
    Three questions for Ohri Yamada on the phytopharmacovigilance
    19/10/2021
    News

    Three questions for Ohri Yamada on the phytopharmacovigilance

    The phytopharmacovigilance scheme that we coordinate, which is specific to France, focuses on the effects of plant protection products and their residues, observed under their actual conditions of use. Ohri Yamada, Head of the Phytopharmacovigilance Unit, gives us an overview of the scheme.
    Launch of PestiRiv : an original study on the exposure to pesticides of people living near vineyards
    19/10/2021
    News

    Launch of PestiRiv : an original study on the exposure to pesticides of people living near vineyards

    A large part of the rural population in France lives in wine-growing regions. Are these people particularly exposed to the plant protection products used and if so, how? Today, to answer these questions, Santé publique France and ANSES are launching PestiRiv, the first large-scale study aiming to better understand and shed light on exposure to pesticides in people living near vineyards. Measurements taken from 3,350 individuals in six French regions will enable the sources that most contribute to pesticide exposure to be objectively identified so that appropriate preventive measures can be taken.
    Ensuring that hand sanitisers are effective against coronavirus
    30/06/2021
    News

    Ensuring that hand sanitisers are effective against coronavirus

    ANSES's expert appraisal has confirmed the effectiveness of the hand sanitiser gels and solutions manufactured and placed on the market under a special exemption from March 2020 to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. However, for long-lasting effectiveness, it is preferable to use gels and solutions with at least 65% alcohol or whose effectiveness against viruses has been validated experimentally in accordance with the EN 14476 standard.
    Use of pesticides in the home in the French overseas territories (Reunion Island, Guadeloupe, Martinique)
    28/06/2021
    News

    Use of pesticides in the home in the French overseas territories (Reunion Island, Guadeloupe, Martinique)

    Used in gardens and homes or as antiparasitic products for humans and pets, pesticides expose the public to health risks that need to be controlled. In order to better understand the practices and uses of pesticides in the French overseas territories, ANSES conducted the Pesti'home study. Following its first report in October 2019 focusing on metropolitan France, today it is publishing the findings of the survey carried out among 608 households in the French Caribbean and on Reunion Island.
    Re-assessment of glyphosate: the group of Member States submits its draft report to EFSA and ECHA
    15/06/2021
    News

    Re-assessment of glyphosate: the group of Member States submits its draft report to EFSA and ECHA

    As glyphosate's approval in the European Union expires at the end of 2022, any future use requires this herbicidal active substance to undergo a new assessment of the risks to humans and the environment. A group of four rapporteur Member States (France, Hungary, the Netherlands, Sweden) was appointed to carry out the first step of this re-assessment, in accordance with European legislation*. In the interests of transparency, this group, known as the Assessment Group on Glyphosate (AGG), has been publishing information on the most significant advances in this process since the work began in 2019 . On 15 June, to coincide with submission of the draft renewal assessment report to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), the AGG published an online summary of the process and the main results of its assessment, which is the first step. At the same time, the European agencies announced that they will publish the draft report and launch a public consultation on it in September. It will also be peer reviewed by experts from other Member States. In accordance with EU legislation, following this consultation and any further data provided later, the preliminary report may be revised and a final report published. The European Commission will then draw on the findings of the assessments conducted by EFSA and ECHA to propose the possible renewal of glyphosate's approval to Member States in 2022. Read the summary of the draft report on the web page of the Assessment Group on Glyphosate. Find out more about ANSES and the assessments conducted on glyphosate and the plant protection products containing this active substance. For any questions on the draft report and the assessment process, contact: AGG@ec.europa.eu * Regulation (EU) No 686/2012 as amended designating the rapporteur Member States
    Alternatives to neonicotinoids to control yellowing in beet crops
    02/06/2021
    News

    Alternatives to neonicotinoids to control yellowing in beet crops

    In an update of its 2018 Opinion on alternatives to neonicotinoids, ANSES identified 22 solutions for controlling aphids and yellowing disease in sugar beet crops. These control measures may take over from neonicotinoid products, which have been banned since 2018 but whose use was reintroduced for beet seed treatments under a waiver in 2020. These alternative solutions, whose effectiveness is good but insufficient when they are used alone, will require an integrated control approach or even a change in cultivation practices to be sufficiently effective.
    Monitoring resistance to plant protection products around the world
    26/03/2021
    News
    Plant Health Laboratory

    Monitoring resistance to plant protection products around the world

    Scientists from ANSES and INRAE have analysed the systems in place to monitor resistance to plant protection products around the world. Their findings showed that studies on this subject are often engaged by both private and public players, at the same time and in the same country. Given the complementary nature of these approaches, greater cooperation would increase the efficiency of monitoring systems.
    Launch of a project in Lyon to bring ANSES and the ANSM closer together: their future shared home takes shape
    25/02/2021
    News
    Lyon Laboratory

    Launch of a project in Lyon to bring ANSES and the ANSM closer together: their future shared home takes shape

    The French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety (ANSES) and the French Health Products Safety Agency (ANSM) have decided to combine some of their scientific activities and bring them together under a new roof. The Pargade Architectes firm was chosen to build this new shared home. Entirely dedicated to the "One Health" approach, the new building will combine cutting-edge technological facilities with laboratories ensuring a high level of biosafety in human, animal and plant health. The project is scheduled to be completed in 2024. It will further consolidate the agencies' presence within Lyon's global competitiveness cluster, an ecosystem of excellence devoted to health and infectious diseases that benefits from an internationally renowned scientific community.
    Some products containing glyphosate may decrease trout immunity before reproduction
    21/12/2020
    News

    Some products containing glyphosate may decrease trout immunity before reproduction

    ANSES scientists exposed rainbow trout for 10 months to glyphosate concentrations comparable to those found in nature. This exposure did not affect their survival, reproduction or metabolism. However, occasional changes to their immune response were observed.
    Glyphosate: ANSES publishes the results of its comparative assessment with the available non-chemical alternatives
    09/10/2020
    News

    Glyphosate: ANSES publishes the results of its comparative assessment with the available non-chemical alternatives

    As part of the government's glyphosate withdrawal plan, ANSES undertook an assessment of non-chemical alternatives to this herbicide. Its results were published on 9 October 2020. Use of glyphosate is now restricted to situations where there is no substitute for this substance in the short term. These restrictions are now taken into account by the Agency when issuing marketing authorisations for products containing glyphosate.

    Decryption

    Biotechnology
    13/04/2022

    Biotechnology

    With the rise of genetic engineering, biotechnology enables us to directly influence the genes of living organisms to modify their properties. Biotechnology is used in many sectors, from research to industrial applications, including in agriculture and health. Since its creation, ANSES has fulfilled various roles involving genetically modified plants in food or feed, known as GMOs. On 1 January 2022, these roles acquired a new dimension following the dissolution of the High Council for Biotechnology.
    What are the health issues and environmental challenges presented by herbicide-tolerant varieties?
    18/06/2021

    What are the health issues and environmental challenges presented by herbicide-tolerant varieties?

    Herbicide-tolerant varieties (HTVs) are crop varieties that have been developed to be intentionally tolerant to specific herbicids. In France, HTVs of sunflower and rapeseed have been growing in popularity since the early 2010s. In a changing regulatory context and in order to address public concerns, the Agency has conducted several studies to assess the farming practices reshaped by the use of HTVs and identify their potential risks for farmers, consumers and the environment. We provide an overview of the challenges that need to be overcome to improve the traceability and monitoring of HTVs in France.
    Masks treated with biocidal products: a review of regulations
    09/04/2021

    Masks treated with biocidal products: a review of regulations

    Some of the masks used against COVID-19 are treated with substances designed to protect the wearer against micro-organisms, and particularly the COVID-19 virus. Here is a review of the situation in four questions.
    Biocidal products
    21/10/2020

    Biocidal products

    Biocidal products are substances or preparations intended to destroy, deter or render harmless pest organisms such as fungi, bacteria, viruses, rodents, insects, etc. These products can have a chemical or biological action (e.g. use of beneficial micro-organisms) and are intended for domestic, professional or industrial use.
    Neonicotinoids
    16/10/2020

    Neonicotinoids

    Neonicotinoids are a class of insecticidal substances. The use of neonicotinoid products in agriculture has raised concerns in many countries, primarily because of their effects on pollinating insects. New scientific evidence has led the European Union to progressively restrict the uses of these substances, leaving only two approved for plant protection purposes. In France, the use of neonicotinoid products has been prohibited in agriculture since 2018. ANSES has conducted extensive work to assess the effects of these substances on bees and has been particularly active in strengthening the requirements for using these products.
    Assessment of plant protection products
    12/10/2020

    Assessment of plant protection products

    Plant protection products are formulations intended to protect plants and plant products.These products must obtain authorisation before they can be placed on the market, on the basis of a scientific assessment. Find out what these products are, how they are regulated and whats is Anses's mission.
    Review of the Agency’s work on glyphosate
    19/05/2020

    Review of the Agency’s work on glyphosate

    Glyphosate is a herbicidal substance that can act on all plants. Because of its effectiveness, it is widely used in agricultural, forest and non-agricultural areas. In December 2017, the European Union re-approved its use for a further five years. Following the controversies of recent years, in particular regarding its carcinogenic potential, the assessment of products containing glyphosate has been strengthened at European level. In 2018, France initiated a national glyphosate withdrawal plan designed to phase out its main uses, while ensuring that farmers are not left without any alternatives. ANSES conducts studies on this substance and is responsible for issuing marketing authorisations for products containing it.
    SDHI Fungicides
    21/01/2020

    SDHI Fungicides

    On 14 January 2019, after being alerted by a group of scientists, ANSES published an opinion on the assessment of a warning signal regarding the toxicity of succinate dehydrogenase inhibitor (SDHI) fungicides. Based on a review of all the scientific data currently available, carried out by a group of independent experts, ANSES concluded that there was no health alert justifying the withdrawal of marketing authorisations for these fungicides. However, it called for vigilance at European and international level and stressed the need to step up research on potential toxicological effects in humans. Work to examine this warning signal regarding SDHI fungicides has been continuing since January 2019 in three areas: the definition and funding of specific research, the detection by existing surveillance schemes of possible health effects that may be observed in the field, and lastly, exchanges with research organisations and health agencies tasked with assessing these substances, in particular the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). In late 2019, ANSES decided once again to examine the issue of SDHIs and mobilised its expert groups with the aim of reviewing the most recent literature data , in order to benefit from any new insights since the expert appraisal conducted in 2018. The first results will be published in the end of 2021.
    What are pesticides?
    09/10/2019

    What are pesticides?

    The term “pesticides” commonly refers to products used in agriculture for crop treatment. However, this term also refers to many other uses, some of which are part of everyday life. Learn about all the possible uses of pesticides and our recommendations for their proper use in the home.
    ANSES and biological pest control
    22/07/2019

    ANSES and biological pest control

    Biological pest control products include macro-organisms (invertebrates, insects, mites and nematodes) and plant protection products containing micro-organisms (fungi, bacteria, viruses), chemical mediators such as sex pheromones (chemical substances produced by insects that play a role in sexual attraction) and natural plant, animal or mineral-based substances. In a context advocating reduced use of plant protection products, biological control is one solution that has been identified for reaching the goals of the Ecophyto 2018 plan. For this reason, the marketing and assessment procedures need to be adjusted. Indeed, while the principles of biological control promote the use of processes and interactions that already exist in nature, these products can present risks for the environment. ANSES has therefore been asked to assess them.
    Facilitating the marketing of biocontrol plant protection products
    27/11/2017

    Facilitating the marketing of biocontrol plant protection products

    Biocontrol is one of the solutions that could facilitate the substitution of synthetic plant protection products by non-chemical alternatives, with a view to achieving the goals of the French Ecophyto 2018 plan to reduce pesticide use. Although they are of natural origin, these plant protection products still have to be scientifically assessed, in terms of their effectiveness and their safety to health and the environment, before they can be placed on the market. ANSES has set up a specific system to give priority to applications concerning biocontrol products, including shorter timeframes for their examination and reduced fees, with the aim of promoting their development.
    Phytopharmacovigilance
    19/07/2016

    Phytopharmacovigilance

    Plant protection products can present risks to human health, ecosystems and living organisms that need to be identified in order to be monitored. In this context, along with the management of marketing authorisations for plant protection products, the Act of 13 October 2014 on the future of agriculture, food and forests has entrusted ANSES with establishing a phytopharmacovigilance scheme. Its objective is to monitor the adverse effects of plant protection products available on the market, covering the contamination of environments, exposure and its impacts on living organisms and ecosystems, and phenomena of emergence of resistance.

    Publications

    Document PDF
    Assessment of the risks related to physical agents and new technologies
    Thematique
    Plant protection products, biocides and fertilisers
    Date de mise en ligne
    09/12/2020
    Numéro de saisine
    2020-SA-0134
    Document PDF
    Assessment of the risks related to biocidal substances and products
    Thematique
    Plant protection products, biocides and fertilisers
    Date de mise en ligne
    23/06/2020
    Numéro de saisine
    2016-SA-0238
    Document PDF
    Substances and plant protection products, biocontrol
    Thematique
    Plant protection products, biocides and fertilisers
    Date de mise en ligne
    22/07/2019
    Numéro de saisine
    2018-SA-0078
    Document PDF
    Substances and plant protection products, biocontrol
    Thematique
    Plant protection products, biocides and fertilisers
    Date de mise en ligne
    15/01/2019
    Numéro de saisine
    2018-SA-0113
    Document PDF
    Thematique
    Occupational health
    Environmental health
    Plant protection products, biocides and fertilisers
    Date de mise en ligne
    27/07/2016
    Numéro de saisine
    2016-SA-0133