Delegate’s Report, 45th Session, Codex Committee on Pesticide Residues
May 6 - 11 May, 2013
The Codex Committee on Pesticide Residues (CCPR) held its 45th Session in Beijing, People’s Republic of China, from May 6-11, 2013. Professor Xiongwu Qiao, Vice-Director of the Shanxi Academy of Agricultural Sciences served as Chair, assisted by Dr. Hongjun Zhang, Director of CCPR Secretariat, and Institute for Control of Agrochemicals, Ministry of Agriculture (ICAMA). 188 delegates representing 63 Member Countries and Observers from 10 international organizations attended the Session. Leading the United States Delegation were Ms. Lois Rossi of the Environmental Protection Agency (EFP) and Dr. Pat Basu of the Food Safety Inspection Service, USDA.
The following summarizes issues of particular interest to the US Delegation. Complete details of the 45th Session (2013 Meeting) may be found on the Codex Alimentarius website at: http://www.codexalimentarius.org/meetings-reports/en/
Matters of Interest Arising From FAO and WHO
The Joint Meeting on Pesticide Residues (JMPR), an expert ad hoc body administered jointly by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and World Health Organization (WHO), described their ongoing activities to enhance the capacity of developing countries to participate and implement Codex maximum residue limits (MRLs). They also announced they have revised their publication of the FAO Training Manual on the Evaluation of Pesticide Residues for Maximum Residue Levels.
During the discussion, the European Union raised establishing a quantitative acceptable daily intake (ADI) in the absence of effects at the highest dose tested. The WHO Secretariat noted that this suggestion will be considered at the next JMPR but also indicated that this suggestion is contrary to the current international practice.
397 MRLs for 35 pesticides were advanced to Step 8 for adoption by the Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC). Through the accelerated procedure and the criteria for decision-making, 361 of the 397 MRLs quickly advanced to step 5/8, and 18 MRLs of which were recommended based on the principle of proportionality, a concept just recently approved by the CCPR. 37 of the 397 MRLs were from crop groups, which included 9 MRLs advanced to step 8 at the last CCPR meeting. One of these MRLs was for sedaxane dry bean, which the United States requested reconsideration for the establishment of an mrl through the CCPR concern form process.
An additional 28 MRLs for 8 pesticides were returned to Step 7 pending additional information on the need for an alternative Good Agricultural Practices(GAP) (label) and the submission of labels for the Plant Incorporated Protectants (PIP) chemicals, or assessment during a future periodic re-evaluation. 55 MRLs for 6 pesticides were returned to Step 4 for reasons varying from whether there was a need to consider impending periodic re-evaluations and/or for a registered GAP that aligns with the GAP considered by JMPR, or acute intake concerns raised by member countries.
146 MRLs for 22 pesticides were recommended for revocation.
Application of Proportionality in Selecting Data for MRL Estimation
At the last CCPR 2012 session, there was a diversity of views on the application of proportionality and its applicability for estimating MRLs, which led to establishing of an electronic working group (eWG) to further research the proportionality principle and criteria. The eWG reported at this session that they considered the analysis of trial data sets in which the application rate was the only different parameter and the ratio consisting of the application rate to the residue concentration. Their conclusion was the data analysis sufficiently confirmed the use of proportionality for major and minor crops for insecticides, fungicides, herbicides and plant growth regulators, but for post-harvest and hydroponic uses, there was insufficient data to determine if its appropriateness. The EWG also found that data indicated that it was inappropriate for desiccant uses.
Based on these findings, the Committee agreed to forward the Principles and Guidance for the Application of Proportionality to Estimate MRLs to the 36th Session of the Commission for adoption and inclusion in the Procedural Manual as an Appendix to the Risk Analysis Principles Applied by the CCPR. The following 18 MRLs for 10 compounds were forwarded to Step 8 or Step 5/8 where JMPR applied the proportionality: imidacloprid celery; spinetoram Brassica vegetables; MCPA barley, oats, rye, triticale, and wheat forage and barley, oats, rye, triticale, and wheat straw and fodder; ametoctradin dry hops; fluopyram dry beans, cherry, dry chick peas, dry lentils, dry lupin, peach, sugar beets, and tomato; methoxyfenozide fruiting vegetables, cucurbits; etofenprox grapes; diflubenzuron almond hulls; hexythiazox strawberry; and flutriafol grapes.
The eWG, co-chaired by the Netherlands and the United Sates, presented the amendments and edits proposed by Members to the following three commodity groups, Brassica (Cole or Cabbage) Vegetables, Head Cabbages and Flowerhead Cabbages and Leafy Vegetables (Including Brassica Leafy Vegetables); and Stalk and Stem Vegetables, which the CCPR advanced to Step 7 and could be approved for confirmation by the Commission once all vegetable commodity groups are finalized.
The Committee also considered the proposed revisions to the Root and Tuber Vegetables Group and agreed to forward this group to Step 5. The Committee also reestablished an electronic working group to consider draft Revisions to the Classification of Foods and Animal Feeds for additional crop groups, which will be chaired by the Netherlands and the United States.
Proposed Draft Principles and Guidelines for the Selection of Representative Commodities for the Extrapolation of Maximum Residue Limits for Commodity Groups – Table 2.
The Committee agreed to return to Step 3 for redrafting the Draft Principles and Guidelines (including Table 2 of representative commodities for vegetable crop groups) based on comments received by Member Countries. The Committee further agreed that the vegetable commodity groups in Table 2 will be finalized along with the corresponding commodity groups in the Classification. The United States fully supports this work as completion of the vegetable types will be a valuable tool for establishing additional MRLs for many minor crops and expects this work to be completed by 2015.
The Committee agreed to reconvene the eWG on the Revision of the Codex Classification of Food and Feed to identify other commodity groups for consideration by CCPR, amend the draft Table 2, and review existing Codex commodity group MRLs to determine the need for revision of Codex MRLs.
Working Group to Facilitate the Establishment of Codex MRLs for Minor Use and Specialty Crops
The in-session working group on Minor Uses and Specialty Crops presented their discussion paper which outlined the criteria to determine the number of field trials to support minor use MRLs. Specifically, the criteria is based on a two-tier approach, whereby global diet data (FAOSTAT Food Supply Quantity (g/capita/day)) and a fixed percentage (0.5%) was used as the first tier and GEMS/Foods 17 Cluster Diets data was used to further refine the criteria at the second tier. From this, the eWG developed three categories to determine the appropriate number of residue field trials for minor crops.
The Committee generally supported the recommendation by the eWG but determined additional work was still needed to refine the criteria and finalize the list of commodities and number of field trials using this proposed criteria. The eWG on Minor Uses and Specialty Crops was re-established and France, Kenya and Thailand will continue to co- chair this eWG. The United States plans on participating in this eWG.
Methods of Analysis for Pesticide Residues
The in-session work group, which was chaired by the United States, proposed developing a guidance document on performance criteria specific for methods for determination of pesticide residues. The Committee agreed with this proposal and agreed to forward it for approval as new work to the 36th Session of the Commission.
Revision of the Risk Analysis Principles
US Delegate Lois Rossi co-chaired an in-session meeting on the Revision of the Risk Analysis Principles, which has been beleaguered by several ongoing unresolved issues, including the contentious issue of how to handle the periodic review of MRLs. After three in-session meetings and a line by line analysis, consensus was eventually reached. Specifically, general agreement was reached on the revised sections 5.2, 5.3 and 7 and a EWG, chaired by Costa Rica and co-chaired by Chile, will reconvene to present a single document for consideration at the next session for final approval and adoption by the 37th Session of the Commission in 2014. The United States will continue to participate in this EWG and will follow this matter closely to ensure the scientific integrity of the concern form process for establishing Codex MRLs elaborated in Principles document.
Nomination and Prioritization of Compounds to be Considered by the FAO/WHO Joint Meeting on Pesticide Residues (JMPR)
The Committee considered the nominations of compounds for 2014 as listed in the report of the eWG on Priorities. The Chair of the eWG noted that 11 new compound evaluations, 23 new uses and other evaluations, and three existing compound re-evaluations are scheduled for review by JMPR in 2014. Two of the 11 new compounds (flufenoxuron and metrafenone) were given reserve status. All US nominations for new compounds and additional uses of existing compounds were scheduled.
The Committee noted that the new compound evaluations priority list for 2015 is currently at capacity with 11 new compounds scheduled and 19 new use and other evaluations are scheduled for review by JMPR in 2015. It was noted that any additional new chemicals will need to be nominated for review in 2016 and beyond. The WHO Secretariat also noted that no financial resources are currently available to organize the JMPR in 2014.
Update on the Sulfoxaflor Pilot Project and the Progress of the National Global Joint Review
During the 2010 Session, the CCPR approved the US proposal for a pilot project, whereby JMPR would evaluate a chemical before finalization of any national review/registration. The 2011 JMPR reviewed sulfoxaflor as a pilot and established an ADI. CCPR also recommended MRLs considering both regional zones (the method historically used) as well as the global dataset method for estimating MRLs. The JMPR provided a comparison of those MRL results. The US Delegation supported the use of the global dataset method, as it resulted in MRLs being recommended for several commodities that otherwise would not have been supported.
During the previous year’s Session of the CCPR, the Committee agreed to evaluate the full pilot at the 45th Session and retain all MRLs recommended for sulfoxaflor at Step 4 until authorized GAPs were available for consideration by the JMPR. At this session, the US Delegation presented a paper reporting the outcome of the pilot project and the national global joint review associated with the pilot and announced that both the United States and Canada registered sulfoxaflor. The US Delegation reported that not all commodities were registered at the same GAP considered by the JMPR. Three categories were reported: The first, where the GAP JMPR considered was the same as the registered GAP; the second, where the registered GAP differed from the GAP JMPR reviewed but was within 25% of the GAP considered by the JMPR; and the last, where the registered GAP differed from the GAP JMPR reviewed and was not within 25% of the GAP considered by the JMPR. The US delegation recommended the Committee propose a change in the prioritization criteria that would allow new compounds meeting certain criteria to be scheduled for evaluation by JMPR before national registrations have occurred. The US delegation also asked that the sulfloxaflor MRLs currently at Step 4 be advanced to Step 5/8 for those commodities that were at the GAP or within 25% of the GAP JMPR considered. The US delegation also requested that the MRLs be established based on the global dataset.
After a rather lively debate, it was determined that the sulfloxaflor MRLs (at Step 4) for those commodities where the GAP is the same or within 25 percent of the GAP JMPR considered would advance to Step 5/8. However, the Committee advanced the MRLs instead using the regional data set, which, for the most part, resulted in higher levels than what was recommended for the global data set.
Provided the CAC adopts these MRLs during the next session, this will still result in Codex MRLs being established within 4 months of the national registration, and will certainly facilitate trade for US growers exporting their commodities to certain markets.
The recommendation on the proposed change in the prioritization criteria, however, was not adopted since several delegations pointed out that the pilot project should be further evaluated before any change in procedure is allowed. The US Delegation agreed to complete a critical analysis of the project and report during the next 46th Session of CCPR.
The 46th Session was tentatively scheduled to be held in China in 2014. The final arrangements were not announced at the meeting.