10 September 2019

EFSA identified health concerns for chlorpyrifos & chlorpyrifos-methyl

The pesticides chlorpyrifos and chlorpyrifos-methyl do not meet the criteria required by legislation for the renewal of its approval in the European Union.

In August EFSA published statements recommending that the authorisation of chlorpyrifos & chlorpyrifos-methyl should not be re-approved due to possible genotoxic effects. These statements can be found here following the links. The approval for chlorpyrifos & chlorpyrifos-methyl will expire on 31 January 2020.

The Commission has drafted a draft Regulation proposing not to renew the approval of both substances. Member States will discuss these proposals at the next Standing Committee on 21-22 October and the vote for renewal should take place on 5 December (TBC). If the proposal voted in favour, then it will enter into force before 31 January 2020 (before the date of official expiration of approvals of chlorpyrifos and chlorpyrifos-metyl).

In September-October, the Commission will also notify the draft Regulation to the WTO for comments by non-EU countries for a period of 60 days.

Following the non-renewal of approval, the Commission is expected to start discussion on reducing MRLs to default level. The timing when the Commission will initiate the process to lower the MRLs will depend on whether the adopted text in December will also include a transition period to stop the uses of chlorpyrifos & chlorpyrifos-methyl in the EU, as well as on the positions of the EU Member States.

Reaction by Danish Authorities:
The Danish Food Safety Authority has notified a zero-tolerance approach (at least for fruit and vegetables). Any detected residues of chlorpyrifos and chlopyrifos-methyl will be deemed as injurious to health in accordance with Article 14 of the Food Regulation (regulation 178/2002) and withdrawn from the market. For more information see the Danish website (in Danish).

Last modified: 10 September 2019