Could the current EU dual system for approval and authorisation of plant protection products (PPPs) be rendered more effective, efficient, and transparent, and if so, how could this be achieved? This question was put to the European Commission Scientific Advice Mechanism (SAM) by Commissioners Vytenis Andriukaitis (Health and Food Safety) and Carlos Moedas (Research, Science, and Innovation). It was taken up by the Group of Chief Scientific Advisors, which provides independent scientific advice to the College of European Commissioners to support their decision-making.
The SAPEA Consortium, an integral part of SAM, was asked to produce an Evidence Review Report to support the production of a Scientific Opinion by the Group of Chief Scientific Advisors. A Working Group of international experts was asked to focus on methods and procedures for assessing potential harmful effects on human health from the use of PPPs, to report on both the current scientific state-of-the-art and the potential for future developments in toxicity assessment, and to identify ways in which the existing authorisation processes for PPPs might be improved from a scientific perspective (these being presented as “Options” for the Group of Chief Scientific Advisors to consider when formulating its recommendations).