Transforming the Evaluation of Agrochemicals

  • Publication Date :
  • Publication Type : Journal Article
  • Author(s) : Wolf DC, Bhuller Y, Cope R, Corvaro M, Currie R, Doe J, Doi A, Hilton G, Mehta J, Saltmiras D, Sewell F, Trainer M, Déglin SE
  • Journal Name : Pest Management Science


The present agrochemical safety evaluation paradigm is long-standing and anchored in well-established testing and evaluation procedures. However, it does not meet the present-day challenges of rapidly growing populations, food insecurity, and pressures from climate change. To transform the current framework and apply modern evaluation strategies that better support sustainable agriculture, the Health and Environmental Sciences Institute (HESI) assembled a technical committee to reframe the safety evaluation of crop-protection products. The committee is composed of international experts from regulatory agencies, academia, industry, and non-governmental organizations. Their mission is to establish a framework that supports the development of fit-for-purpose agrochemical safety evaluation that is applicable to changing global, as well as local needs and regulatory decisions, and incorporates relevant evolving science. This will be accomplished through the integration of state-of-the-art scientific methods, technologies, and data sources, to inform safety and risk decisions, and adapt them to evolving local and global needs. The project team will use a systems-thinking approach to develop the tools that will implement a problem formulation and exposure driven approach to create sustainable, safe, and effective crop protection products, and reduce, replace, and refine animal studies with fit-for-purpose assays. A new approach will necessarily integrate the most modern tools and latest advances in chemical testing methods to guarantee the robust human and environmental safety and risk assessment of agrochemicals. This article summarizes the challenges associated with the modernization of agrochemical safety evaluation, proposes a potential roadmap, and seeks input and engagement from the broader community to advance this effort.

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