Global Chemistry/Market access highlights: September 2020

• There were 130 MRL noncompliances reported globally in the most recent month available (July 2020), including 6 on grains (grains, oilseeds and pulses). None were of Canadian origin.

• The EU Parliament has once again chosen to veto its own authorities’ MRL pesticide and MRL recommendations. This is direct political intervention that risks further erosion of EU public trust in science.

• Other departures from internationally-accepted risk assessment principles in pesticide approvals continue in Mexico and India, as well as related issues in Vietnam and Thailand.

• A group of 20+ grower representatives from Latin America, Africa and Asia wrote a letter to the EU Parliament expressing grave concerns that developing country exporters of fruits, vegetables, nuts, coffee, cacao, and tea will not be able to apply pesticides banned in the EU unless policy direction changes.

• Thirty-three developing countries have now signed a recent WTO statement calling for a suspension of proposed MRL reductions to reduce trade uncertainty during COVID-19. The document is being reviewed for additional signatures from the 79-country African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) group.

• The African Union held a virtual meeting involving 55 African countries to “to overcome critical challenges around pesticide MRLs to ensure an effective functioning of markets.”

• A proposed methodology restriction that would have made Codex MRLs much more conservative is being resolved following peer-reviewed journal articles and a forthcoming FAO/WHO study. The EU was promoting changes to the equation used for the International Estimate of Short Term Intake (IESTI) in acute dietary risk assessment.