A Global Guideline for Pesticide Selection to Reduce Risks, and Establish a Minimum Pesticides List
16 Pages Posted: 28 Aug 2019More...
Pesticides present widespread risks to human health, and they contribute to global biodiversity decline. Information on the relative risks posed by pesticides is difficult to obtain, and we lack procedures for pesticide selection that factor in the differences in risk between compounds. This is perpetuating problems that require urgent solution.
We have classified more than 700 pesticides by acute and chronic human health risk, environmental risk including bio-magnification and atmospheric ozone depletion, and risks to aquatic life, terrestrial wildlife, and pollinators. Our analysis is presented as a guideline that can be used to encourage selection of lower risk pesticides. It also demonstrates that currently accepted criteria for defining highly hazardous pesticides fail to adequately protect human bystanders, aquatic life, terrestrial wildlife, and pollinators.
When used to classify pesticides in current use against the fall armyworm, an invasive pest that is attacking maize crops in Africa, our guideline identifies effective lower-risk chemicals. This risk and hazard-based classification system has been field tested among more than a million farm households in the tropics, and in IPM programs in the United States and Africa, with success.
We have isolated a lower-risk group of pesticides, from which a minimum list could be developed in order to meet most IPM needs, while limiting risks to human and environmental health. Our analysis is the first to propose a methodology to develop and refine this concept, and the first to outline candidate compounds since the minimum list was proposed through the Lancet in 2002.
Funding Statement: Funding was provided by the Sustainable Agriculture Network, Rainforest Alliance, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture, USDA Foreign Agriculture Service, the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center, and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization.
Funding for the international review process for HHPs, pesticides requiring risk mitigation, and mitigation methods was provided by the Sustainable Agriculture Network (SAN) and Rainforest Alliance. Development and use of this classification system in the Western USA was supported by a United States Department of Agriculture Western Sustainable Agriculture Research and Extension Professional Development Program (USDA WSARE PDP) grant EW17-019, and USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture Crop Protection and Pest Management Extension IPM Program (NIFA CPPM EIP) grant 2017-70006-27154, and a USDA NIFA CPPM Western IPM Center (WIPMC) Signature Program Sub-award SA18-4060-01 to PCJ and KM; and a USDA NIFA CPPM Applied Research and Development (ARDP) grant 2016-70006-25868 to KM. Drafting of this publication, development of the low risk (minimum) pesticide classification, and determination of PPE requirements was supported by a USDA Foreign Agriculture Service (FAS) Agreement (FX18TA- 10960R021) to PCJ, which also funded the African case study, with additional support from the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) to PCJ.
Declaration of Interests: The authors state that they do not have conflicts of interest to declare.
Ethics Approval Statement: Not required.
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