FRANCE: ANSES conclusions on the assessment of SDHI are available

In an opinion published on 16 April 2018, a group of scientists alerted about the potential health and environmental concerns of using succinate dehydrogenase inhibitor fungicides (SDHI) in agriculture.

SDHIs are fungicidal active substances used to control major diseases in cereals and other arable crops, grapevine, orchards, vegetable and ornamental crops. SDHIs prevent the development of these diseases by inhibiting the succinate dehydrogenase (SDH), an enzyme involved in the cell respiration. To date, 11 active substances of this family are involved in the composition of plant protection products authorised in France.

On 24 May 2018, ANSES launched the assessment and gathered independent experts in order to determine if the scientific information and hypotheses mentioned by the authors of the opinion published on 16 April 2018 provide data on exposure and risks that would not have been taken into account in the evaluation of the fungicidal active substances concerned, in the light of data from the literature, European evaluations of substances and data from “phytopharmacovigilance” (monitoring system).

This work does not provide evidence of an alert for human health and for the environment in relation to the agricultural uses of these fungicides that could justify the modification or withdrawal of marketing authorisations.

However, ANSES consider that the dossier is not closed and, as part of the “phytopharmacovigilance” system, is continuing investigations to clarify the levels of internal exposure to the SDHI (amount of substance present in the body) and to intensify epidemiological research, particularly on farmers.

To download: ANSES opinion and report on “the evaluation of the signal concerning the toxicity of succinate dehydrogenase inhibitor fungicides (SDHI)” (in French)

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FRANCE: New National Strategy on Endocrine disruptors

The second draft national strategy on endocrine disruptors (SNPE 2) was published in mid-January by the Ministries of Health and Ecological Transition. This new action plan will update the first national strategy, initiated in 2014. A public consultation was initiated on 14 January and will run until 8 February.

Three main objectives have been presented as part of this new national strategy:

Protect the population, train and inform

As part of this 1st objective, ANSES will be responsible for establishing a unique and scientifically robust list of endocrine disrupting substances (ED) by the end of 2021. This list will be based in particular on data from the scientific literature as well as on different already existing lists. The idea is to produce a continuously updated list shared with other Member States.

The government also wants to promote at the European level a common definition of ED in all chemical regulations ‒ which would consider 3 levels of evidence: proven, presumed and suspected.

Other actions will also be undertaken to facilitate access to information on the risks associated with the use of certain chemicals by the general public (e.g. informative website, communication campaign).

Prevent environmental contamination

As part of this 2nd objective, a platform will be created on the portal by 2020 in order to collect and centralise all the data concerning the occurrence of PE in the environmental compartments. The government also plans to strengthen the collection of data by conducting monitoring campaigns in soil and air, and by continuing and further developing the monitoring in aquatic compartments that are already in place in the context of the Water Framework Directive.

The French Agency for Biodiversity will be mandated to carry out a review of the effects of ED on the environment, as well as to discuss a possible modification of the regulatory acceptable limits of PE in environmental compartments, in consultation with the French National Institute for Industrial Environment and Risks.

In addition, ED will be included in the next Total Diet Study conducted by ANSES in order to monitor exposure of the population to chemicals present in foods.

Improve knowledge on endocrine disruptors

Under this 3rd objective, the executive plans to strengthen scientific research around the impact of ED on human health and the environment. A reflection will also be conducted to broaden the monitoring of ED to other health indicators, taking into account the diversity of disorders and pathologies reported in the literature.

Finally, the French government will promote the substitution of ED to industry stakeholders through working groups and projects involving various actors from industry, consumer associations, etc.

To download (in French):

Draft of strategic goals

Draft action plan

Draft of the 13 main measures

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