In the past few months the discussion regarding the use of chlorpyrifos and chlorpyrifos-methyl in European countries has been a hot topic. It all started with European Food Safety Authority's statement released on 31 July 2019 in regards to the outcome of the human health assessment for pesticide with active substance chlorpyrifos which considered said active substance to not meet the approval criteria applicable to human health as laid down in Article 4 of Regulation (EC) No. 1107/2009. The statement of the EFSA was responded with EU countries voted out to ban the pesticide with active substance chlorpyrifos and chlorpyrifos-methyl at a meeting of the standing committee on plants, animals, food and feed (SCOPAFF) on 6 December 2019 which was followed with the release of notification to the World Trade Organization (WTO) on 12 December 2019 of the draft Commission Regulation (EU) in regards to amending the maximum residue levels (MRLs) for chlorpyrifos and chlorpyrifos-methyl in or on certain product. Furthermore, European Commission had also released Commission Implementing Regulation EU 2020/17 and EU 2020/18 on 13 January 2020 which stipulated the non-renewal of the approval of the active substance of chlorpyrifos and chlorpyrifos-methyl.
In the most recent development, through the standing committee on plants, animals, food and feed's (SCOPAFF) meeting held during 17 -18 February 2020, the EU Commission had discussed and adopted the draft Commission Regulation to reduce the maximum reside levels (MRLs) for chlorpyrifos and chlorpyrifos-methyl to the lower limit of detection of 0.01 mg/kg. This adopted draft Commission Regulation will then be forwarded to the EU Parliament which will publish the corresponding regulation expectedly in September/October 2020 and the new MRLs will be valid three months later.
The expected regulation will not exclude goods already manufactured or imported into the EU. Thus, the new MRLs is applicable for any product from the date of their validity as an evaluation basis for all analyses carried out. In response to the expected regulation, every stakeholders of the agricultural/food industry ought to start to implement new strategies; farmers need to adopt new cultivation practice; commerce lines need to start moving out their product out of EU or risk destroying them; possible shortage of agricultural supply for EU market.