The evaluation, marketing and use of pesticides (herbicides, insecticides, fungicides etc.)
in plant protection in the Community are regulated under Council Directive 91/414/EEC.
This Directive lays out a comprehensive risk assessment and authorisation procedure for active
substances and products containing these substances. Each active substance has to be proven safe
in terms of human health, including residues in the food chain, animal health and the environment, in
order to be allowed to be marketed. It is the responsibility of industry to provide the data showing that
a substance can be used safely with respect to human health and the environment.
The first step of the evaluation process involves a Rapporteur Member State, which
transmits its preliminary conclusions on the substance to the European Food Safety Authority.
A scientific risk assessment involving the European Food Safety Authority is then carried out, followed by
risk management steps carried out by the Commission with the assistance of the Member States within the Standing
Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health.
If the evaluation shows that the substance has no harmful effect
on human or animal health and that it has no unacceptable influence on the
environment, the substance can be approved.
An EU list of approved active substances (Annex I to Directive 91/414/EEC) is established, and Member States may authorise only plant protection products containing active substances included in this list.