About us

The PPR Panel provides independent scientific advice on the risk assessment of plant protection products (commonly known as pesticides) and their residues, looking at risks for the user/worker, the consumer and the environment.

The Panel’s work is based on reviewing scientific information and data in order to produce scientific opinions and advice for risk managers. This helps to provide a sound foundation for European policies and legislation and supports risk managers in taking effective and timely decisions.

The Panel works closely with the Pesticide Risk Assessment Peer Review (PRAPeR) which is responsible for the EU- peer review of active substances used in new or existing plant protection products. The PPR Panel is asked for its opinion (called “self-tasking”) on any issues that cannot be resolved within this procedure or when further scientific guidance is needed, mostly in the field of toxicology, ecotoxicology, fate and behaviour of pesticides and residues.

An additional activity is to update the existing European Guidance Documents in risk assessment of plant protection products and to develop ones in new scientific areas.

Plant protection products in the EU are subject to legislation as laid down in Council Directive 91/414/EEC. All EU Member States apply the same evaluation procedures and authorisation criteria in order to place a plant protection product on the market. EFSA’s task is to carry out the risk assessment for pesticides and to submit its conclusions to the European Commission, some of the opinions delivered by the PPR Panel are part of those conclusions.

How we work

The Panel works independently, openly and transparently to deliver timely scientific advice of the highest standards to support the policies and decisions of risk managers.

It carries out its work either in response to requests for scientific advice from risk managers or on its own initiative through a mechanism called self-tasking. Most commonly, the European Commission asks EFSA to provide scientific advice on a particular issue. The Panel always undertakes work on the basis of Terms of Reference which guide its approach to each question.

The Panel regularly sets up Working Groups involving external scientists with relevant expertise to focus on specific matters and help produce scientific opinions. The Panel itself meets regularly in plenary sessions to discuss work in progress and to adopt finalised scientific opinions. Each opinion results from a collective decision-making process with every Panel member having an equal say.