Authorisation of pesticides
Pesticides are regulated to make sure they don't present unacceptable risks to the public, to people who apply them, to the environment or to animals. In the UK pesticides are assessed by Government departments and an independent scientific committee of experts, the Advisory Committee on Pesticides (ACP). The FSA attends ACP meetings as officials. Government ministers must approve all pesticides before they can be marketed or used in the UK.
Rigorous safety assessments are undertaken to make sure that any pesticide residues remaining in the crop will not be harmful to people.
Any company wanting to get a pesticide approved must submit an application containing information on any potential health and environmental risks. This always includes data on the potential of the pesticide to cause cancer and damage human reproduction. The company must also supply information on how effective the pesticide is, whether impurities are present, and whether it's safe for the people who will be applying it, the environment and animals.
Pesticides are also reviewed regularly and if a review highlights any areas of concern then more data may be sought, or the approval may be modified or withdrawn completely.
Further information on the regulation of pesticides in the UK can be found in the annual reports of the ACP, which are available on the ACP website.