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Report of the Second Global Minor Use Summit. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome, Italy, February 21–23, 2012

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Abstract:

Minor use pesticides are products that growers deem to be necessary to deal with pest problems in low acreage crops or represent minor uses on large acreage crops. There are both pest and pesticide management aspects to the issue of minor uses. On the one hand, growers need cost effective solutions for managing pests and diseases on crops, whether they be major or minor. The pest management solutions may be cultural, mechanical, biological or chemical. On the other hand, chemical and biological pesticides need to be effectively regulated to ensure health and environmental safety and, in most cases, efficacy of products. Provision of pest and pesticide management needs, depends on legislative, institutional and technical capacity being available to countries. The specific issue of minor uses challenges many developed countries. In developing countries, the capacity for effective basic pest and pesticide management is generally severely limited, and addressing minor uses is a refinement that is beyond the capacity of most. At the same time, trading food products requires adherence to safety standards that include pesticide Maximum Residue Limits (MRLs). If a pesticide is not registered for use on a given crop, then no MRL will be established, and consequently that crop cannot be traded with detectable residues of that pesticide. It is also important to note that it is the importing country that must establish or accept an MRL, and the exporting country that must comply with it. The crop protection industry is reluctant to conduct the research that is required to register products for minor uses. The low acreage of minor crops results in an insufficient return on investment of the expenditures that are required to attain regulatory approval. Additionally, there are resources required to maintain minor crop registrations and liability issues from possible crop damage that the crop protection industry is often unwilling to assume. On a global basis, this presents problems for producers because of a lack of authorized options to control pests and diseases. This also affects producers seeking market access as well as exporters and traders of those commodities. Trade barriers often occur due to a lack of, or differences in, acceptable MRLs on produce. In order to address some of these issues, the first Global Minor Use Summit (GMUS) was held in December of 2007, at the Food and Agriculture Organizing (FAO) Headquarters in Rome, Italy. The GMUS was co-organized by FAO, US Department of Agriculture (USDA), US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Interregional Research Project number 4 (IR-4). Participants of the first Summit developed the following action items: Improve international communications and information exchange; Increase capacity building efforts for developing countries; Engage the Codex Committee on Pesticide Residues(CCPR) to support minor use crops better; and Enhance research efforts through collaborative pilot projects and initiatives.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1564/23oct09

Publication date: October 1, 2012

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