Fera Science hosts an inaugural event on chemical safety
SummaryTranslational science and research organisation, Fera Science Ltd, has hosted its Advances in Environmental Risk Assessments symposium, inviting members of the PPP industry to come together and discuss how to develop new solutions that will support an increase in agricultural outputs.
- Author Company: Fera Science
- Author Name: Fera Science
- Author Website: https://www.fera.co.uk/
Plant protection products (PPPs) used in agriculture have doubled in numbers since the 1980s. Without them, the food safety of billions of people would be threatened. But the PPP chemical industry continues to face ongoing debate to ensure that these products raise the quality and yield crops with minimal impact on the surrounding environment.
To help facilitate this debate, Translational science and research organisation, Fera Science Ltd, has hosted its Advances in Environmental Risk Assessments symposium, inviting members of the PPP industry to come together and discuss how to develop new solutions that will support an increase in agricultural outputs.
While we’re using significantly more plant protection products, introducing new ones into the industry is neither a quick nor simple process. The introduction of PPPs in the EU is strictly regulated and involves a lengthy procedure, including a science-based risk assessment.
On average, it takes eleven years for a new active substance to be brought to market, with EU rules stating that at least two of those years are spent from the date of an application’s admissibility to the publication of its approval. While advanced scientific research remains at the core of product development, so too does its obligation to pass regulations.
So, how do we help make the agricultural economy more productive, while making sure that new products meet stringent safety standards?
Time to talk
Taking place on 2-3 July 2019, Fera’s chemicals symposium offered representatives from across the supply chain the opportunity to hear and discuss recent scientific knowledge, developments and applications in environmental protection during agricultural production. Over the two days, the event welcomed regulators and international organisations from across the PPP chemicals industry to get to the heart of some of the its most crucial debate topics.
Opening the symposium was Dr Andrew Curran, chief scientific adviser and director of research at the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). Curran is responsible for the leadership of 850 scientists, engineers and physicians, ensuring that there is an evidence-based challenge for HSE’s policies and procedures.
With recognised blue-chip companies, including Syngenta and TSG, in attendance, the event acted as a hub of industry knowledge and expertise. Discussion was led on a wealth of topics looking at safety and innovation, such as endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs), disruptive technologies and higher tier risk assessments.
EDCs are man-made substances, typically found in materials such as pesticides, metals and food additives. They have long been suspected of interfering with reproductive functions in both humans and animals and are capable of altering hormone balance and embryo development.
One of the event’s keynote speakers was Dr Karen Thorpe, aquatic ecotoxicologist at Fera. With an expertise in studying the influence of chemicals on fish physiology and reproduction, including endocrine disrupters and the immune system, Thorpe offered her valuable insight into this increasingly vital area of chemical research.
An expert attendance
And the event not only hosted noteworthy speakers. With attendees spanning the industry, including regulatory specialists, consultants and managing directors of some of the world’s leading chemical regulations firms, the symposium gained insight into areas of chemical production and regulation, and what the future of the industry will mean for their businesses.
As well as the event’s multitude of debates and discussions, attendees had the opportunity to network with fellow industry experts and plant protection product peers. Both days of the symposium concluded with a question and answer session, allowing guests to put their most pressing questions to some of the industry’s leading experts. In addition to hearing the debate, attendees took a tour of Fera’s vast array of testing facilities including the newly launched mesocosm.
With a host of influential speakers and attendees already lined up, we are hoping the symposium will become a regular fixture in the calendars of industry experts for years to come.
About Fera Science: Fera Science Limited (Fera), formerly the Food and Environment Research Agency, is a joint venture based in the United Kingdom owned by Capita (75%) and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) (25%). Its aim is to support and develop a sustainable food chain, a healthy natural environment, and to protect the global community from biological and chemical risks.
For further information about Fera contact: Jenny Bell, Fera Science, National Agri-food Innovation Campus, Sand Hutton, York YO41 1LZ