|Pesticide residues in Food - 1996. Report sponsored jointly by FAO and WHO. (FAO Plant Production and Protection Paper - 140) (1997)|
A Joint Meeting of the FAO Panel of Experts on Pesticide Residues in Food and the Environment and the WHO Core Assessment Group (JMPR) was held in Rome, Italy, from 16 to 25 September 1996. The FAO Panel of Experts had met in preparatory sessions on 11-14 September.
The Meeting was opened by Dr. A. Sawadogo, Assistant Director-General of FAO, and Dr. F. Riveros, Chief of the Crop and Grassland Service of FAO, on behalf of the Directors-General of FAO and WHO.
The opening address recalled that maximum residue limits for pesticide residues in food were recommended for the first time by the Joint FAO/WHO Meeting on Pesticide Residues thirty years ago, and noted a number of salient features of the development of the work of the Joint Meeting since that time.
In the context of current work, the importance of the recent development of methods for estimating more accurately the dietary intake of pesticide residues was stressed. These methods were being applied by the Joint Meeting to facilitate and improve the annual calculations of dietary intakes undertaken by WHO.
A further important aspect of the application of pesticides was the possible risk to the environment from their use. This had been recognized by the inclusion in the Joint Meeting held in Geneva last year of the Environmental Core Assessment Group. Further elaboration of the principle of joint assessment by this Group and the FAO Panel should be encouraged and it was to be hoped that every effort would be made to hold Joint Meetings of all three groups, the Toxicological and Environmental Core Assessment Groups and the FAO Panel, in the future.
The Meeting was held in pursuance of recommendations made by previous Meetings and accepted by the governing bodies of FAO and WHO that studies should be undertaken jointly by experts to evaluate possible hazards to man arising from the occurrence of residues of pesticides in foods. The reports of previous Joint Meetings (see References, Section 7) contain information on acceptable daily intakes (ADIs), maximum residue limits (MRLs) and general principles for the evaluation of the various pesticides. The supporting documents (Residue and Toxicological Evaluations) contain detailed monographs on these pesticides and include comments on analytical methods. The present Meeting was convened to consider a further number of pesticides together with items of a general or a specific nature. These include items for clarification of recommendations made at previous Meetings or for reconsideration of previous evaluations in the light of findings of subsequent research or other developments.
During the Meeting the FAO Panel of Experts was responsible for reviewing residue and analytical aspects of the pesticides considered, including data on their metabolism, fate in the environment, and use patterns, and for estimating the maximum residue levels that might occur as a result of the use of the pesticides according to good agricultural practices. The WHO Toxicological Core Assessment Group was responsible for reviewing toxicological and related data and for estimating, where possible, ADIs for humans of the pesticides. The recommendations of the Joint Meeting, including those for further research and the provision of additional information, are proposed for use by national governments, international organizations and other interested parties.
The Joint Meeting was saddened to hear of the recent deaths of two former Members of the WHO Expert Group, Professor W. Almeida, University of Campinas, Campinas, São Paulo, and Professor U.G. Ahlborg, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm. Both made significant contributions to the science of toxicology and to the work of the JMPR, which are gratefully acknowledged. They will be missed.