Pesticide Registration Toolkit

When to look for an alternative?

Regularly, situations may come to pass where regulators need to assess the availability of viable alternatives to a pesticide which they are evaluating. Generally, this will occur if a pesticide is 1) a highly hazardous pesticide (HHP), or 2) when a pesticide poses health, environmental, agronomic or economic risks which are difficult to manage or mitigate under local conditions of use.

Such situations may be recognized during the evaluation of applications for registration of a new pesticide product. But more often they will arise during re-registration, based on feedback about the actual use of the pesticide, or when applying more contemporary risk assessment methods or registration criteria.

Some of the conditions that may warrant that a regulator looks for alternatives include:

  • Identification of the pesticide product as a highly hazardous pesticide (HHP);
  • Compliance with environmental legislation or legally-binding conventions;
  • Reported evidence of serious environmental or human health effects associated with the pesticide used in your country, or in countries with similar socio-economic and pesticide use conditions. For example, such evidence may have been provided to the Rotterdam Convention, as a Severely Hazardous Pesticide Formulation (SHPF);
  • Persistent pest problems which are difficult to manage with pesticides alone;
  • Building up of significant pesticide resistance over large areas;
  • Frequent exceedance of maximum residue limits (MRLs) in nationally marketed commodities;
  • Frequent exceedance of maximum residue limits (MRLs) in export commodities, leading to export rejections;
  • Policy and market incentives, such as public or private sustainability standards, promotion of organic production, etc.