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Training Stakeholders January 2012


In January 2012, a one-day training in Probabilistic Dietary Exposure Assessment Principles was organized by the ACROPOLIS consortium for different stakeholders involved in cumulative pesticide exposure assessment. The goal of the training was to make the stakeholders familiar with the basic principles of probabilistic modeling and to give them insight in how this approach works and its possibilities.

One of the stakeholders that attended the training was the pesticide industry, as the first responsible party for safety assessment of new pesticides to be allowed on the market. Another important stakeholder were the regulators, who are responsible to check the safety assessments submitted by the industry. For this, they draft assessment reports which are peer reviewed by EFSA. The EFSA Pesticide Unit will be trained in April 2012. Results of these safety assessments are subsequently reported to DG Sanco European Commission, which received training on January 11th. It is expected that cumulative exposure assessment results for new pesticide to be assessed for authorization will become part of this process, making the use of probabilistic techniques in exposure modeling imperative.

The third stakeholder that was trained were the food authorities at Member States level. They were trained on how to calculate actual exposures to pesticides using monitoring data and consumption data at the Member State level with a probabilistic tool. The training was received well by all stakeholders and the tool used to assess the exposure with the probabilistic methodology was judged to be very user-friendly and comprehensive.

An overview of persons who attended the training is given.

During the training examples were given addressing single compound and cumulative dietary exposure assessments. It was demonstrated that these types of assessments can be performed easily, but that the actual use of this methodology depends on crucial decisions regarding input and output. This was recognized to be the task of EFSA, who is working on this.

The exposure models to address cumulative exposure developed within ACROPOLIS will be in line with future EFSA requirements. In the training the software tool, Monte Carlo Risk Assessment (MCRA) version 7.1 was used. It is expected that full cumulative probabilistic assessment can be performed with version 8 of MCRA, which will be released in the coming months. This version of MCRA will be tested by the ACROPOLIS partners and the associated partners (food authorities not originally part of the ACROPOLIS consortium that joined the ACROPOLIS project with their country specific monitoring and consumption data). After that, version 8 will be tested by potential user groups (groups responsible for safety assessment under EU Directive 396/2005). E-learning tools, demonstration materials and examples will become available via the ACROPOLIS website to all stakeholders involved to warrant transparency and to increase understanding of cumulative pesticide risk assessment.

The usefulness of the ACROPOLIS models and training will be further discussed during the ACROPOLIS stakeholder meeting to be held on February 1, 2012 in Brussels.