Necessity of harmonization of pesticide hygienic standards in food products during Ukraine's European integration (on herbicides and insecticides example) (continuation)

  • Authors: А.М. Antonenko, О.P. Vavrinevych, S.Т. Omelchuk, V.G. Bardov
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A. Antonenko, PhD; O. Vavrinevych, PhD; V. Bardov, MD; S. Omelchuk, PhD

Hygiene and Ecology Institute, O.O. Bogomolets National Medical University, Kyiv, Ukraine

Summary. In this article the results of a comparative assessment of the regulatory framework of Ukraine in safe content of herbicides and insecticides in food products with the regulatory bases of other countries: the USA, Japan, Canada, Europe are presented; divisions were established, their causes were dedicated and possible solutions of the problem of regulatory harmonization of Ukrainian regulatory framework to international standards were suggested.
Key words: maximum residue limits, harmonization, herbicides, insecticides, international standards.

This article focuses on the comparative analysis of hygienic standards in food of active substances belonging to groups of insecticides and herbicides, and is a continuation of previous work devoted to the analysis of the problem for a group of fungicides.

In the structure of the assortment of pesticides that permitted for use in Ukraine, the biggest share falls on herbicides — 44,5 %, insecticidal preparations — 14,9 % [10]. Application of these groups of pesticides is a guarantee of good harvest of crops [21]. One of the priority areas of hygienic researches in the pesticides application in Ukraine is studying of the nature and level of the actual contamination of foodstuffs, with subsequent justification maximum allowable levels (MAL) of pesticides in them. Hygienic regulation of chemical plant protection products provides a comprehensive approach to protect the population not directly in contact with these groups of pollutants [17].

Given the trends observed in the field of agricultural production in Ukraine in connection with European integration, the aim of the work was a comparative evaluation of national standards of safe content of herbicides and insecticides in food with the regulatory bases of other countries, namely the US, Japan, Canada, Europe to establish the fundamental differences, their causes and justification of possible solutions to the problem.

Material and methods. Comparative evaluation of the acceptable daily doses (ADD) and acceptable daily intakes (ADI), MAL and maximum residue levels (MRL) in the agricultural production of the most common and widely used herbicides in the world: chloroacetamides (S-metolachlor, dimethenamid), oxazoles (isoxaflu-tole, mezotrione), sulfonylureas (prosulfuron, rimsulfuron), imidazolinones (imazamox, imazethapyr), phosphoneglicine (glyfosate), cyclohexanediones (cycloxydim, clethodim) and insecticides: organophosphates (dimethoate, chlorpyrifos), pyrethroids/pyrethrins (bifen-thrin, alpha-cypermethrin), neonicotinoids (thi-amethoxam, imidacloprid) were conducted [5–8, 10, 11, 12].

Also cultures that most actively cultivated and exported in Ukraine and the world were selected [12, 13]: cereals (wheat and corn), vegetables (potatoes, tomatoes, cabbage, sugar beets), garden fruits (apples, grapes), oilseeds (soybean, canola, sunflower).

The values of ADD and MAL in food products, approved in Ukraine are given from DSanPiN [1, 2, 3]; for rest ADI and MRL values data bases of Europe [5], Japan [6], Canada [7] and Codex Alimentarius [8] were used.

Results and discussion. Comparative analysis of ADD values that are approved in Ukraine with the values of ADI, justified by specialists of FAO/WHO, the US, Japan, showed in 17,9 % of cases the herbicides ADI and ADD match, in 35,7 % — values are on one level, in 46,4 % — significantly different (Table 1). For insecticides after the same assessment values were: 17,6; 35,3 and 47,1 %, respectively (Table 2).

In general, when comparing ADD values, approved in Ukraine, with similar hygienic regulations of WHO and EPA, found that 62 % of national regulations more stringent, in 30 % of cases — at the same level [16]. This difference in value of the above indicators can be explained as follows: first, grounding of ADD in Ukraine is based on subthreshold dose, while abroad — on threshold; second, in our country a stricter approach to the definition of safety factor is adopted [16, 17].

The obtained data differ from the general trend described in the literature. This can be explained by the fact that in recent years all Ukrainian regulations were maximum tried to unify and harmonize with European ones [18, 19].

Comparative analysis of MAL values that are approved in Ukraine with the MRL values, justified by specialists FAO/WHO, the US, Japan, Canada, showed that for herbicide in 11,6 % of cases they match, in 34,7 % — values are on one level, 53,7 % — are significantly different (Table 1). For insecticides after the same assessment values were: 14,2; 25,2 and 60,6 %, respectively (Table 2). Approximately the same distribution of percent at comparison MRL values, approved in Europe, Canada, Japan and the United States. Also noted that the value of national MAL for herbicides only in the 30,0 % of cases are one the order of magnitude higher than foreign, for insecticides — in 19,4 %. Clear depending on the type of culture is not evident.

Table 1. Acceptable daily doses and maximum allowable levels of different classes of herbicides

Table 2. Acceptable daily doses and maximum allowable levels of different classes of insecticides

Also, when evaluating the data about MAL and MRL values the next patterns were revealed:
1. Herbicides to a greater extent are used on grains and oilseeds, to a lesser extent on vegetables. Sulfonylureas and oxazoles have extremely high activity as in pregermination, and aftergermination application against most of broadleaf weeds and annual and perennial grasses [15]. But this effect is due to their significant phytotoxicity. Therefore sulfonylureas and oxazoles worldwide are used almost exclusively on cereals, and in most of cases on corn, which is more resistant to these herbicides [4, 9].
2. Insecticides are contrary on grain used little (in Canada practically do not use) and for use on vegetables and fruits assortment of pesticides of this group is wide enough.
3. A number of herbicides and insecticides (chloroacetamides, organophosphates compounds and synthetic pyrethroids), used in agriculture Ukraine on a wide range of cultures in Europe, Canada and the United States are banned for application or the term of their inclusion in Annex I are finished [20].
4. In most cases, national MAL values by 1–2 orders of magnitude lower than the standards adopted in other countries. This can be explained by fundamental difference between MAL and MRL values. In the first case — it is theoretical value: the maximum allowable level of the substance in the products on base of which the allowable daily intake is calculated. The second — the real value: the maximum levels of residues identified in foods as a result of analysis of a large number of samples, and were used to calculate the risk of the intake of this product and this risk was acceptable.

1. It is established that in Ukraine the MAL values in foods in most cases are by 1–2 orders of magnitude lower in all groups of pesticides (fungicides, herbicides, insecticides) than standards approved in Europe, Canada, Japan and the US, due to the principles of integrated hygienic regulation force in Ukraine [17]. This approach provides full safety of agricultural products to consumers.
2. High MAL values of fungicides, to a lesser extent, herbicides and insecticides, for oilseeds, which are approved in Ukraine, need to be revised, which, in turn, requires the improvement of analytical methods for the control of pesticide residues in these cultures.

Summarizing the problem, outlined in this article, it should be noted that at the stage of European integration of the regulatory framework, which is currently valid in Ukraine, requires a revision o the downside of MAL values, which are higher than in Europe, with the facilitation of export of agricultural products.


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Надійшла до редакції 14.03.2016 р.