Copy of `Food Standards Agency - Pesticides glossary`

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Food Standards Agency - Pesticides glossary
Category: Agriculture and Industry > Pesticides
Date & country: 11/12/2007, UK
Words: 32

Acceptable daily intake (ADI)
the estimated amount of a substance that people can consume every day of their lives without presenting an appreciable risk to their health, based on current scientific evidence. The ADI is usually calculated by dividing the 'no observed adverse effect level' (NOAEL) for long-term exposure to the pesticide in animal studies by an appropriate safety factor to take account of uncertainty and variability in the data. The safety factor should ensure the safety of susceptible groups such as young, elderly or sick people, and pregnant women.

Acute Reference Dose (ARfD)
the estimated amount of a substance that can be taken in at one meal or on one day without appreciable health risk to anyone consuming it, based on current scientific evidence. The calculation of the ARfD is similar to that of the ADI except that the level used in the calculation is that for short-term exposure and discounts effects that only occur following long-term exposure.

Agricultural Development and Advisory Service

Assured Produce Scheme
a retailer and producer partnership, funded by growers, that aims to deliver traceability and set good agricultural practice production standards for fresh produce and potatoes in the UK

a starting point against which changes can be measured

active substances and preparations intended to destroy, deter or control harmful organisms by chemical or biological means. These include disinfectants, chemicals used to preserve products and materials, and non-agricultural pesticides.

Biological monitoring
the analysis of the amounts of potentially toxic substances and/or chemicals produced from them, present in body tissues and fluids, to assess levels of exposure and assist timing of preventative action. It is also the assessment of the biological status of organisms that are at risk.

Cocktail effect
a term commonly used to describe the possible effect on people of being exposed to a mixture of chemical residues, for example of different pesticides

the Committee on Toxicity of Chemicals in Food, Consumer Products and the Environment, an independent scientific committee that provides advice to the Food Standards Agency, the Department of Health and other Government agencies about the toxicity of chemicals

Crop husbandry
careful management of the establishment, growth and harvesting of crops

the level of a substance, for example a chemical, that a person or animal may be subjected to intentionally or non-intentionally. People can be exposed to substances through food, water and their environment.

Exposure assessment
the process of determining or estimating the magnitude, frequency or duration of exposure to a substance such as a chemical. This may involve taking measurements from many sources to produce an aggregate (combined) assessment.

chemical substances that kill or inhibit the growth of fungi

Growth regulators
man-made or natural compounds that encourage and control growth responses in plants or animals

pesticides that kill or control certain types of insect

Integrated crop management (ICM)
a system integrating a range of methods for producing and protecting crops, which aims to conserve and enhance the environment while producing safe wholesome food

Integrated pest management (IPM)
a system integrating a range of methods of pest control to produce healthy crops economically and to reduce or minimise risks to human health and the environment

Maximum residue level (MRL)
a legal limit for the maximum amount of residue that will be left on a food when a pesticide is applied according to instructions based on good agricultural practice. The MRL is a maximum legal level based on what would be expected if the pesticide was used correctly, it is not a safety limit. MRLs are intended primarily as a check that good agricultural practice is being followed and to assist international trade in produce treated with pesticides.

Organic food
food produced using methods that avoid the use of man-made fertilisers, pesticides, growth regulators and livestock feed additives. There are rules about when foods can be called ‘organic`.

a chemical or biological substance that is used to kill or control pests

animals, insects, fungi and plants that can harm food, people`s health or the environment

Plant growth regulators
chemical substances that affect the growth, germination, flowering or fruiting of plants, which are controlled like pesticides, with legal limits set for residues in food

Pesticide Residues Committee, an independent committee that advises Ministers, the Pesticides Safety Directorate (PSD) and the Food Standards Agency on surveillance programmes for pesticide residues in food and drink

Pesticides Safety Directorate, an executive agency of the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra)

the very small amounts of pesticides that can remain in a crop after harvesting or storage and make their way into the food chain

Risk assessment
the process of identifying and measuring the risk resulting from a specific use or occurrence of a chemical. Risk assessment takes into account the possible harmful effects on people of using the chemical in the way that is proposed and all the possible routes of exposure.

Safety limits
limits set by expert committees, for all approved pesticides, of the level of exposure that will not harm people`s health

Surveillance of pesticide residues
a programme carried out to monitor the food supply for the presence of pesticide residues

the study of the toxic effects of substances

Veterinary medicine
medicine used to treat disease and injuries in animals

Veterinary Medicines Directorate, an executive agency of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra)

Working Group for the Risk Assessment of Mixtures of Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines, established by the Committee on Toxicity of Chemicals in Food, Consumer Products and the Environment (COT)