Biopesticides in the U.S.: Classification & Regulatory Processes

Category : 2015
Tags : risk assessment, EPA, biopesticides

March 4, 2015

Dr. Russell Jones, USEPA

Russell Jones

Biopesticides are distinguished from conventional chemical pesticides by their natural occurrence, minimal toxicity to humans and the environment, and low volume use. They include biochemical and microbial pesticides and the Plant-Incorporated Protectants. A standard tiered risk assessment paradigm of analyzing hazards and exposures is used to assess pesticidal risks to human health and the environment. Potential risks are determined first from estimates of hazard and exposure under “worst-case” scenarios (Tier I). Subsequent testing (Tiers II, III and IV) may be required to assess adverse effects under more realistic conditions, or when lower-tiered studies suggest potentially unacceptable risks. Risk assessments are developed from a synthesis of test results, intended uses and the open literature to fulfill data requirements that address the primary disciplines of product chemistry and manufacturing, mammalian health and ecological effects. The US EPA has over 20 years of regulatory experience in preparing risk assessments to support the registration of biopesticides. The presentation will provide an overview of biopesticides, the tiered risk assessment approach, and statutes governing pesticide registration in the U.S.

Dr. Jones has a strong background in research and the field application of pesticides and plant regulators. He received a B.A. in Biology from Mansfield University, a M.S. in Crop Science, with a minor in Soil Science from N.C. State University, and a Ph.D. in Agronomy & Crop Physiology from the University of Arkansas. He has conducted human health and ecotoxicity risk assessments on conventional chemicals and biopesticides for over 20 years in both private and government sectors. Dr. Jones joined the Office of Pesticide Programs of US EPA in 1997 and currently is the Senior Biologist in the Biochemical Pesticides Branch (BPB) of the Biopesticides & Pollution Prevention Division. As Senior Biologist, he conducts risk assessments and reviews of product chemistry, human health, ecotoxicity, and product performance studies and supervises the scientific reviews conducted by BPB staff. Since 1999, he has been Chair of the Biochemical Classification Committee which reviews information on new pesticide active ingredients to determine if they meet the statutory criteria for classification as Biochemical pesticides.

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