Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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    Implementation of PROMETHEUS 4‐step approach for evidence use in EFSA scientific assessments: benefits, issues, needs and solutions
    Aiassa, Elisa ; Martino, Laura ; Barizzone, Fulvio ; Ciccolallo, Laura ; Garcia, Ana ; Georgiadis, Marios ; Guajardo, Irene Muñoz ; Tomcikova, Daniela ; Alexander, Jan ; Calistri, Paolo ; Gundert‐remy, Ursula ; Hart, Andrew David ; Hoogenboom, Ron Laurentius ; Messean, Antoine ; Naska, Androniki ; Navarro, Maria Navajas ; Noerrung, Birgit ; Ockleford, Colin ; Wallace, Robert John ; Younes, Maged ; Abuntori, Blaize ; Alvarez, Fernando ; Aryeetey, Monica ; Baldinelli, Francesca ; Barrucci, Federica ; Bau, Andrea ; Binaglia, Marco ; Broglia, Alessandro ; Castoldi, Anna Federica ; Christoph, Eugen ; Sesmaisons‐Lecarré, Agnes De; Georgiadis, Nikolaos ; Gervelmeyer, Andrea ; Istace, Frederique ; López‐Gálvez, Gloria ; Manini, Paola ; Maurici, Daniela ; Merten, Caroline ; Messens, Winy ; Mosbach‐Schulz, Olaf ; Putzu, Claudio ; Bordajandi, Luisa Ramos ; Smeraldi, Camilla ; Tiramani, Manuela ; Martínez, Silvia Valtueña ; Sybren, Vos ; Hardy, Anthony Richard ; Hugas, Marta ; Kleiner, Juliane ; Seze, Guilhem De - \ 2018
    EFSA Supporting Publications 15 (2018)4. - ISSN 2397-8325
    In 2014, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) started the PROMETHEUS (PROmoting METHods for Evidence Use in Scientific assessments) project to improve further and increase the consistency of the methods it uses in its scientific assessments. The project defined a set of principles for the scientific assessment process and a 4‐step approach (plan/carry out/verify/report) for their fulfilment, which was tested in ten case studies, one from each EFSA panel. The present report describes the benefits, issues, needs and solutions related to the implementation of the 4‐step approach in EFSA, identified in a dedicated workshop in October 2017. The key benefits of the approach, which was deemed applicable to all types of EFSA scientific assessment including assessments of regulated products, are: 1) increased ‘scientific value’ of EFSA outputs, i.e. the extent of impartiality, methodological rigour, transparency and engagement; 2) guarantee of fitness‐for‐purpose, as it implies tailoring the methods to the specificities of each assessment; 3) efficiency gain, since preparing a protocol for the assessment upfront helps more streamlined processes throughout the implementation phase; 4) innovation, as the approach promotes the pioneering practice of ‘planning before doing’ (well established in primary research) for broad scientific assessments in regulatory science; and 5) increased harmonisation and consistency of EFSA assessments. The 4‐step approach was also considered an effective system for detecting additional methodological and/or expertise needs and a useful basis for further defining a quality management system for EFSA's scientific processes. The identified issues and solutions related to the implementation of the approach are: a) lack of engagement and need for effective communication on benefits and added value; b) need for further advances especially in the field of problem formulation/protocol development, evidence appraisal and evidence integration; c) need for specialised expertise in the previous aspects; and specific needs for d) assessments of regulated products and e) outsourced projects.
    Scientific Opinion about the Guidance of the Chemical Regulation Directorate (UK) on how aged sorption studies for pesticides should be conducted, analysed and used in regulatory assessments
    Ockleford, C. ; Hernandez-Jerez, A.F. ; Hougaard Bennekou, S. ; Klein, M. ; Adriaanse, P.I. ; Berny, P. ; Brock, T.C.M. ; Duquesne, S. ; Grilli, S. ; Kuhl, T. - \ 2018
    EFSA Journal 16 (2018)8. - ISSN 1831-4732 - 86 p.
    plant protection products, aged sorption, guidance, modelling, leaching, review
    The EFSA Panel on Plant Protection Products and their Residues reviewed the guidance on how aged sorption studies for pesticides should be conducted, analysed and used in regulatory assessment. The inclusion of aged sorption is a higher tier in the groundwater leaching assessment. The Panel based its review on a test with three substances taken from a data set provided by the European Crop Protection Association. Particular points of attention were the quality of the data provided, the proposed fitting procedure of aged sorption experiments and the proposed method for combining results obtained from aged sorption studies and lower‐tier studies on degradation and adsorption. Aged sorption was a relevant process in all cases studied. The test revealed that the guidance could generally be well applied and resulted in robust and plausible results. The Panel considers the guidance suitable for use in the groundwater leaching assessment after the recommendations in this Scientific Opinion have been implemented, with the exception of the use of field data to derive aged sorption parameters. The Panel noted that the draft guidance could only be used by experienced users because there is no software tool that fully supports the work flow in the guidance document. It is therefore recommended that a user‐friendly software tool be developed. Aged sorption lowered the predicted concentration in groundwater. However, because aged sorption experiments may be conducted in different soils than lower‐tier degradation and adsorption experiments, it cannot be guaranteed that the higher tier predicts lower concentrations than the lower tier, while lower tiers should be more conservative than higher tiers. To mitigate this problem, the Panel recommends using all available higher‐ and lower‐tier data in the leaching assessment. The Panel further recommends that aged sorption parameters for metabolites be derived only from metabolite‐dosed studies. The formation fraction can be derived from parent‐dosed degradation studies, provided that the parent and metabolite are fitted with the best‐fit model, which is the double first‐order in parallel model in the case of aged sorption.
    Scientific Opinion on the state of the science on pesticide risk assessment for amphibians and reptiles
    Ockleford, C. ; Adriaanse, P.I. ; Berny, P. ; Brock, T.C.M. ; Duquesne, S. ; Grilli, S. ; Hernandez-Jerez, A.F. ; Hougaard Bennekou, S. ; Klein, M. ; Kuhl, T. - \ 2018
    EFSA Journal 16 (2018)2. - ISSN 1831-4732 - 301 p.
    amphibians, reptiles, risk assessment, pesticides, protection goals, effects, population
    Following a request from EFSA, the Panel on Plant Protection Products and their Residues developed an opinion on the science to support the potential development of a risk assessment scheme of plant protection products for amphibians and reptiles. The coverage of the risk to amphibians and reptiles by current risk assessments for other vertebrate groups was investigated. Available test methods and exposure models were reviewed with regard to their applicability to amphibians and reptiles. Proposals were made for specific protection goals aiming to protect important ecosystem services and taking into consideration the regulatory framework and existing protection goals for other vertebrates. Uncertainties, knowledge gaps and research needs were highlighted.
    Scientific Opinion on the state of the art of Toxicokinetic/Toxicodynamic (TKTD) effect models for regulatory risk assessment of pesticides for aquatic organisms
    Ockleford, Colin ; Adriaanse, Paulien ; Berny, Philippe ; Brock, Theodorus ; Duquesne, Sabine ; Grilli, Sandro ; Hernandez‐Jerez, Antonio F. ; Bennekou, Susanne Hougaard ; Klein, Michael ; Kuhl, Thomas ; Laskowski, Ryszard ; Machera, Kyriaki ; Pelkonen, Olavi ; Pieper, Silvia ; Smith, Robert H. ; Stemmer, Michael ; Sundh, Ingvar ; Tiktak, Aaldrik ; Topping, Christopher J. ; Wolterink, Gerrit ; Cedergreen, Nina ; Charles, Sandrine ; Focks, Andreas ; Reed, Melissa ; Arena, Maria ; Ippolito, Alessio ; Byers, Harry ; Teodorovic, Ivana - \ 2018
    EFSA Journal 16 (2018)8. - ISSN 1831-4732
    Following a request from EFSA, the Panel on Plant Protection Products and their Residues (PPR) developed an opinion on the state of the art of Toxicokinetic/Toxicodynamic (TKTD) models and their use in prospective environmental risk assessment (ERA) for pesticides and aquatic organisms. TKTD models are species‐ and compound‐specific and can be used to predict (sub)lethal effects of pesticides under untested (time‐variable) exposure conditions. Three different types of TKTD models are described, viz., (i) the ‘General Unified Threshold models of Survival’ (GUTS), (ii) those based on the Dynamic Energy Budget theory (DEBtox models), and (iii) models for primary producers. All these TKTD models follow the principle that the processes influencing internal exposure of an organism, (TK), are separated from the processes that lead to damage and effects/mortality (TD). GUTS models can be used to predict survival rate under untested exposure conditions. DEBtox models explore the effects on growth and reproduction of toxicants over time, even over the entire life cycle. TKTD model for primary producers and pesticides have been developed for algae, Lemna and Myriophyllum. For all TKTD model calibration, both toxicity data on standard test species and/or additional species can be used. For validation, substance and species‐specific data sets from independent refined‐exposure experiments are required. Based on the current state of the art (e.g. lack of documented and evaluated examples), the DEBtox modelling approach is currently limited to research applications. However, its great potential for future use in prospective ERA for pesticides is recognised. The GUTS model and the Lemna model are considered ready to be used in risk assessment.
    Investigation into experimental toxicological properties of plant protection products having a potential link to Parkinson's disease and childhood leukaemia
    Ockleford, C. ; Adriaanse, P.I. ; Berny, P. ; Brock, T.C.M. ; Duquesne, S. ; Grilli, S. ; Hernandez-Jerez, A.F. ; Hougaard Bennekou, S. ; Klein, M. ; Kuhl, T. - \ 2017
    EFSA Journal 15 (2017)3. - ISSN 1831-4732 - 325 p.
    AOP, Parkinson’s disease, childhood leukaemia, infant leukaemia, pesticides, epidemiology
    In 2013, EFSA published a literature review on epidemiological studies linking exposure to pesticides and human health outcome. As a follow up, the EFSA Panel on Plant Protection Products and their residues (PPR Panel) was requested to investigate the plausible involvement of pesticide exposure as a risk factor for Parkinson's disease (PD) and childhood leukaemia (CHL). A systematic literature review on PD and CHL and mode of actions for pesticides was published by EFSA in 2016 and used as background documentation. The Panel used the Adverse Outcome Pathway (AOP) conceptual framework to define the biological plausibility in relation to epidemiological studies by means of identification of specific symptoms of the diseases as AO. The AOP combines multiple information and provides knowledge of biological pathways, highlights species differences and similarities, identifies research needs and supports regulatory decisions. In this context, the AOP approach could help in organising the available experimental knowledge to assess biological plausibility by describing the link between a molecular initiating event (MIE) and the AO through a series of biologically plausible and essential key events (KEs). As the AOP is chemically agnostic, tool chemical compounds were selected to empirically support the response and temporal concordance of the key event relationships (KERs). Three qualitative and one putative AOP were developed by the Panel using the results obtained. The Panel supports the use of the AOP framework to scientifically and transparently explore the biological plausibility of the association between pesticide exposure and human health outcomes, identify data gaps, define a tailored testing strategy and suggests an AOP's informed Integrated Approach for Testing and Assessment (IATA).
    Scientific Opinion of the PPR Panel on the follow‐up of the findings of the External Scientific Report ‘Literature review of epidemiological studies linking exposure to pesticides and health effects’
    Ockleford, C. ; Adriaanse, P.I. ; Berny, P. ; Brock, T.C.M. ; Duquesne, S. ; Grilli, S. ; Hougaard Bennekou, S. ; Klein, M. ; Kuhl, T. ; Laskowski, R. - \ 2017
    EFSA Journal 15 (2017)10. - ISSN 1831-4732 - 101 p.
    epidemiology, pesticides, risk assessment, quality assessment, evidence synthesis, lines of evidence, weight-of-evidence
    In 2013, EFSA published a comprehensive systematic review of epidemiological studies published from 2006 to 2012 investigating the association between pesticide exposure and many health outcomes. Despite the considerable amount of epidemiological information available, the quality of much of this evidence was rather low and many limitations likely affect the results so firm conclusions cannot be drawn. Studies that do not meet the ‘recognised standards’ mentioned in the Regulation (EU) No 1107/2009 are thus not suited for risk assessment. In this Scientific Opinion, the EFSA Panel on Plant Protection Products and their residues (PPR Panel) was requested to assess the methodological limitations of pesticide epidemiology studies and found that poor exposure characterisation primarily defined the major limitation. Frequent use of case–control studies as opposed to prospective studies was considered another limitation. Inadequate definition or deficiencies in health outcomes need to be avoided and reporting of findings could be improved in some cases. The PPR Panel proposed recommendations on how to improve the quality and reliability of pesticide epidemiology studies to overcome these limitations and to facilitate an appropriate use for risk assessment. The Panel recommended the conduct of systematic reviews and meta‐analysis, where appropriate, of pesticide observational studies as useful methodology to understand the potential hazards of pesticides, exposure scenarios and methods for assessing exposure, exposure–response characterisation and risk characterisation. Finally, the PPR Panel proposed a methodological approach to integrate and weight multiple lines of evidence, including epidemiological data, for pesticide risk assessment. Biological plausibility can contribute to establishing causation.
    Scientific Opinion addressing the state of the science on risk assessment of plant protection products for in-soil organisms
    Ockleford, C. ; Adriaanse, P.I. ; Berny, P. ; Brock, T.C.M. ; Duquesne, S. ; Grilli, S. ; Hernandez-Jerez, A.F. ; Hougaard Bennekou, S. ; Klein, M. ; Kuhl, T. - \ 2017
    EFSA Journal 15 (2017)2. - ISSN 1831-4732 - 225 p.
    Following a request from EFSA, the Panel on Plant Protection Products and their Residues developed an opinion on the science behind the risk assessment of plant protection products for in-soil organisms. The current risk assessment scheme is reviewed, taking into account new regulatory frameworks and scientific developments. Proposals are made for specific protection goals for in-soil organisms being key drivers for relevant ecosystem services in agricultural landscapes such as nutrient cycling, soil structure, pest control and biodiversity. Considering the time-scales and biological processes related to the dispersal of the majority of in-soil organisms compared to terrestrial non-target arthropods living above soil, the Panel proposes that in-soil environmental risk assessments are made at in- and off-field scale considering field boundary levels. A new testing strategy which takes into account the relevant exposure routes for in-soil organisms and the potential direct and indirect effects is proposed. In order to address species recovery and long-term impacts of PPPs, the use of population models is also proposed.
    Scientific motivations and criteria to consider updating EFSA assessments : Scientific opinion
    Hardy, A. ; Benford, D. ; Halldorsson, T. ; Jeger, M.J. ; Knutsen, K.H. ; More, S. ; Mortensen, A. ; Naegeli, H. ; Noteborn, H. ; Ockleford, C. ; Brock, T.C.M. - \ 2017
    EFSA Journal 15 (2017)3. - ISSN 1831-4732 - 11 p.
    EFSA is committed to assess and communicate the risks occurring in the food and feed chain from farm to fork and to provide other forms of scientific advice. This work, carried out by EFSA since its inception, has resulted in the adoption of thousands of scientific assessments. EFSA is obliged to re-assess past assessments in specific regulatory contexts such as those on food and feed additives, active substances in plant protection products and genetically modified food and feed. In other sectors, the consideration for updating past EFSA scientific assessments is taken on an ad hoc basis mainly depending on specific requests by risk managers or on EFSA self-tasking. If safety is potentially at stake in any area within EFSA's remit, the readiness to update past scientific assessments is important to keep EFSA at the forefront of science and to promote an effective risk assessment. Although this task might be very complex and resource demanding, it is fundamental to EFSA's mission. The present EFSA Scientific Committee opinion deals with scientific motivations and criteria to contribute to the timely updating of EFSA scientific assessments. It is recognised that the decision for updating should be agreed following careful consideration of all the relevant elements by the EFSA management, in collaboration with risk managers and stakeholders. The present opinion addresses the scientific approaches through which it would be possible for EFSA to increase the speed and effectiveness of the acquisition of new data, as well as, to improve the consequent evaluations to assess the relevance and reliability of new data in the context of contributing to the better definition of whether to update past scientific assessments.
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