Plant protection products are used to protect crops against disease and pests. These products may only be used if they have no adverse effect on humans and the environment. To ensure this, they are tested and assessed extensively. New plant protection products are currently being developed on the basis of double-stranded RNA. These products make it possible to target very specific diseases and pests. In addition, they are expected to be less harmful than chemical pesticides. RIVM has investigated whether the current plant protection product assessment framework is suitable for dsRNA products.
The investigation has shown that the current assessment framework is focused mainly on the effects of chemicals, which makes it less suitable for the assessment of dsRNA products. RIVM is therefore making a number of recommendations as to how the assessment framework for plant protection products could be adapted to make the assessment of dsRNA products possible. As an example, a longer period of exposure to plant protection products should be adopted for certain assessments, as the effects of dsRNA may take longer to become apparent.
This investigation was commissioned by the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality.