The Norwegian Scientific Committee for Food Safety (VKM) cannot exclude that the insecticide Plenum 50 WG can cause serious health effects for operators if personal protection equipment is not used. Animal exposure has resulted in increased incidences of lever and lung tumors, as well as serious damage to the nervous system, hereditary material and to foster development.
These adverse effects should have relevance also for humans, VKM concludes in a risk assessment performed at request of the Norwegian Food Safety Authority. The context is registration of Plenum for use in Norway.
VKM also concludes that the Norwegian Food Safety Authority should ask the notifier for better data, particularly about the effects on the hereditary material of experimental animals. Calculations show low risk for operators wearing protection equipment during application.
Plenum is containing the new active substance pymetrozine for use against different pests in ornaments, lettuce, cucumber and tomato in greenhouses, and against pollen beetles in oilseed- and tulip rapes. It is approved for use in EU, but not in Norway.
The effect mechanism in Plenum differs from all other insecticides known. It is also efficient against pests that are resistant against substances used so far, and is expected to play an important role in reducing risk of resistance development against the other insecticides registered for use against biting and suckling insects.
The risk assessment
VKM´s Panel on plant protection has prepared the risk assessment, which is based on the documentation submitted by the pesticide notifier and on international literature and methodology. The assessment will be included by the Norwegian Food Safety Authority as a basis for regarding an application for registration of the insecticide in Norway.