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EU proposes non-approval of rhubarb extract

The European Commission has proposed the non-approval of rhubarb (Rheum officinale) root extract as a “basic substance” under the EU agrochemical registration Regulation (1107/2009). Its decision was supported by EU member states in March. The application was submitted by the French Institut Technique de l’Agriculture Biologique in 2013, for fungicidal use. However, specific concerns were identified regarding the risk to operators, workers, bystanders, consumers and non-target organisms, the Commission says. Basic substances are not predominantly used as agrochemicals, but may be of value for plant protection. Successful applications can benefit from an unlimited approval period, but they have to satisfy strict safety requirements. Insufficient information was provided for the extract to complete the assessments for toxicology and environmental exposure, says the European Food Safety Authority. Furthermore, the extract requires boiling for 45 minutes and therefore does not meet the definition of a basic substance that is used directly or in a simple mixture with water, it adds. The Commission also notes that the information provided showed that it did not fulfil the criteria of a foodstuff.

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