Existing risk assessment and risk management approaches provide sufficient protection from combined exposures to trace levels of crop protection products that may be present in food or the environment (“mixture effects”). Nature itself is a mixture of chemicals and as such, humans and wildlife are continuously exposed to multiple chemicals – both natural and man-made – from a variety of sources. Exposure to multiple chemicals does not mean that harm will occur.
Safety factors used in current regulatory systems address potential exposure to crop protection product residues. There are high margins of safety in cases of potential cumulative effects from substances with similar modes of action (i.e., those that act via the same key biological changes, which are both measurable and necessary to produce the observed effects). Furthermore, exposure patterns (e.g., environmental fate, operator and consumers) for crop protection products are generally well understood as being an essential part of regulatory testing and approval.
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