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Plant protection products/pesticides

Plant protection products/pesticides

We research pesticide behaviour at experimental and computational level, in order to incorporate tools into their risk assessment process under European regulation that allow to reduce the number of experimental studies and identify scenarios that require measures of mitigation to achieve a sustainable use of plant protection products.

Grupo de investigación dependiente del

Vicedirección de Investigación​

Our research tries to improve and ensure sustainable use of plant protection products, with special attention to low-risk products and minor uses, through the study of the degradation of active substances and plant protection products used for the protection of crops and incorporation of the knowledge generated in the evaluation process performed in our unit. The European regulation for the assessment of active substances and plant protection products requires that both be approved and authorized in the light of existing scientific and technical knowledge. In this sense, our unit is a benchmark in both scientific and technical activities, with personnel trained in this regard.


We have extensive research experience and international recognition in the identification and quantification of the transformation products generated from the active substances and plant protection products for crops protection, characterization of their physicochemical and environmental properties and validation of the analytical methods used for such purposes. For this reason, since 1997 our unit performs the risk assessment of these compounds, in addition to advising and collaborating with national government agencies and institutions (e.g., MAPA (ES), ANSES (FR), BENAKI (EL), Ctgb (NL), AGES (AT), etc.) and European (e.g., European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), European Commission, etc.). Our unit also participates in groups of experts as scientific support for the assessment of active substances and plant protection products for crops protection in Europe and in the development of guides and protocols for the improvement of the research and assessment commented previously. The development of this research activity requires highly qualified personnel and the use and knowledge of cutting-edge techniques of analytical and organic chemistry (e.g., chromatography, NMR, mass spectrometry, etc.), of the latest generation computational tools used in quantum chemistry (e.g., Gaussian, QTAIM, NBO, etc.), of computational models based on the use of quantitative structure-activity / property relationships (QSAR / QSPR), of advanced statistical programs (e.g., Unscrambler, SPSS, Statgraphics, etc.), of exposure models (e.g., PEARL, PRZM, FOCUS, NMI3, HAIR, etc.) to perform an estimation of the environmental risk and on non-target species. As a whole, our research and evaluation activity is a fundamental part of a guarantee system that provides knowledge for sustainable agricultural production and in accordance with European regulations, with its own characteristics and that differentiate it from those of countries with less strict regulation, always safeguarding the competitiveness of European agriculture within a global market with a consumer who is increasingly demanding and concerned about their health and nutrition and for the environment.


Coordinador de Grupo

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