Poor equipment of domestic laboratories and outdated guidelines for which they work do not allow effective control of the quality of pesticides in Russia and the correct determination of their residual amounts in food products. This, in particular, is evidenced by the increasing returns of exported batches of domestic crop products that have not been tested in foreign testing centers. The situation is aggravated by the inconsistency of international and Russian standards of pesticides, the lack of proper control of the import of plant protection products in the country, as well as their turnover and use as a whole. The company "August" called the measures that could improve the scope of supervision of the KhSZR.
The market of chemical plant protection products (CSF) in Russia continues to grow rapidly following the development of the agricultural sector. Upon registration, new drugs undergo comprehensive toxicological, environmental, hygienic and other necessary tests, and recently a mandatory check of the active substance for its compliance with international requirements has been introduced into this process. Pesticide manufacturers are required to file a declaration of conformity, confirming that they are releasing the very product that has passed the registration tests. At the same time, this does not fully protect farmers from acquiring substandard KhSZR.
“The production of pesticides in Russia is subject to mandatory control, however, the import of imported drugs today provides only verification of documents at customs, which allows funds with an unverified composition to enter the market. There are examples when high-quality preparations with the original active substance were transferred for registration tests, but a completely different imported product went on sale according to their registration certificate. There are not enough barriers for the circulation of KHZR not registered in Russia and imported illegally, since the use of pesticides “in the fields” has not been verified since the Rosselkhoznadzor lost its authority in 2011. This department could again take over the control of the circulation and use of the KhSZR - to seize a batch of drugs for control inspections and, if necessary, take serious measures, ”said Vladimir Alginin, Deputy General Director for General Affairs at August.
According to company experts, current Russian standards (GOST R 51247-99 "Pesticides. General Specifications" and GOST 21507-2013 "Plant Protection. Terms and Definitions") also do not fully meet the market needs. For example, it does not contain detailed characteristics of modern formulations, and their types do not meet international standards. In addition, the maxima and minima of the variability of indicators were not set, in particular, in terms of the content of active substances in the preparations.
A combination of these factors questions the quality of food produced in Russia. The last outpost of the control system are analyzes to determine the residual pesticides in the product. However, not every domestic laboratory, even with accreditation, is able to fulfill them in a high-quality manner.
“There are already quite a lot of examples when our agricultural products, going for export, return back: laboratories abroad reveal residual pesticides in it, which are either completely banned there or their permissible amount is exceeded. And if you do not change the situation with the quality of control in the industry within the country, it is unclear what will happen to the export. The question is very serious: the volume of Russian agricultural exports today is higher than the volume of arms exports. And this is not to mention the internal consumption and health of our citizens, ”said Vladimir Alginin.
“The equipment of a number of laboratories in our country is at the level of the 80s,” says Larisa Elinevskaya, head of the Department for the development of preparative forms of the company “August”. - So, the determination of pesticide residues in products is often still carried out by thin layer chromatography (TLC), which allows only the fact of the presence of these residues to be detected. At the same time, for all used substances, modern gas and high-performance liquid chromatography techniques have already been developed and approved in the form of methodological guidelines, which make it possible to determine the value of residual amounts of pesticides with high accuracy. However, laboratories are allowed to obtain accreditation in the determination of pesticide residues using the outdated TLC method, the corresponding methodological guidelines (MUK) governing its use to identify traces of pesticides in products since the Soviet era. Termination of these MUKs could stimulate the modernization of laboratories and improve quality control of agricultural products in Russia. ”
The level of laboratory equipment affects - which is equally important - and on the quality control of pesticides themselves: it is often impossible to determine if the preparation meets the requirements of technical specifications (TU). For manufacturers, this makes it difficult to obtain a declaration of conformity, and in addition, complicates disputes between them and farmers about the effectiveness of a particular drug. If any product does not work, it is sent to the laboratory to check whether the amount of the active substance matches the declared. But finding a center equipped with modern chromatographs that you can rely on is not easy.
“Some laboratories offer customers to use the TLC method to determine the amount of active substance in the drug. But it is focused on identifying traces of pesticides, and not on calculating the amount of the component, which can account for a third or more of the volume of the drug: I would figuratively compare the application of this method with measuring the distance to the moon with a centimeter ruler. As a result, farmers pay for a useless analysis, and because of its enormous error, the unresolved questions remain whether the pesticide itself was poor-quality or it was used incorrectly, ”says Larisa Elinevskaya.
Is it true that registered preparations are produced at the plants of manufacturers of the KhSZR? It is checked by the Rosselkhoznadzor and other supervisory authorities, but internal quality control at the enterprise is also of great importance. So, the August integrated company voluntarily introduced a corporate integrated management system that meets the international standards ISO 9001, ISO 14001, ISO 45001. Thus, quality management, monitoring of compliance with safe working conditions of employees and environmental safety of world production are carried out inside the company level. At each production site of the August company there is a quality service and a central factory laboratory (CPL), and at the Vurnary plant there is a Research and Production Center (SPC). Laboratories control methods are uniform and are created at the head office level - in the Department for the development of preparative forms. Control begins with raw materials: the technical control department (QC) “at the entrance” carries out sampling from each batch, and laboratories analyze them. Poor quality raw materials are immediately blocked. If the laboratory gives permission for the use of raw materials, production begins, and at each of its stages special analyzes of intermediate products are carried out.
“When the preparation of the preparation is completed and the product is already in the packaging reactor, but the packaging has not yet begun, a sample is taken from there and analyzes are carried out on the conformity of the TU preparation. If everything is fine, permission is given for packaging, ”says Vladimir Alginin.
After packing, the OTC again selects the drug from the cans. At this stage, the so-called representative and arbitration tests are formed. Based on the results of the analysis of the representative sample, a passport for the drug is issued, and an arbitration sample is necessary to confirm the quality of the product in the event of a dispute. Both samples are stored in a stock of arbitration samples throughout the shelf life of the drug.
So that the consumer can verify the authenticity of the product, and therefore its quality, the August company introduced a system of serial labeling of products for the agricultural industry according to the GS-1 standard. Its peculiarity is that the code on each product contains not only the registration number of the product, but also a unique serial number of the package. You can verify the authenticity of the product by simply scanning it in a special application installed on a regular smartphone.
Material provided by the press service of the company "August"