CRA-W is a key player in the international standardisation of pesticide analysis methods
baes, Collaborative International Pesticides Analytical Council, is an international non-governmental organisation whose goal is to promote the standardisation of methods of pesticide analysis and organisation of inter-laboratory programmes to evaluate these analysis methods.
Analysis methods are generally proposed to CIPAC by manufacturers of plant protection products and biocides or by scientific institutions, and are tested by laboratories around the world. Over the past 10 years, CRA-W has participated in more than 50 collaborative studies, allowing standardisation of methods of analysis of active substances and their relevant impurities in technical and formulated pesticide products (herbicides, fungicides, growth regulators, nematicides, bactericides, etc.), as well as methods for determining the physical and chemical properties of pesticides. CRA-W has recently organised collaborative studies for innovative methods of analysis of pesticides for public health use. The results of collaborative studies are evaluated by CIPAC members before their adoption if the criteria of intra-laboratory repeatability and inter-laboratory reproducibility are met. The methods adopted are then published in manuals and on CD-ROM.
These CIPAC standardised analysis methods are used worldwide to develop FAO and WHO specifications for pesticides used in agriculture and public health, to carry out the physical and chemical studies necessary for product approval or to control quality of products placed on the market.
CRA-W has been closely associated with the activities of CIPAC since its creation in 1957. Olivier Pigeon, Scientific Director of the Protection, Control Products and Residues Unit of CRA-W, has been a member of CIPAC since 2011 and represents Belgium among the 25 other members from different countries around the world. His predecessors were also members of CIPAC and even chaired it for several years. His colleague Marie Baes, Laboratory Manager, was recently elected CIPAC correspondent. CIPAC's annual meetings are also an opportunity for CRA-W researchers to present their work in the field of analysis of plant protection products and biocides.