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European Commission assessing the use of caffeine as insecticideqrcode

Feb. 22, 2021

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Feb. 22, 2021

European Commission assessing the use of caffeine as insecticide

French company PROGAREIN France SAS is seeking approval to use caffeine as an insecticide in cabbage, potatoes and buxus and as molluscicide in all edible and non-edible crops.

In March 2013, the European Commission requested the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) to provide scientific assistance with respect to the evaluation of applications received by the European Commission concerning basic substances. By a further specific request, received from the European Commission in October 2020, EFSA was asked to organise a consultation on the basic substance application.

Caffeine is a naturally occurring chemical compound from methylxanthine class found in plant constituents such as coffee and cocoa beans, tea leaves, guarana berries and the kola nut, and has a long history of human consumption. It is added to a variety of foods, such as baked pastries, ice creams, sweets, and cola drinks. Caffeine is also found in so-called energy drinks, alongside other ingredients. It is also present in a number of food supplements that are marketed for weight loss and sports performance. Some medicines and cosmetics contain caffeine. When consumed by humans, caffeine stimulates the central nervous system, and in moderate doses increases alertness and reduces sleepiness. 

Caffeine (1,3,7-trimethylxanthine) (synthetic or natural origin) proposed as basic substance should meet the specifications of the European Pharmacopoeia. 

The identity of the proposed basic substance is still outstanding, in the revised submission the proposal remained European Pharmacopoeia grade 98.5% purity, however 15% caffeine was proposed as the basic substance. It was not clear that the proposed 15% caffeine is commercially available or not, or it should be prepared from caffeine 98.5% purity.

The current report summarises the outcome of the consultation process organised by EFSA on the basic substance application for approval of caffeine for use in plant protection as an insecticide and molluscicide, and presents EFSA’s scientific views on the individual comments received in the format of a reporting table.

Find out more in EFSA’s report:


Source: EFSA

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