Trust in Fera for your agrochemicals safety testing.

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Trust in Fera for your agrochemicals safety testing.

Fera Science has over 30 years’ experience working with international partners, helping them develop effective, sustainable, and safe chemical products that minimise ecosystem impact and pollution.

Whether you are focussed on aquatic or terrestrial ecotoxicology, our goal is to provide you with high quality endpoints for the registration of your crop protection product. As your partner we offer you access to state-of-the-art facilities and a leading team of expert ecotoxicologists who can deliver studies appropriate to your needs, across global regulatory frameworks.

Our ecotoxicological studies are complemented by a dedicated team of analytical chemists who support the development and validation of analytical methods and confirm exposure concentrations.  We also have an Environmental Fate team with extensive experience in environmental fate process studies including degradation, sorption, hydrolysis, photolysis and plant uptake using both radiolabelled and non-radiolabelled compounds

How Fera has helped Agrochemical companies

The following case studies show how our expertise has helped our partners’ agrochemical testing process:

High chemical concentrations in ground-water are of concern as organisms within the direct ecosystem are then exposed to potentially toxic chemicals. There is also the risk of these chemicals entering our water system and contaminating drinking water. The Plant Uptake Factor experiment is designed to give chemical manufactures the option to reduce ground water risk.

Our client had performed the standard experiments for the assessment of their plant protection product and had identified a significant metabolite (>10%) occurred during the soil transformation assessment (OECD 307). Further environmental testing on this metabolite identified that it had high mobility (OECD 106) and was moderately persistent (OECD 307). This generated a major issue for our client as it indicated that following application of the parent product in the field, the resulting metabolite was highly likely to leach into ground water. Computer-aided modelling indicated that metabolite levels would be above the standardised trigger level of 10 µg/L in the ground water, generating an unacceptable risk. To generate the predicted levels in ground water our client was hindered by the fact that a default PUF value of ‘0’, i.e. no uptake, must be used at the modelling stage if no experimental data is available (FOCUS 2014). 

Fera Science performed a PUF assessment on the metabolite-of-interest and we were able to demonstrate that the metabolite was up taken by the root system of three different crops under laboratory conditions. The three different commercial crops were a mixture of monocotyledon and dichotomous species and showed PUF values between 0.3 and 0.5.

Our client was then able to provide a robust justification for altering the PUF value within the modelling phase and significantly reduce the concentrations within groundwater yielding an acceptable risk. This helped the client meet their regulations and contributed towards getting their product to market.

Why not select a convenient time to talk to our expert team, to see how they can help you with registering a new, or re-registering an existing chemical compound, click the link or complete the form below 

Our partners wished to assess the distribution of nicotinoids in honeybees. The use of these compounds has been linked to adverse ecological effects and an impact on bee health, so it was important to understand how they were distributed in vivo following exposure.

Honeybees were dosed orally with a nicotinoid compound and 30µm sections taken using a microtome. The distribution of the nicotinoid and its major metabolites was then studied using matrix assisted laser desorption ionisation (MALDI). This technique is an emerging technology based on a surface sampling process and allows analysis and visualisation of endogenous proteins and peptides along with exogenous molecular species, such as pesticides, within the same tissue section, and with high molecular specificity. MALDI imaging has been shown to provide data analogous to whole body autoradiography (WBA) providing highly selective analyte data.

The data obtained in this study demonstrated that high quality tissue distribution and biotransformation data can be obtained using MALDI techniques.

Our environmental risk assessment and specialist research services include:


Aquatic, bee and pollination, terrestrial, higher tier/sediment, wildlife, and endocrine disruptors


Analytical chemistry and residues studies 

Fate and Metabolism

Biodegradation, bioaccumulation, mobility studies, soil and water/sediment metabolism, plant and livestock metabolism

Efficacy Testing

Primary, secondary, tertiary, and quaternary screens



Semi-field, and field-based studies

We understand that the path to registering a new, or re-registering an existing chemical compound can be challenging. Let Fera help you with this process - Select a suitable time and day for you one of our expert team will be in touch and see how you can achieve more with a partner you can rely on.

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