Europe: Slow legislation blocks admission of new biological agents

Interest groups Artemis and IBMA are worried that regulations on organic agriculture and integrated pest management are too slow in coming to fruition. As a result, many new agents are still awaiting approval. Artemis represents the interest of producers and traders of biological agents, pollinators and crop protection of natural origin. The International Bio control Manufacturer's Association (IBMA) is the global association of companies that produce pesticides based on macro-organisms, microorganisms, semi-chemicals and natural substances.

Approximately four years after the introduction of the new European legislation, there is yet to materialize criteria for low-risk agents, while a procedure for evaluation is still pending. Acceleration of this process, organisations say, is needed. At present, some agents have been waiting 10 years for admission.

The admission of natural enemies, such as parasitic wasps and predatory mites, is usually swift. The admittance of biological agents on the basis of micro-organisms and natural substances is, however, complex and costly. One stumbling block is that botanical extracts often consist of several active substances, each requiring an authorization and a dossier. Suppliers are often too small to pay for them. A modified procedure should offer a solution, according to interest groups.

Source: Artemis en IBMA

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