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Call for accelerated pathways for plant protection products

As a manufacturer of crop protection products, the need to expedite the development of biological solutions is critical. The availability of chemical agents is dwindling, and the regulatory landscape presents significant challenges; under current regulations, it can take up to eight years before a new pesticide is approved for use in cultivation.

This situation can feel like walking on eggshells: progress is essential, but advancing seems nearly impossible. It's a frustrating dilemma. Thorben Looije of Valto articulates the issue clearly: "Many more agents are being removed from authorization. How can growers be helped?" As a researcher and producer, Valto is dedicated to finding new biological agents, or biocontrols. They are working diligently from their research greenhouses and laboratories to achieve this goal.

"The current regulations also impede us as producers. We are eager to make advancements, but there's a significant brake on our efforts, and we can't remove that brake ourselves. I urge Europe to adopt a more practical approach. Empower growers to secure our food supply," Thorben says. Valto's mission is to develop natural methods to combat viruses. Given the constraints posed by European legislation, they are expanding their focus beyond Europe, developing their biological crop protection products for the global market.

A significant milestone for Valto in 2024 is obtaining GEP and TNG accreditation from the NVWA. Only GEP (Good Experimental Practice)-recognized bodies are authorized to test whether crop protection products are effective and safe. With this GEP recognition, Valto can evaluate the efficacy and phytotoxicity of their products in their research greenhouse, generating data necessary for the dossier submission to the Ctgb to secure authorization. The TNG (Testing of Non-Approved Plant Protection Products) accreditation allows Valto to test plant protection products that are not yet approved in the Netherlands.

Valto's Growth
Valto has evolved into a significant player in the field: they now employ 16 people, including six researchers, and operate three laboratories (PCR and microbiological). They have a climate-controlled cell for optimal testing conditions and manage one hectare of research greenhouse space with various departments and the necessary certifications. Thorben adds, "It is inspiring to see the entire Valto team fully dedicated to developing new biocontrols. With GEP and TNG accreditation, our ambition is to begin the first tests this year on biocontrol products that growers can use in their greenhouses in the near future."

For more information:
Tel: +31 174 514 519
[email protected]

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