Microbiological Plant Protection Task Force - Position Paper -
Wednesday, 03.11.2021 General
In May 2021, when the few microbiological plant protection products that are already available on the market were threatened with removal, the affected companies (including e-nema GmbH) established a Task Force.
The problem: Despite the fact that the products have been classified as safe by the European Commission, an approval extension requires delivery of data that is typical for chemical products but which is difficult or even impossible for biological products to make available.
The actual scandal here is that the current approval process for biological plant protection products is in contradiction to the stated goals of the EU's Farm to Fork strategy and Green Deal. According to the Green Deal, the use of chemical pesticides should be reduced by 50% by 2030.
There is a list of chemical substitute candidates which will remain on the market because it is assumed that there are no available alternatives. At the same time, market entry for biological products is made difficult and they are even being removed from the market, despite the fact that the Swedish regulatory authorities and other serious organisations have classified these products as "low risk".
Some biological products have been successfully in use on people and the environment without negative impact for 10 to 15 years. Nevertheless, the EFSA (European Food Safety Authority) demands additional data for these products. This will, in all probability, lead to these products being removed from the market.
In order to demonstrate the undesired effects of the EU Commission's current politics, the Task Force has compared seven chemical substitute candidates with seven biological plant protection products that are currently still approved.
The EU Commission is considering removing the latter from the market due to incomplete data. The comparison conclusively confirms that the EU Commission is on the point of allowing potentially poisonous and unsafe chemical substances to remain in the EU while simultaneously forbidding the use of harmless biological plant protection products.
Because the effects of climate change mean that we are increasingly confronted by new and invasive pests and diseases, it is more important than ever to be able to draw on sustainable, biological plant protection products for facing these new challenges.
We should no longer rely on obsolete chemical agents. This is only possible if we have an agile, prompt, efficient and appropriate regulatory system for biological plant protection products. One which allows us to bring these modern methods to market quickly and thereby ensure safe and effective use to the benefit of agriculture, people and the environment.