Fragmented regulations for biostimulants impede more sustainable agriculture

The biostimulants sector can make an important contribution to the “smart, sustainable and inclusive growth,” outlined in the Europe 2020 Strategy, but only if an appropriate regulatory framework is put in place. The current situation creates too much uncertainty and slows down both innovation and the investment that feeds innovation. Because biostimulants sit in a grey zone between traditional concepts of plant nutrition and plant protection, attempting to classify them into existing regulatory frameworks has resulted in a fragmented and contradictory system in Europe. For this reason, the European Biostimulants Industry Consortium (EBIC) welcomes the inclusion of biostimulants in the review of Regulation (EC) 2003/2003, but cautions that the wrong regulatory approach to biostimulants could discourage their commercialisation and use. This would deprive European farmers of a critical tool for improving agricultural sustainability, not to mention the highly skilled jobs that biostimulant companies provide, often in rural zones and small cities.

The innovative nature of the biostimulant sector requires a flexible regulatory approach. Flexible does not mean lower safety or efficacy requirements. EBIC suggests taking many best aspects of efficacy and safety from existing EU Regulations (REACH, plant protection, fertilisers, etc.) and incorporating them into a new, adapted approach that focuses on what matters most: giving farmers and other end users a choice of effective and safe products that allow them to grow crops and other plants ever more sustainably.

Download EBIC’s position on the options for regulating biostimulants, including Annexes I & II.

Download Annex III of EBIC’s position on the options for regulating biostimulants.

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