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EU increases the availability of biological pesticides

The EU is working to reduce the use of chemical pesticides and transition to sustainable food systems



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10 March 2022

The European Commission has taken measures to ensure access to biological plant protection products for use in fields across member states. As part of its Farm to Fork Strategy, the EU is working to reduce the use of chemical pesticides and transition to sustainable food systems.

EU member states have approved the new rules, which will facilitate the approval of micro-organisms for use as active substances in plant protection products. The new rules will provide EU farmers with additional options to substitute chemical products.

The rules are subject to scrutiny by the European Parliament and the Council. If they do not object, they will be adopted and be applicable in Q4 2022.

Micro-organisms include bacteria, fungi, viruses, and protozoa. Before micro-organism can be used in biological control of pests and plant diseases, it needs to be verified that their use is safe and has no negative consequences for human and animal health. The new rules reflect the latest scientific developments and are based on the specific biological properties of micro-organisms.

Micro-organisms used as biocontrol agents in plant protection products provide farmers with alternative tools to substitute chemical plant protection products and can also be used in organic agriculture. Both the EU’s Farm to Fork Strategy and Green Deal aim to reduce dependency on and use of chemical plant protection products.

It is expected that the new requirements will lead to faster access to the EU market for micro-organism and plant protection products containing them.

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