With its Farm to Fork program, the European Commission is helping farmers in the EU transition away from the use of chemical pesticides by adopting new rules that will facilitate the approval of micro-organisms for use as active substances in plant protection products.
Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides today Tweeted: "Today we are adopting new rules to ensure that biological pesticides can reach our farmers faster. Safe alternatives are crucial to delivering on our commitment to reducing by 50% the use of chemical pesticides by 2030. Alternatives will help our planet and our health"
To support the EU's transition to sustainable food systems and the reduction of chemical pesticide use under the Farm to Fork strategy, the Commission is adopting new rules to increase the availability and access to organic plant protection products for use in Member States' fields.
The new rules will make it easier to authorize micro-organisms for use as active substances in plant protection products and give EU farmers additional options to replace chemical plant protection products with more sustainable alternatives.
According to Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides, "The transition to more sustainable food systems means finding alternatives to chemical pesticides that respect our planet and our health. The Commission is committed to facilitating this process by increasing the number of organic and low-risk alternatives on the market - we have already approved 20 low-risk alternatives since the beginning of our mandate. With these new rules, we will ensure that organic alternatives can get to our farmers even faster. The more resources we collectively invest in the evaluation of plant protection products, the more safe alternatives we will have to meet our commitment to reducing chemical pesticide use by 50 percent by 2030".
The new rules will place the biological and ecological properties of each microorganism at the heart of the scientific risk assessment process, which must demonstrate safety before microorganisms can be approved as active substances in plant protection products. This should speed up the approval of microorganisms and biological plant protection products containing them. Already approved by the Member States in February 2022, the new rules will apply from November 2022.
[With information from the European Commission