Admission of 'green' growth products in European agriculture is being accelerated

The authorization of biological crop protection agents in European agriculture will be accelerated and simplified. The European Commission wants to encourage the use of environmentally friendly alternatives to chemical crop protection. That should be in order by November, said Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides.

Brussels hopes to be able to equip European farmers better with new products, so that they can replace chemical crop protection products in due course. The EU 'farm-to-fork' food strategy has identified the need to halve the use of chemicals, but agricultural organizations point out that no alternative is yet being offered.

The relaxed procedures have already been accepted by the EU member states but have yet to be approved by the European Parliament. Last month, the Dutch MEP Bert-Jan Ruissen (SGP) brought the slow procedures to the attention of (temporary) EU chairman Julien Denormandie. 

Ruissen pointed out to the French minister the lack of capacity in many European countries to assess replacement resources quickly and properly. Denormandie said that Ruissen is "one hundred percent right that the admission is going much too slowly. That approval takes three or four years is far too long.' 

Currently, 'green' pesticides are subject to the same strict testing criteria as chemical agents. The requirements will soon have to be adapted to the biological and ecological properties of the product. 

While forms of biocontrol have long been used in agriculture, they have recently received renewed attention as a sustainable and viable alternative to chemical pesticides. As it stands, more than 60 microorganisms have been approved for use in the EU in the EU.

Alternatives are needed in agriculture to halve the use of chemical crop protection agents in a few years' time. The EU Committee admits that bacteria, fungi and viruses often have a worse effect than chemical agents, especially if the conditions during application are not ideal.