Calls for Industry support abound, following unanimous agreement among a panel of experts from Industry, academia, policy makers and not-for-profit organisations that now is the perfect time to launch a campaign for regulatory reform in the UK, with a high likelihood of success predicted.
The Biopesticide Summit, which took place via a virtual platform on Tuesday 6th July 2021, was well attended with more than 200 people linking up to view live throughout the 3-hour event.
The Summit focussed on regulatory challenges and called for reform to create a regulatory environment that nurtures and supports the BioProtection (formerly known as Biopesticide) industry. This is a worldwide issue, but the UK environment is particularly open to change right now, thanks to the post-Brexit situation.
Adrian Dixon, from the UK’s Health & Safety Executive (HSE) Chemicals Regulation Division, began with an encouraging opening presentation that made it clear that the UK is open to discussions with Industry about developing appropriate regulations and processes for new BioProtection products.
Building on this promising start, Jennifer Lewis, Executive Director of the IBMA, outlined her vision of a successful regulatory system.
David Cary, Former Executive Director at the IBMA, outlined the rationale for change in the EU.
Thorben Looije, Owner Director of Valto, shared his own experiences of trying to register a new BioProtection product in the EU, which took 9 years. Mr Looije’s presentation was a striking example of the problems that SMEs face when dealing with the current regulatory system, and the damage that the system can do to small BioProtection businesses.
The evidence supporting calls for regulatory reform was overwhelming. Streamlining the regulatory process for BioProtection products in the UK and the EU would enable the authorities’ own deadlines to be met and would allow the struggling SMEs that make up the BioProtection Industry to fill the growing gaps in the pest control market.
“Twenty first century problems need twenty first century solutions,” commented Professor Shashi Sharma, Presidentof the World BioProtection Forum. “People are looking to the scientific community to come up with a solution to the damage caused by the excessive use of toxic chemical pesticides, and BioProtectants can provide that solution – we just need to get them to market.”
Tristan Jervis, Senior Public Affairs Consultant, explained how the World BioProtection Forum’s lobbying campaign will make use of the unique window of opportunity in post-Brexit Britain. The UK Government has just announced that a new unit is being set-up to shed certain EU regulations, and it has declared its support for sectors making for a greener environment (given the importance of the green agenda as a pillar in the UK’s industrial strategy). In this political climate, post-Brexit and post-COVID, the case for regulatory reform is likely to receive a sympathetic and fair hearing. Mr Jervis called on the industry to support the World BioProtection Forum’s campaign, both in terms of adding political weight to the campaign, and by helping to fund the campaign activities.
“Success depends on us all pulling together now, as an industry,” said Dr Minshad Ansari, Chairman of the World BioProtection Forum. “We now know that policy makers will listen but we need enough voices to make enough noise! If we have enough companies supporting the campaign, willing to put their logos and names behind us, then policy makers will definitely listen and we can finally make the regulatory changes we have been requesting for more than 20 years.”
No company working in the Bioprotection industry, and wanting to register their products in the UK, can afford not to be involved in this campaign.
Visit https://www.worldbioprotectionforum.com/regulatory-reform/# to register your support, and the World BioProtection Forum will be in touch soon.
Dr Sarah Harding
The Biopesticide Summit is the annual meeting of the World BioProtection Forum (WBF) and its members.
The WBF is a non-profit organisation for encouraging collaboration across the biocontrol industry and academia. The WBF was founded in 2019 to encourage the successful development and commercialisation of novel biological control products for agricultural pests and diseases. To join the WBF, or for more information, please visit https://www.worldbioprotectionforum.com/