Leading biocontrol experts join the World BioProtection Forum

The World BioProtection Forum (WBF) is pleased to announce that two world-leading experts with unrivalled expertise in the US biopesticides regulatory system have joined the Advisory Committee of the (WBF) to help drive the campaign to reform regulations applied to bioprotection products in the UK and EU.

As global population continues to increase, expanded availability and utilization of bioprotection agricultural products (“biopesticides” in the United States) will enable safer, more efficient, more ecologically benign agricultural production. A key factor in enhancing the development and distribution of bioprotection products worldwide is regulatory reform. Streamlining the regulatory processes applicable to bioprotection products in the UK and the EU is critical to unleashing the innovation potential of the agricultural producers and SMEs that make up the bioprotection industry, and allowing them to better fill growing gaps in pest control approaches and tactics. 

The intent to make the benefits of bioprotection products more widely available is the foundation of the WBF’s campaign to promote essential regulatory reform of this sector. The WBF’s efforts are gathering momentum and supporters. The WBF Advisory Committee strongly believes that now is the time to call for regulatory reform of bioprotection products in the UK (particularly given the political climate in the UK post-Brexit). Moreover, successful regulatory reform in the U.K. could serve as a catalyst for needed reform of the regulatory scheme in the EU and other parts of the world.

To help support this campaign, the WBF is extremely proud to be joined by two world leading bioprotection regulatory experts, who were involved in developing the US regulatory system and have unrivalled expertise and experience in guiding the sensible development of new guidelines.

Kellye Eversole, President of Eversole Associates and Executive Director of the International Alliance for Phytobiomes Research, is a pioneer in agricultural genomics, biotechnology, and the development of pre-competitive, public-private agricultural research. Since 2016, she has led the Phytobiomes Alliance, which is pioneering a holistic, systems approach to understanding the complex interactions between the biological and geophysical components of agricultural production systems. She also advises public and private entities on regulations related to agricultural biotechnology/genetic engineering, microbial and plant protection products. She has led the Specialty Crop Regulatory Assistance initiative, aimed at facilitating regulatory approvals for SMEs and public crop developers,  since 2008.

Keith Matthews, Of Counsel at Wiley Rein LLP, Washington, D.C, has practiced environmental law focussing on the regulation of chemicals and genetically engineered organisms for over 20 years. For over 13 years he was a staff attorney and Assistant General Counsel in the US EPA’s Office of General Counsel. He then served for four years as the Director of the Biopesticides and Pollution Prevention Division (BPPD) in EPA’s Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP). At Wiley Rein, Keith has continued his focus on the regulation of agricultural products regulated by EPA and the US Department of Agriculture, including the registration of new biopesticide products. Keith advises his clients using his breadth of knowledge on a variety of statutes.

These experts join the existing team of Advisors to help the WBF achieve its goal of encouraging collaborations between all stakeholders throughout the bioprotection industry to facilitate enhanced regulatory approaches that will enable increased innovation and commercialisation.

In the UK, Brexit offers the opportunity for significant regulatory reform. The UK Government now has the opportunity to effectuate meaningful and useful regulatory reform applicable to biopesticides. The WBF has undertaken the task of leading a dialogue with the UK government, to drive reform in matters most important to our members. The organisation is working to lead an initiative calling for meaningful reform to the regulatory process for biopesticides in the UK, and to developing an environment that supports and nurtures this sector. This could be a first step to encouraging more rapid reform across the EU.

Keith Matthews is enthusiastic about adding his expertise and experience to these efforts. “For over 25 years a primary focus of my career has been to work to make the regulatory program applicable to biopesticides in the US rational, risk-based, and efficient. I am very pleased to join this effort to make these same principles the underlying basis for regulation of bioprotection products in the UK and EU.  I agree that the time is ripe for reform of the regulatory systems applicable to bioprotection products in the UK and EU and I am delighted to play a part in helping to guide those changes and bringing them to fruition.

I have long worked to ensure that agricultural regulatory systems are not overly burdensome to SMEs and academic product developers,” added Kellye Eversole, “And this is a great opportunity for all stakeholders across the bioprotection sector to  gain the reforms  needed for a fair, working regulatory system that is fit for purpose. If we bring experience and expertise from across the world, from all parts of the bioprotection industry, we can take a holistic approach to developing a better system for the EU that enables the registration of new products in a reasonable timeframe and in an efficient manner.”

Success depends on us all pulling together now, as an industry. We know that policy makers will listen, but we need enough voices to make enough noise! If we have enough companies and organisations 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 that the bioprotection sector has been requesting for more than 20 years.

The WBF offers its sincerest thanks to those who have already pledged their support, including: AgBio, Agri Life, Armyworm Network, Biobest, Bionema, Concert Bio, E-nema, Farma-Chem, Inbioar Global, Koppert, Pesticide Action Network (PAN), Planteria.eu, Sri BioAesthetics, Syngenta and Varsha.

To add your name to the list, please visit https://www.worldbioprotectionforum.com/regulatory-reform/# and be part of the change you want to see.

Editor’s Notes

Contact: Dr Sarah Harding, Communication Consultant, sarah.harding@worldbioprotectionforum.com

About the World BioProtection Forum: The World BioProtection Forum (WBF) is a non-profit organisation for encouraging collaboration across the biocontrol industry and academia. The WBF was founded in 2019 by Dr Minshad Ansari – a scientist who became an entrepreneur – to encourage the successful development and commercialisation and be part of the change you want to see.of novel biological control products for agricultural pests and diseases.

To join the WBF, or for more information, please visit www.worldbioprotectionforum.com

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