Regulatory reform to provide guidance to the UK’s Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA)
The World BioProtection Forum (WBF) has launched its much-anticipated white paper this week, providing an authoritative compilation of global expert recommendations on regulatory reform that will provide guidance to the UK’s DEFRA as they revise biopesticide regulations in line with the drive for better regulation, nurturing green technologies and overhauling the UK regulatory environment through the government’s Brexit Freedom Bill.
The white paper, which is entirely based on the knowledge, views and opinions of international experts comprising the WBF Biopesticides Reform Working Group, provides a comprehensive compilation of expert advice and recommendations for regulatory reform. The white paper was written for the UK’s Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), which will be considering the content as they pursue the objective of improving biopesticide regulations and the UK government’s Brexit Freedom Bill goal to develop new laws and regulations that best fit the needs of the UK, by the end of 2023.
“Sustainable agriculture is going to have to be a part of solving the climate crisis we are facing,” said Dr Minshad Ansari, Chairman of the WBF. “But lengthy, complicated, and often unsuitable regulatory requirements for new sustainable solutions have created big obstacles – blocking or delaying the availability of new biocontrol products for many years. Our hope is that, by supporting DEFRA, we will finally be able to achieve a sensible risk assessment process that nurtures our sector and allows innovation to flourish. Our greatest hope is that other countries and regions will also consider DEFRA’s great work as a basis for further reforms.”
Dr Sarah Harding, Communications Advisor to the WBF and one of the white paper authors of the white paper, said, “It is absolutely vital that regulators across the world finally accept and reflect the fact that biocontrol solutions are not conventional chemical pesticides, and their evaluation processes need to be adapted to separate biologicals and chemicals. In our discussions with DEFRA to date, they have been extremely positive about the need for change, and open to discussions that we hope will lead to a world-leading biopesticide/bioprotectant regulatory system.”