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EU and national regulatory framework formicrobial biostimulants: a synthetic overview

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EU and national regulatory framework formicrobial biostimulants: a synthetic overview

Alessandra Trinchera (CREA – Agriculture and Environment, Italy) – Excalibur, Task 6.3

One of the Excalibur objective (WP6 – Task 6.3) was to acquire information on still valid national provisions on biostimulants, and particularly on microbial biostimulants, in Member States within EU Regulatory framework.  First step of the activity consisted in collecting information on current national legislations on microbial biofertilizers/bioeffectors, by contacting Excalibur partners and private companies/associations involved in biostimulants and bioeffectors production. This approach was used to compare the perceptions and the remarked advantages and limits of current EU and national regulatory framework on bioproducts by different actors within the production chain (Figure 1). 

Figure 1. Multi-actor approach to be applied for ruling new microbial biostimulants/consortia.

A dedicated questionnaire “Excalibur_Questionnaire 1_Current EU and National legislations” was set by CREA, focused on:

  • definition of a plant/soil biostimulant and particularly of a microbial biostimulant
  • list of allowed microbial biostimulants
  • mandatory declarations
  • potential contaminants and national limits
  • information/constraints related to biostimulant use
  • available / applied methodologies
  • how to submit a request/dossier for the approval of a new microbial biostimulants in national legislation
  • availability of national guidelines to evaluate a biostimulant agronomic performances

Based on IT, PL, FR, DE, DK, SL, and UK answers, some outlines from the survey are hereafter reported.

  • Up to now, there are different definitions of a “biostimulant“ in current national legislations (sometimes defined as a generic “soil improvers”).
  • Few microbial groups/species are officially recognized (mycorrhizal fungi, Trichoderma harzianum, mixtures without species list allowed in Germany).
  • In Italy and France, a microbial biostimulant must be characterized for chemical and microbial composition and respect national limits in inorganic and organic contaminants. Denmark requests a general declaration of non-harmful effects.  
  • No official methodologies on characterization and efficacy of microbial biostimulants are available in MSs, except in Italy.
  • Italy and Poland are asking for compiling a dossier by manufacturers before approving a new biostimulant in national list.
  • guidelines to evaluate a biostimulant agronomic performances are not available in any Member State. 

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