Plant Protection and Plant Health in Europe - PPPHE in Braunschweig

Bruno Moerschbacher and Nour Eddine El Gueddari were invited to the 8th International Symposium on Plant Protection and Plant Health - PPPHE held in Braunschweig at the Julius Kühn Institute, under the auspices of the Deutsche Phytomedizinische Gesellschaft. This year’s subject was “Efficacy and Risks of Biorational Products in Integrated Pest Management Strategies - Acceptable?” Biocontrol agents and biostimulants, i.e. microorganisms or natural substances that protect plants from disease and from abiotic stress and support plant growth and development without acting as nutrients, are playing an increasing role in IPM, but regulatory issues on national, European, and international levels are not yet suited to deal with agro-biologics rather than agro-chemicals. In Braunschweig, scientists and regulators met to discuss current developments in the ongoing refitting of the EU’s fertilizer regulation under which biostimulants (which were called plant strengtheners or Pflanzenstärkungsmittel in the past) will most likely be registered in future. Based on our presentation and poster, we were finally asked to summarize in writing comments and suggestions for the fertilizer regulation, highlighting potential problems using chitosans as an example - hopefully another step towards bringing them and other harmless and beneficial biostimulants to the European agricultural markets.