Biostimulants is a growing sector created to search alternative solutions to meet the increasing demand of safe and environmentally friendly food products. A biostimulant is a substance or microorganism applied to plants, seeds or root systems to improve physiological plant processes such as promoting nutrients and water uptake, growth and development of the plant and its tolerance to abiotic stress.
Biostimulants are borderline substances between fertilizers and pesticides.
However, differently from fertilizers, they don’t provide nutrients but support plants in their assimilation and they don’t act on the target diseases as the pesticides do, but help to protect plants from pests by other ways.
Hence to clearly define biostimulants it’s necessary to base on their functional use rather than on the substance type or its mode of action.
Currently none of the European legal frameworks set the term of biostimulant, nevertheless these substances/products are regulated either by fertilizer or plant protection products Regulations at national level. The legal iter varies widely: from a free market access to a complete registration process including a risk assessment, notification procedures and data requirements.
A regulatory framework specific to this substance type is more and more needed to be able to define the data requirements. Relying on a good balance between safety and marketing, some of the requirements to be definitely submitted: efficacy data supporting the label claims, data on chemical-physical properties, more or less toxicological, ecotoxicological and environmental data to perform the risk assessment.
In November the Second World Congress on biostimulants will take place in Florence. Manufacturing companies, government agencies, contract research organizations and many others will attend this event, just like sure is the attendance of BioTecnologie B.T. in this outlook into the future…