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Regulatory Framework for Plant Protection in Organic Farming

Abstract

Plant protection in organic farming has to simultaneously comply with two sets of regulations: regulations on organic production and pesticide legislation. This chapter describes the organic approach to plant protection, including the role of systems management versus direct interventions, the range of authorised substances and the procedures for authorising new substances and the withdrawal of old substances.

External factors not related to organic farming also influence the availability of plant protection products. Scientific, regulatory and economic aspects may limit the registration of substances in a given country. On the other hand, there is an alternative route for the registration of fertilisers and plant strengtheners in some countries. As a result, the range of plant protection products available to organic farmers varies from one country to another. The history of the authorisation of sodium bicarbonate, spinosad, copper fungicides, clay minerals and granulosis viruses illustrates how the two sets of regulations can interact in very different ways, creating different patterns of availability.

The practice of plant protection is illustrated for the prevention and control of apple scab, fire blight and codling moth in organic apple orchards. At the end of the chapter, research perspectives for a ‘self-regulating’ apple orchard where plant protection fully relies on systems management are presented. The level of environmental friendliness already achieved by organic plant protection is discussed, and approaches with the potential for improvement are identified.

Keywords

  • Apple orchard
  • Authorisation criteria
  • Organic farming regulation
  • Pesticide registration
  • Plant protection

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Notes

  1. 1.

    All EGTOP reports are published on the website: http://ec.europa.eu/agriculture/organic/eu-policy/expert-recommendations/expert-group_en.

  2. 2.

    The category of plant strengtheners has recently been revised, and does not contain all of the mentioned substances any more

  3. 3.

    The European Commission has recently funded a research project for ‘innovative strategies for copper-free low input and organic farming systems’; see http://ec.europa.eu/research/bioeconomy/agriculture/projects/co-free_en.htm. Accessed on 2012/09/14.

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Acknowledgments

We warmly thank Christian Schader for his expert advice on sustainability, and the anonymous referees for their helpful suggestions.

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Correspondence to Bernhard Speiser .

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Speiser, B., Tamm, L., Weibel, F. (2014). Regulatory Framework for Plant Protection in Organic Farming. In: Bellon, S., Penvern, S. (eds) Organic Farming, Prototype for Sustainable Agricultures. Springer, Dordrecht. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-7927-3_4

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