SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Yeshim Deniz, Carmen Gonzalez, Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski

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First U.S. Definition of Plant Biostimulants

A draft of the 2018 U.S. Farm Bill provides the first definition for plant biostimulants by the U.S. government. It requires the USDA to perform a study on the potential regulatory and legislative reforms needed to ensure appropriate review, approval and uniform national labeling for biostimulant products. Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, Michael Conaway (R-Texas), released the bill.

The draft Farm Bill defines plant biostimulants as “a substance or micro-organism that, when applied to seeds, plants, or the rhizosphere, stimulates natural processes to enhance or benefit nutrient uptake, nutrient efficiency, tolerance to abiotic stress, or crop quality and yield.”

“The inclusion of a definition for plant biostimulants in the Farm Bill represents a critical initial step in the legislative process that will ultimately support the development of new sustainable technologies for agriculture and U.S. farmers,” said David Beaudreau, Executive Director of the U.S. Biostimulant Coalition (USBC). “This bill will need to be considered and possibly amended by both the House of Representatives and the Senate before adoption and signature by the President.”

“This is the first definition of plant biostimulants in any proposed U.S. legislation and it is largely consistent with the definition currently under review within the European Union,” said Keith Jones, Executive Director of the Biological Products Industry Alliance (BPIA). “This is a major step forward for biostimulant manufacturers, and it is the direct result of a joint effort led by the BPIA and the USBC on behalf of the entire biostimulants industry. We urge Congress to complete a Farm Bill with this language included.”

About BPIA

The Biological Products Industry Alliance (BPIA) is the premier organization dedicated to fostering the use of biological technology including biopesticides and biostimulants. Biological products are reduced-risk products based on biological or naturally derived chemistry. BPIA is a rapidly growing association with now over 125 member companies ranging from small, innovative sole proprietors to large, international companies. Our member companies have developed dependable, pioneering products for commercial agriculture, forestry, home gardens, horticulture, ornamentals, public health, and turf. Our members provide solutions that benefit growers, consumers, and the environment. For more information see www.bpia.org.

About USBC

The USBC is a joint initiative of companies that develop, sell, and/or market biological, naturally-derived products, and/or similar products intended for use as beneficial plant biostimulants. Our companies develop new technologies that aim to improve agricultural sustainability and to improve food safety, therefore benefiting the American farmers and consumers. The Coalition is a nonprofit affiliation of interested parties. For more information,see www.biostimulantcoalition.org.

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