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Sustainable Use of Pesticides

This Food GRP event was held in Brussels as part of a GRP International event programme for the University's 50th anniversary celebrations on the 9th June 2015, 4-5.30pm at the Brussels Office, Avenue d'Auderghem 22-28 Oudergemsellaan, Brussels

Plant pests (including plant-feeding invertebrates, pathogens and weeds) are a significant constraint on food production. At the moment, pest control is heavily reliant on the use of synthetic chemical pesticides. The EU has put into place rules for the sustainable use of pesticides to reduce the risks and impacts on people's health and the environment (Directive 2009/128/EC). The Directive states that ‘Member States should promote low pesticide-input pest management, in particular integrated pest management, and establish the necessary conditions and measures for its implementation’ and that ‘Member States should describe in their National Action Plan how they ensure the implementation of the principles of integrated pest management, with priority given wherever possible to non-chemical methods of plant protection and pest and crop management’. There is a clear need to provide European farmers and growers with crop protection tools that can be used as part of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) to meet the requirements of the Directive. However, developing new crop protection technologies, getting them to the market, and working out the best ways to use them in IPM is not simple. This event considered the IPM tools available to farmers and growers to implement sustainable use of pesticides in a way that is practical and viable economically.


Dr Rosemary Collier, School of Life Sciences, Warwick Crop Centre

Dr Rosemary Collier focused on the key issues around IPM using brassica crops as a case study and drawing on relevant UK experience and recent material collected by an EIP Focus Group on brassica crops (vegetables and oil seed rape) to give an overview of IPM and various practical methods currently in use to achieve this. This included use of biological control agents and natural products, chemical, cultural and physical methods, plant breeding, and decision support tools. Presentation(PDF Document)

Dr David Chandler, School of Life Sciences, Warwick Crop Centre

Dr David Chandler presented on the use of biopesticides based on two types of agent: (i) micro-organisms that infect, antagonize or out-compete plant pests; and (ii) natural compounds that alter pest behaviour, kill or disable pests, or which elicit plant defences. Presentation (PDF Document)

Professor Wyn Grant, Politics and International Studies

Professor Wyn Grant discussed the registration and regulation of biopesticides within the EU. All biopesticides require assessment by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) before they can authorized for use. This registration process is a modification of that used to assess conventional chemical pesticides. Presentation(PDF Document)

These presentations were followed by discussion with leading experts in a number of organisations. Event summary(PDF Document)



 Cabbage aphid
flea beetle