The Task Force was created in May 2021 when the few microbial plant protection products already on the market were threatened to be taken from the market. Although these products are considered safe by the European Commission, they are required to provide data that are typical for chemical products- not for biological/microbial products.
The preamble of Regulation (EC) 1107/2009 prioritizes the use of safe low-risk biological plant protection products (PPPs) over the use of chemical pesticides. Biological PPPs, and especially microbials, are essential tools in the balanced transition toward a more sustainable and green agriculture in Europe. The European Union through the Green Deal, Farm to fork Strategy, Fit for 55 should therefore secure rapidly increasing use of microbial plant protection products. Perhaps based on misunderstanding, the opposite seems to happen. This would make the goal of cutting the use of chemical pesticides with 50% by 2030 impossible to achieve.
In the words of former Slovenian Prime Minister Alojz Peterle: both chemical and microbial plant protection products must be absolutely safe and effective, but the way to establish this is obviously scientifically different. It would be nonsensical to require producers of chemical products to table studies proving that chemicals are not pathogenic to humans and all kind of animals and plants; since chemicals are not live organisms, they cannot be. To authorize microbials through an authorization procedure for chemicals is equally nonsensical.
On 30 August 2021, top experts from scientific, regulatory, institutional and political backgrounds addressed the flawed policy that allows carcinogenic and environmentally damaging chemicals to be sold and used throughout the European Union while absolutely safe and effective microbial plant protection products can neither easily access nor stay in the EU market. They discussed the fast track option to the benefit of public health and the environment: the inclusion in the current regulation of a specific authorization procedure for microbial plant protection products only.