EPA releases updated biostimulants draft guidance
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), released an updated draft guidance on the growing category of products known as plant biostimulants. “Plant biostimulants are increasingly being used by farmers to increase agriculture productivity,” said EPA Assistant Administrator for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention Alexandra Dapolito Dunn. “When finalized, our Plant Biostimulants Guidance will provide sought-after certainty and transparency for this growing area of the economy.”
A plant biostimulant product may trigger regulation as a plant regulator (pesticide), dependent on the product’s mode of action, and particularly, labelling claims, which is the focus of the guidance. However, many plant biostimulants are exempt from regulation due to the definition of a plant regulator as specified in FIFRA Section 2(v). Products exempt from regulation include soil amendments, plant nutrients and trace elements, plant inoculants and vitamin hormone products.
The guidance provides examples of specific “non-pesticidal” claims that exempt products may use. The list is not comprehensive and is only intended to provide ideas of claim types. It also lists generic “non-pesticidal” claims not covered by the exclusions in the FIFRA plant regulator definition.
EPA also identifies examples of plant regulator claims that trigger regulation under FIFRA in the guidance. Such claims could include statements like:
- “Enhances/promotes/stimulates plant growth & development”
- “Induce/promote/retard/suppress flowering”
The guidance then details substances that have no other use than as plant regulators or pesticides, as well as substances that have both plant regulator and non-plant regulator activity. The final portion of the guidance outlines the regulatory approach that can be taken for those multi-mode products and the potential paperwork burden and costs.
For more information please review the draft guidance here.
How TSG can help
TSG can help you keep up-to-date with the evolving regulations surrounding plant biostimulants. Our regulatory and scientific experts can assist with:
- Identifying if your product is exempt from regulation as a plant regulator
- Developing labels and claims
- Reviewing ingredients
- Addressing efficacy data requirements
- Preparing and submitting registration and renewals
Submitting tonnage reporting