EPA Seeking Comments on Updated Plant Biostimulants Guidance
WASHINGTON (November 24, 2020) — In recognition of the growing class of products generally known as plant biostimulants, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is accepting comments on an updated Draft Guidance for Plant Regulators and Claims, Including Plant Biostimulants.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.”
Plant biostimulants are a relatively new but growing category of products containing naturally occurring substances and microbes. Their increasing popularity arises from their ability to enhance agricultural productivity through stimulation of natural plant processes using substances and microbes already present in the environment. Plant biostimulants can also reduce the use of synthetic chemical fertilizers, making it an attractive option for sustainable agriculture and integrated pest management programs. Benefits include:
- Increased plant growth, vigor, yield and production.
- Improved soil health.
- Optimized nutrient use.
- Increased water efficiency.
While many plant biostimulants are not regulated as pesticides, certain mixtures and plant regulators can be pesticides under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA).
Today’s released updated draft guidance incorporates diverse and helpful changes made in response to stakeholder feedback received during the draft guidance’s initial comment period in 2019. EPA now will seek input on those changes, including the wording of certain plant and non-plant regulator claim examples.
The public comment period will be open for 30 days in docket EPA-HQ-OPP-2018-0258 at www.regulations.gov. After carefully considering the comments received, EPA anticipates finalizing this guidance in January 2021.