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Brazil approves first organic pesticide

Brazil has approved its “first pesticide” specifically for use on organic crops. The Ministry of Agriculture has authorised the commercial use of Biotesia, “a small wasp for use as a biocontrol agent” against sugar cane borers ( Diatraea saccharalis). It is for use in IPM programmes. The product can be bought “over the counter”, without the need for an agronomic prescription, and will not carry toxicity warnings on labels. New rules on registering bioproducts allowed the registration to be completed in just 68 days, rather than the more typical 36 months for conventional pesticides. Registration applications are also far cheaper for such products, as new tests are not mandatory, the Ministry says. Updated regulations were recently issued governing organic crop production, including the type of permitted substances, following the launch of a new organic crop regime in January ( Agrow No 626, p 19).

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