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Book of Abstracts

11th IFOAM
Scientific Conference
11-15 August 1996
Copenhagen, Denmark

Abstract front page
Subject index
Athor index

Extra Papers

Legal Barriers to the Use of Organic Farm Inputs E11

Vaupel, S.

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One of the most difficult issues in establishing organic standards is the identification of pest controls and fertilizers that are allowed for use in organic crop production. Designation of allowed and prohibited substances is only the first step. Two problems follow: (A) Many inputs which meet organic standards cannot be legally sold or used because of restrictive registration systems. (B) In most instances, farmers have no assurance that pest controls and fertilizers meet organic standards.

The objectives of this study are to answer the following questions: 1. How can registration of organic inputs be simplified? 2. How can national registration processes be harmonized, so that organic inputs do not have to be re-evaluated in every country of sale? 3. How can users be assured that pest controls and fertilizers meet organic standards?

The study was conducted by reviewing the U.S and California registration systems for fertilizers and pest controls; identifying barriers to registration of organic inputs; and development recommendations for removing barriers and streamlining the systems.

The results reveal that the U.S and California registration systems were developed to protect the environment and human health from toxic chemicals. Few modifications have been made to streamline the systems for registration of biological and natural inputs. These registration systems are barriers to the use of inputs that could help organic farmers and deterrents to the development of new inputs. Some registration systems of other countries are even more restrictive.

Specific recommendations include: Develop guidelines for simplifying current registration systems to facilitate registration of low risk pest controls and fertilizers. Develop a system for harmonization of national registration systems. Develop an international system for evaluating brand name inputs to dtermine if they meet organic standards. Develop an international systemto coordinate and encourage research on biological and organic inputs.