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Environmental Science & Policy
Vol. 106, 2020, Pages: 115-124

Authorization of microbial plant protection products in the Scandinavian countries: A comparative analysis

Valborg Kvakkestada, Anette Sundbyea, Roma Gwynnb, Ingeborg Klingen

Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research (NIBIO), Ås, Norway.


The EU has developed a Directive on Sustainable Use of Chemical Pesticides (2009/128/EC) (SUD) that aims to enhance the use of non-chemical alternatives to pesticides like microbial plant protection products (PPP). The number of authorized microbial PPP for plant protection has increased globally during the last decade. There is, however, variation between different countries. Sweden and Denmark have for example each authorized 20 microbial PPP while Norway has only authorized four microbial PPP. Norway has also received significantly fewer applications for authorization of microbial PPP than the other Scandinavian countries. We explore possible explanations for the observed differences. Our results show that that the regulations in the three countries had similar requirements for the authorisation of microbial PPP. The size of the market is somewhat smaller in Norway than in Sweden and Denmark, and could therefore explain some of the differences. We suggest, however, that the most important explanation is implementation differences in terms of different decisions made in the authorization process. By comparing the authorization process for three microbial PPP in the Scandinavian countries, we found that Norway used more time for the product authorization decisions. Norway assess the same types of microbial PPP more restrictively with respect to environmental aspects and especially human health risks.

Keywords: Microbial plant protection products, Authorization, Regulation, Scandinavia.

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