Regulation of Biochemical Plant Growth Regulators at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

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  • 1 Health and Food Technologies, Cargill, Inc., 15407 McGinty Road, Wayzata, MN 55391.
  • | 2 Renessen LLC, Suite 300 South, 3000 Lakeside Drive, Bannockburn, IL 60015
  • | 3 Biochemical Pesticides Branch, Biopesticides and Pollution Prevention Division (7511C), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 1921 Jefferson Davis Highway, Room 910D, Crystal Mall 2, Arlington, VA 22202.

Plant growth regulators (PGRs) are often used in crop production for specific niche market needs. PGRs are frequently viewed as secondary business opportunities by the private sector, especially when compared to herbicide, insecticide, and/or fungicide markets. Nonetheless, PGRs are regulated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA), and the additional cost of regulatory compliance as part of commercial development is significant. Of the two broad classes of pesticides regulated by the USEPA, conventional chemicals and biological pesticides (or biopesticides), many PGRs belong to the biopesticide class, specifically the biochemical category. Because of USEPA's responsibility to assure that any pesticide used in commerce will not result in unreasonable adverse effects to humans or the environment, specific data requirements have been established for product registration. Registrants must address each requirement, either by submitting relevant data or a request to waive the requirement, prior to receiving a federal registration. For biochemical PGRs, the acceptability of data or waiver requests, as well as any proposed label uses, are reviewed by the Biopesticides and Pollution Prevention Division (BPPD). The BPPD was formed in 1994 to facilitate the development of biopesticide products. Given the time and expense associated with PGR product development and commercialization, registrants should work closely with the USEPA and other stakeholders to help ensure successful product development.

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