The risks of regulation for invertebrate biological control


Abstract: The development of new invertebrate biological control products is more and more threatened by national and international regulations. Access to new genetic material is increasingly limited due to Access & Benefit-Sharing regulations under the Convention on Biological Diversity. An increasing number of countries start to develop regulation on import and release of (exotic) biocontrol agents. The focus on Harmonia axyridis as an invasive species in recent years has changed the image of biological control agents in general, treating all of them as being potentially invasive. Risks are generally overestimated, resulting sometimes in unrealistic regulation. A balanced evaluation of natural enemies is essential to find biological solutions in time and support the development of Integrated Pest Management systems, which will eventually help to produce safe food and conserve biodiversity.

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