Sep. 30, 2016
The 11th anniversary Annual Biocontrol Industry Meeting (ABIM), Oct. 24-26 in Basel, Switzerland is expected to host more than 800 delegates from 47 countries representing 394 companies and organizations. There, attendees will share experiences and information on the latest products and developments on the world market. The conference includes a scientific program with 43 presentations covering the latest developments in market development, regulatory affairs, and novel products for plant protection.
Serving as the keynote presenter this year will be Jim Jones, Assistant Administrator for EPA’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention (OCSPP).
“We live in a dynamic world, and we at EPA have a responsibility to make sure that we stay abreast of the evolving science and challenges that arise,” Jones says. “At the Annual Biocontrol Industry Meeting in Basel, I intend to focus on how the EPA has accomplished this feat in the past and what we and others need to do moving forward.”
Jones has been involved in pesticide regulation in the U.S. for nearly 30 years “and the last few years have brought some of the most exciting advances in science in this field,” he says. “Science has evolved so pesticides can now pinpoint specific pests resulting in less impact on non-target species. Biopesticides in particular have seen an incredible growth in both interest and use in the United States. Biopesticides have preferable profiles since they are less toxic than conventional pesticides, often effective in small quantities and decompose quickly.”
Much of that advancement has been driven by consumer demand for organic produce.
“Couple this demand with population growth and there is an increasing need to produce food in a more sustainable manner,” Jones says. “I see biopesticides playing a large role in the success of agriculture moving forward.
“The U.S. EPA is committed to encouraging the development and use of biopesticides,” he continues. “To this end, EPA has made it easier, cheaper, and quicker to get biopesticides on the market. On a global level, we have worked with Canada to review new biopesticide products and we have also held workshops with our counterparts in the European Union to share information on our review process. Our goal is international agreement on the key studies to ensure safety and to eliminate unnecessary data requirements for these products.”
The ABIM is a joint project of the International Biocontrol Manufacturers Association (IBMA) and the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL).
According to the organizers, “the conference has a clear focus on the needs of biocontrol companies: “Provision of networking opportunities and the combination of workshops and plenary sessions ensures a high level of satisfaction of the participants, and continuous growth.”
The Keynote Speaker
Jim Jones was nominated by U.S. President Barack Obama to be the Assistant Administrator for EPA’s OCSPP in January 2012. He was confirmed by the U.S. Senate August 1, 2013. He is responsible for managing the office which implements the nation’s pesticide, toxic chemical, and pollution prevention laws. The office has an annual budget of over $234 million and more than 1,100 employees.