Making Sense of Biologicals is a series from AgNet West that dives into various topics with unbiased experts in the field of biologics to help the industry better understand the product category.

Recently introduced legislation, H.R. 7752, known as the Plant Biostimulant Act of 2022, seeks to more appropriately define the regulatory structure for biostimulant products. Executive Director of the Biological Products Industry Alliance, Keith Jones said biostimulants currently sit outside of traditional regulatory parameters. Biostimulant products do not fall under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) nor state regulations for fertilizers. The legislation seeks to bring clarity to what biostimulant products are classified as, to allow for more development within the sector.

“It will most importantly establish a federal definition of the term ‘biostimulant’ because we don’t have that right now. It will do so by amending FIFRA and placing that definition in FIFRA and then specifically excluding those products from FIFRA,” Jones noted. “What we’re trying to do is establish a clear path to market so that you can put the word ‘biostimulant’ on your label. You can make a biostimulant claim such as, ‘this product helps with nutrient uptake or retention,’ or ‘it helps with abiotic stress.’”

The bipartisan Plant Biostimulant Act of 2022 was introduced by U.S. Representatives Jimmy Panetta and Jim Baird last month. Jones noted that the legislation would also direct the U.S. Department of Agriculture to conduct a soil health study to demonstrate how biostimulants contribute to soil health and help with carbon sequestration.

Listen to the full episode with Keith Jones below.