Plant protection products protect plants from harmful organisms. The SECB issues Statements on plant protection products that contain pathogenic microorganisms or small invertebrates (macroorganisms), evaluating their possible impacts on humans, animals and the environment.
The active ingredient in the plant protection product Flocter is the soil bacterium Bacillus firmus I-1582, which was isolated in 1992 from agricultural land in Israel. Flocter is already approved and has been used for several years in different EU countries as well as in the USA. Flocter is a nematicide that acts against the eggs of different root knot nematodes and wild nematodes. B. firmus colonises the root rhizosphere and protects the young plants from nematode attack. In Switzerland, Flocter will be used in vegetable growing, for cucumbers (greenhouse) and carrots (outdoors), and for tobacco cultivation in the open. The SECB’s view is that no long-term consequences or undesired effects on humans, animals or the environment are to be expected.
Aphidius matricariae, Ephedrus cerasicola und Praon volucre
These three active substances are parasitic wasps that parasitise aphids. All three species are wild strains that were collected in Belgium and are also found in other European countries. Aphidius matricariae, Ephedrus cerasicola and Praon voIucre have a very broad host spectrum. In Switzerland they are intended for use in greenhouses to combat a variety of aphids on vegetables (tomatoes, aubergines, culinary herbs, cucurbits etc.) and berry cultures, as well as on ornamental plants. The SECB is of the view that the three parasitic wasp species do not pose any significant risk to humans, animals or the environment.
The active ingredient in Amylo-X is the bacterium Bacillus amyloliquefaciens subsp. plantarum strain D747. This strain was originally isolated in Japan. Amylo-X is used as a fungicide to combat grey mould in the cultivation of grapes, vegetables and berries. It also combats various species of Sclerotinia and downy mildew in lettuce cultivation. Bacillus amyloliquefaciens subsp. plantarum strain D747 acts through a combination of different mechanisms, including successfully competing with plant-pathogenic organisms for nutrition and space. It also produces lipopeptides and proteases that can act fungicidally: they increase the membrane permeability of fungi and degrade fungal structures that have infested leaves. Bacillus amyloliquefaciens occurs naturally in the environment and no negative effects on humans, animals or the environment are known.
The active ingredient in Nemasys G is the parasitic nematode Heterorhabditis bacteriophora strain GPS11. The infectious juvenile form of H. bacteriophora penetrates the target organism and releases a symbiotic bacterium (Photorhabdus luminescens). This bacterium contains toxins that cause the death of the target organism. Nemasys G is intended for use on sports fields and ornamental lawns to combat the grubs of the garden chafer (Phylloperta horticola). H. bacteriophora is approved as an active substance in Switzerland and has been used successfully for a long time in pest control; it is present in various products in Switzerland. The SECB does not consider Nemasys G to pose any risks to humans or the environment.
The active ingredient in Prestop is the fungus Gliocladium catenulatum, strain J1446, which competes with harmful fungi for habitat and nutrients. Prestop is used to combat various fungal diseases of strawberries, different types of vegetables, and ornamental plants. The species Gliocladium catenulatum is prevalent worldwide. The strain J1145 was isolated from Finnish soil and is used in a number of EU countries. In the SECB’s view, there is no indication of risk to humans, animals or the environment through the use of Prestop; it therefore approves authorisation.
The active ingredient in BioAct is the soil fungus Paecilomyces lilacinus strain 251, which parasitises the eggs and immobile stages of soil nematodes. BioAct is used to combat root knot nematodes, usually before planting, i.e. by treating the soil. The agent has already been licensed for use in Europe and the USA; it is one of the most thoroughly researched biological nematicides. The SECB’s evaluation gave particular consideration to the possible pathogenicity to humans of strain 251, concluding that the risk to humans, animals and the environment is negligible and that the product should be authorised.
The active ingredient in Proradix is the bacterium Pseudomonas sp. strain DSZM 13134. This cannot be classified under a known species and is considered to be a new species of fluorescent pseudomonads, most closely related to Pseudomonas fluorescens. Proradix is used as seed dressing for potatoes, to protect against pathogenic soil-borne fungi. In the SECB’s view the application documents rely too heavily on research in P. fluorescens and too little on the actual strain used. In its Statement the SECB gives reasons for this view, and does not give an opinion on the authorisation of Proradix.
Madex I12, Madex Max, Madex Top, Madex Twin and Carpovirusine Evo 2
Various strains of codling moth granulosis virus provide the active ingredient of these plant protection products; they are used to combat codling moths (Cydia pomonella). Codling moth granulosis viruses are baculoviruses and are prevalent worldwide, occurring wherever their host insects are present. The SECB’s evaluation focused particularly on the origin of the virus isolate in each case, its biological effectiveness and its host spectrum. The SECB approved authorisation of the different products.
Helicovex contains as active ingredient the Helicoverpa armigera nucleopolyhedrovirus (HearNPV). This is a baculovirus and acts specifically against the larvae of cotton bollworm (Helicoverpa armigera), a pest of various crops (cotton, maize, wheat, tobacco, lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, stone fruit and citrus fruit trees etc.). Baculoviruses are generally very host-specific and act exclusively against arthropods. They are not infectious to humans or vertebrates, nor do they reproduce in vertebrate cells (including human cells). Since there is no significant risk to humans, animals or the environment, the SECB approved the authorisation of Helicovex.
Eretmocerus mundus and Eretmocerus eremicus
These are products consisting of living macroorganisms. Eretmocerus mundus and Eretmocerus eremicus are species of wasp that parasitise the larvae of whitefly, and are used in the cultivation of vegetables and ornamental plants. Both organisms are on the European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organization’s List of biological control agents widely used in the EPPO Region, and have been used for some years in various European countries. The SECB approved the authorisation of both products.
Blossom Protect acts against the bacterium Erwinia amylovora and is used to combat fire blight in stone fruit. It contains the yeast-like fungus Aureobasidium pullulans, a natural antagonist of the fire blight pathogen. The SECB’s evaluation focused particularly on research into the antibiotic production of A. pullulans and the associated impacts on non-target organisms. Since some questions remained open, the SECB initially approved the authorisation of Blossom Protect for a limited period only. Once it could be shown that the strain of A. pullulans used in Blossom Protect did not produce antibiotic, the SECB’s second Statement approved the permanent authorisation of Blossom Protect.
- (in German) (pdf, 104 KB)
This plant protection product contains the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis var. aizawai as active ingredient. Agree WP is used to combat various harmful larvae in the cultivation of fruit, berries, vegetables and grapes, as well as ornamental plants and in forestry. Bacillus thuringiensis var. aizawai forms endotoxin crystals that are activated in the gastrointestinal tract of the larvae and kill them. The endotoxin crystals act very specifically, so that impacts on non-target organisms are unlikely. In the SECB’s view, Agree WP does not pose a risk to humans, animals or the environment; it therefore approves the authorisation of Agree WP.
To the top
Last edition: 06.11.2018
Swiss Expert Committee for Biosafety (SECB)
Tel.: +41 (0)58 463 03 55
Tel.: +41 (0)58 463 23 12
Fax: +41 (0)58 464 79 78
Executive Office SECB
c/o Federal Office for the Environment