It requires a coordinated effort from stakeholders along the product value chain to preserve the efficacy of the introduced biotech trait and ensure that the benefits to sustainable agriculture are realised.
Within the plant biotechnology context, stewardship is defined as the responsible introduction and use of biotech-derived products across the entire plant product life cycle, from idea, through development and launch, to discontinuation. Stewardship extends beyond regulatory compliance. It requires a coordinated effort from stakeholders along the product value chain to preserve the efficacy of the introduced biotech trait and ensure that the benefits to sustainable agriculture are realised.
Considering that it takes on average more than a decade and an investment of more than $150 million to develop a biotech crop, stewardship is critical to ensure that the required controls are in place throughout the biotech product’s life cycle to certify its safety and efficacy and also to encourage responsible management and use as a pest management tool.
Plant biotech stewardship encourages responsible management and use by:
CropLife SA and its plant biotechnology members are committed to the responsible management and use of plant biotech products as part of the product stewardship life-cycle approach. Stewardship initiatives that support training and outreach on resistance management practices and compliance will be leveraged in partnership with government extension agencies, industry associations and related stakeholder organisations to ensure successful realisation of benefits and minimisation of risks due to plant biotech product utilisation.
Agricultural production has historically endured huge losses due to pests and diseases. With pests having the ability to develop resistance, the long-term utilisation of pest control methods has a limited lifespan.
The evolution of resistance to various forms of pest management applications is an ongoing concern for all crop protection users. Resistance is not unique to plant biotechnology, although biotech crops do bring some unique considerations which must be addressed by technology providers and farmers.