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Biological Alternatives to Chemical Pesticide Inputs in the Food Chain: An Assessment of Sustainability


Consumers, retailers and environmentalists would like to see less use of chemical pesticides in food production. A sustainable solution is to be found in the greater use of bio-insecticides such as naturally occurring fungi that attack insects. Such approaches have not been used as much as one might expect in the UK and one reason is that the regulatory system, analysed within a broader model of the regulatory state, is designed for chemical insecticides. <P>
The project will assess whether bio-insecticides persist in the environment when released on a large scale, using the control of aphids in lettuce as a model system. The research will examine whether the uptake of bio-pesticides is constrained by the composition of decision-making networks. Using semi-structured interviews with decision-makers and stakeholders, the operation of the existing regulatory system will be examined to assess whether changes in regulatory design might facilitate the wider use of bio-pesticides. A comparison will be made between the retailer led system of governance in Britain and the greater reliance on legislation in the Danish model. <P>
The project will assess the benefits and costs of the contribution of bio-pesticides to sustainability.

University of Warwick
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