Beneficial Microorganisms in Agriculture Food and the Environment

agricultural microbiology

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Introduction

Getting started With Agricultural Microbiology, Microorganisms have been vital in the evolution of life on earth and they play paramount roles in the environment as well as for humankind. The earliest examples of active human exploitation of their activities are microbes that were ‘domesticated’ thousands of years ago for use in bread, alcohol fermentations and dairy products. Alongside societal development and strong growth in our understanding of the nature and properties of microorganisms, and the ability to culture single microbial isolates, several additional fields of application have surfaced within the agricultural microbiology, environmental and biotechnological sectors. However, with the realization during the last two centuries that many serious diseases are due to microorganisms causing
infections or producing toxic compounds, it has become obvious that large-scale culture, marketing,
and utilization of single isolates of living microorganisms necessitate a careful safety
assessment. Thus, a microorganism cannot be considered truly ‘beneficial’ until a certain level
of safety has been established. As a consequence, many types of applications with microorganisms
are presently subject to various regulatory measures.
The introduction of regulatory systems can have consequences for the inclination of
research entrepreneurs and industry to venture into new projects with beneficial microorganisms.
Long and costly registration procedures that are not commensurate with actual risks can
unnecessarily hamper the development of useful microbiological products in agricultural microbiology. Conversely, lack of appropriate regulation could potentially result in serious negative consequences for public health or for the environment. Many different types of legislation are applicable to the marketing
and use of microbiological products in agricultural microbiology. General acts of legislation – e.g. regarding consumer, occupational or environmental safety – cover the marketing and use of beneficial microorganisms, and state that the producer or manufacturer of a product is responsible for an adequate safety assessment. In other specific cases, the submission of a data dossier followed by authorization is a prerequisite for market introduction.

Contents

Contributors

Preface

Microbes and the Law – Safety Assessment and Regulation of Beneficial Microorganisms

FOOD AND FEED

PEST CONTROL AGENTS AND PLANT GROWTH PROMOTERS

OTHER INDUSTRIAL APPLICATIONS

EVALUATING SAFETY

MODEL TEST SYSTEMS

INTERNATIONAL HARMONIZATION AND RISK PERCEPTION

Index

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