Alternative paradigms for commercializing biological control workshop

The workshop, held May31-June2 1998 in New Brunswick, New Jersey focused attention on creating a new mindset for developing and using biological control, and fostering closer cooperation among industry, researchers, and extension personnel interested in biocontrol.

 Workshop Whitepaper - Summary document of the workshop.

Hosts: Rutgers Workshop Organizing Committee and The Experiment Station Committee on Policy - Working Group in Biological Control


 Program and Abstracts

 Breakout Group Raw Results and Action Step Summary

 Poster Abstracts


The existing paradigm for commercializing biological control has stumbled, badly. Fueled by lavish venture capital and enthusiasm for bio-technology, a flush of biocontrol companies went public in the 1980s to exploit the potential biologicals offered as environmentally benign alter-natives to chemicals. The widely predicted demand for biologicals never materialized and companies disappeared or downsized. Biocontrol now makes up less than 2% of the global pesticide market. Even this fraction is threatened as new pesticide chemistries and transgenic plants come on-line.

The current paradigm for commercializing biocontrol is based on a chemical model which emphasizes major crops and cheap, stable products that are easy to scale-up and use. Biocontrol agents fit this model poorly. A new paradigm is needed for the next century; one based on biological realities. We need new strategies to over-come the inherent production, formulation, and distribution problems of biologicals.

Biological control is at a crossroads. The early vision of biologicals becoming significant pest management tools has faded. No foreseeable technology appears likely to change this reality. In the next decade, biological control will either begin to play a meaningful role in specialty crops or become a curiosity relegated to organic farming. Industry, growers, ex-tension, and researchers must come together and think "outside the mold" to realize the former.

For further information contact: (program) Dr. Randy Gaugler at, (posters) Dr. George Hamilton at, (registration) Dr. Lisa Reed at BIOCONTROL WORKSHOP, Department of Entomology, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ 08903 USA, Tel: (732) 932-9459 Fax: (732) 932-7229.

Workshop Sponsors