Agricultural pesticides and biocides

Conference on Innovating Microbial Pesticide Testing

13-16 September 2022
See the Programme
CC 13 - OECD, Paris

The OECD Conference on Innovating Microbial Pesticide Testing provided an overview of the critical innovations that are needed in hazard testing for microbial pesticides. Microbial pesticides are microorganisms (e.g., bacteria, fungi, viruses) that are used to control a wide range of agricultural pests, including plant disease-causing microorganisms, fungi, insects, and weeds.

Microbial pesticide hazard testing is challenging as the current testing guidelines are developed for chemical pesticides and do not take into account microbial pesticides’ unique properties. The impacts of having guidelines that are not specific to microbial pesticides include greater resource costs to developers and regulators, a reduction in the ability to bring innovation to agriculture and the bioeconomy, and ultimately reduced availability of these lower-risk alternatives in the marketplace. Additionally, there is growing interest in reducing animal testing in relation to pesticide registration. Significant work is underway to research and develop new approach methodologies (NAMs) and other non-animal methods as alternatives for traditional mammal (human health) testing with conventional pesticides. The OECD plays a central role in coordinating these efforts at the international level. However, no work has been done to develop such alternatives for microbial pesticides. Microbial pesticide testing needs to keep pace with these innovations and developments in hazard testing, these products could lose a significant competitive market advantage over conventional pesticide products.

The goal of the conference was to develop, agree upon, and begin to implement a work plan to improve current test guidelines for microbial pesticides. This includes improving the nontarget organism (e.g., birds, fish, bees) test guidelines for microbial pesticides and establishing the framework for future mammalian test guidelines using NAMs and/or other novel approaches.

Speakers with expertise in NAMs development, toxicology, and mammalian biology, as well as microbial pesticide testing expertise, have spoken on regulatory needs and requirements, the background related to non-animal method development and current methods, and opportunities for applying or adapting those methods or developing new ones for microbial pesticides. Similar to the speakers for the nontarget organism testing sessions, speakers with relevant expertise in hazard testing were invited from academic, government, non-profit, and industry sectors. They spoke about regulatory needs and requirements, problems associated with the current nontarget organism guidelines, and potential solutions for adapting and improving current guidelines or establishing new ones.

The desired outcome of this workshop was to move towards a more efficient regulatory process for microbial pesticide products by improving the reliability and applicability of hazard data that support microbial pesticide registration applications, and their review and risk assessment by regulators. The conference and its work products promoted innovation in microbial pesticide testing supporting the development and regulatory approval of alternative pesticide products that are critical tools in improving sustainability in agriculture.


Conference Proceedings

 The full proceedings of the conference with papers prepared subsequently by each of the speakers, are available here.


Programme, Speakers and Abstracts


Download in PDF


Download in PDF


Download in PDF


Getting to the OECD

The entrance is located at: 
2, rue André Pascal
75016 Paris


» Line 9, La Muette station (9 minutes by foot)
» RER C, Avenue Henri Martin (7 minutes by foot) or Boulainvilliers station (11 minutes by foot)

22, 32, 52, 63, PC1

Bus stops:
» La Muette-Boulainvilliers
» Octave feuillet
» Porte de La Muette

Plan your itinerary via public transportation: RATP

Bike & Car rentals

Vélib-metrople: A bicycle hiring option - an alternative way to move in Paris

This event is supported by


Financial assistance


This report has been produced with the financial assistance of the European Union. The views expressed herein can in no way be taken to reflect the official opinion of the European Union.



Engage with us