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Environment

Pesticide R&D Costs On The Rise

by Britt E. Erickson
March 8, 2010 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 88, ISSUE 10

Research and development costs associated with bringing a new pesticide to market have skyrocketed over the past decade, according to a study from the pesticide trade groups CropLife America (CLA) and the European Crop Protection Association. The study finds that the costs of discovery and development of a new active ingredient increased from $184 million to $256 million, or nearly 40%, from 2000 to 2008. The dramatic increase is due in part to ever-changing regulatory requirements, the study notes. For example, the pesticide industry recently has had to deal with increased regulatory burdens related to spray drift, inert ingredients, Clean Water Act permits, and compliance with the Endangered Species Act. “What we need is a consistent regulatory framework that is supported by science-based policies in the support of modern agricultural production,” CLA President and CEO Jay J. Vroom said in a statement. As the costs of developing new pesticides have risen, the number of active ingredients approved each year has declined from four in 1995 to 1.3 from 2005 to 2008, the study finds.

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