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China MoARA Requires More Image Data Supporting Fertilizer Registration

On October 21st and 22nd 2021, the Chinese Ministry of Agricultural and Rural Affairs concluded the 6th session of the 9th Review Committee of Fertilizer Registration, putting forward strengthen measures to refine trial management, nutrient contents of organic water-soluble fertilizers(biostimulants), and product labels.

In recent years, China had taken steps to amend the registration data requirements and strengthen the authentication of efficacy trials, particularly the introduction of trial protocol confirmation by licensed agronomists and traceable and recorded growers who tried out the fertilizer. During the meeting, participants agreed to include image files as the compulsory submitted data: close-up views and plot arrangement of the trial sites before the trial, images of fertilization during different stages reflecting the application method and dosage during different growing stages; and images of the final harvest and how the outputs are measured. Meanwhile, the trial personnel or the grower should record specific raw data: geographic coordinate, soil properties and preceding fertilization of the trial site and the start time of the trial; time of treatment, dosage, and crop status during growing stages; time of harvest and the output of each plot.

Most biostimulants are categorized and registered as organic water-soluble fertilizers (WSF) under China’s fertilizer regulation system, These fertilizers had been increasingly compounded with inorganic elements for extra nutritional effects, but inorganic element contents are seldom considered as quality indicators in current statutory standards. More specific nutrient requirements have been established for three types of inorganic elements, summarized as follows:


Minimum content of any single element

WSFs compounded with microelement (Nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium)

2.0 % or 20g/L

WSFs compounded with secondary elements (calcium and magnesium)

1.0% or 10 g/L

WSFs compounded with microelement(cuprum, iron, magnesium, zinc, boron and molybdenum )

0.05% 0.5g/L and molybdenum content shall not be higher than 0.5% or 5g/L

In response to the enactment of “GB 18382-2021 Fertilizer Marking-presentation and Declaration” on May 1st, 2021, the Committee decided to disclose labeling information, nutrient claims, and use scope of registered fertilizers, and microbial fertilizers will be first piloted starting from March 2022.

Apart from common materials used for organic water-soluble fertilizer production, MoARA had reviewed several products derived from industrial wastes of soybean lecithin, camellia extracts, and hydrolyzed vegetable protein, etc. The Committee believed that the safeness, mechanism, and efficacy of fertilizers using these materials are yet to be evaluated, and thus the dossiers should be carefully reviewed after risk assessment, supplemented data, and follow-up efficacy investigation.

The experts also urged MoARA to accelerate the method development of strain identification and pay close attention to the safe use and environmental effect of microbial fertilizers.

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