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Basic substances that may be used for plant protection are those that are not problematic, do not cause hormonal imbalances and are without neurotoxic or immunotoxic effects. Although they are authorised for other purposes and usually not used for plant protection or placed on the market as plant protection products (PPPs), they are beneficial for plant protection, either directly or in preparations consisting of basic substances and simple solvents. Substances that meet the requirements for foodstuffs may be considered basic substances.

Approval of basic substances

The use of basic substances in the EU is approved by the European Commission.

An applicant files an application for the approval of a basic substance with the European Commission. The application must be accompanied by an assessment of the potential effects of the substance on human or animal health or the environment carried out by any organisation in the EU in relation to the authorised use of the substance, and any other relevant information on the potential effects of the substance on human or animal health or the environment.

The European Commission makes a request to the European Food Safety Authority for technical and scientific asssistance and an opinion on the application. On the basis of this opinion, the European Commission approves or does not approve a substance as a basic substance. An approved basic substance is entered in a special part of the approved active substance list

Approved active substance list

Name Use in organic farming
1  Equisetum arvense L. yes
2  Chitosan Hydrochloride yes
3  Sucrose yes
4  Calcium hydroxide yes
5  Fructose yes
6  Lecithins yes
7  Salix spp. cortex yes
8  Vinegar yes, but not as herbicide
9  Sodium hydrogen carbonate  yes
10  Diammonium phosphate yes
11  Whey yes
12  Sunflower oil yes
13  Urtica spp. yes
14  Hydrogen peroxide no
15  Clayed charcoal no
16  Beer yes
17  Mustard seed powder  yes
18  Sodium chloride no
19 Talc no
20 Onion oil yes