Over the past 50 years, crop protection has relied heavily on synthetic chemical pesticides, but their availability is now declining as a result of new legislation and the evolution of resistance in pest populations. Therefore, alternative pest management tactics are needed. Biopesticides are pest management agents based on living micro-organisms or natural products. They have proven potential for pest management and they are being used across the world. However, they are regulated by systems designed originally for chemical pesticides that have created market entry barriers by imposing burdensome costs on the biopesticide industry. There are also significant technical barriers to making biopesticides more effective. In the European Union, a greater emphasis on Integrated Pest Management (IPM) as part of agricultural policy may lead to innovations in the way that biopesticides are regulated. There are also new opportunities for developing biopesticides in IPM by combining ecological science with post-genomics technologies. The new biopesticide products that will result from this research will bring with them new regulatory and economic challenges that must be addressed through joint working between social and natural scientists, policy makers and industry.