Navigating Hurdles To Bring Pheromone Pesticides To Market

By Johnny Johnson and Christian Kerr (September 13, 2017, 1:22 PM EDT) -- In the days before environmental regulation was a reality, pesticides were referred to as "economic poisons." The term was fitting, because many of the early pesticides used were, in fact, dangerous poisons, but they could also serve important economic goals. Chemistry, and, perhaps more importantly, toxicology and regulation have come a long way in the years since pesticides came into common use. Laws and regulations governing their production and use are designed to ensure that pesticides are safe when used according to label instructions. However, in the last few years creative and environmentally conscious scientists have learned to use the biology of insect mating behavior to control pests and protect crops without harming pest insects, desirable insects or the environment. The products they are designing do not poison anything, and they have the promise of providing great economic benefit to the agricultural community. They break the mold of being economic poisons and rather function as economic chaperones: They keep harmful insects from mating in the wrong place at the wrong time....

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