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Organic Consumers Association

Conventional Pesticide Companies Declare War on Natural Pesticides & Organic Farmers

Seeking alternatives to chemical pesticides, many have turned to using - and manufacturing - more natural pesticides. Before the days of the booming interest in all things organic, these natural pesticides did not represent much of a threat to the commercial interests of the big chemical pesticide companies. But that is starting to change, and the conventional pesticide companies aren't happy about it.

The Consumer Specialty Products Association, whose members include manufacturers of conventional chemical pesticides, sent a petition to the EPA asking for a crackdown on natural pesticides. Such natural pesticides include harmless, common ingredients such as peppermint oil, thyme, lemongrass, garlic and lemon. As long as natural pesticide manufacturers do not make any health claims or claim that their product treats any particular insect or pest, it is legal. However, the Consumer Specialty Products Association says that any product that claims to kill or repel a pest known to carry a disease is making a health claim, even if its label does not specifically refer to the disease.

While it remains to be seen how the EPA will respond to the request for the agency to get tough on natural pesticides, it seems unlikely that natural pesticide manufacturers have much to fear. If the EPA were to restrict such products, it would like raiding the pantries of kitchens across America.

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