When eminent figures such as Sir David King, former advisor to UK Government, and Sir Richard Feacham, former Executive Director of the Global Fund to fight HIV/Aids, TB & Malaria take the time to sign a petitoin criticising proposed new EU Regualtions regarding pesticides – as they did in 2018 – something must be amiss.

The EU in its wisdom along with the American Enivironment Protection Agency (EPA) decided to re-evaluate all active ingredients in insecticides/pesticides – natural or synthetic-chemically based alike. The aim of removing any danger to the people of the world was noble enough but the draconian new data and testing required for a product to meet these regulations are costly in time and money -and increasingly so. Not only that but the parameters set for certain tests are actually unrealistic.

  1. C. Johnson, the leading pest contol product company in the US, has recently attacked it own EPA for stifling new products saying the new regulations adopted in 2006 had discouraged, if not stopped, the development of products that can protect people from biting insects. They highlighted the fact that no new products had been registerd since 2006.

This is very noble of S. C. Johnson as being the market leader -by some considerable distance – of such insect repelling products, one may have thought they would have welcomed some ‘closing of the stable door’ behind them by making it difficult for any further new products to enter the market…but not so.

The data and testing now required for any new product is so detailed it actually precludes some natural ingredients because their composition can never be exactly the same over a period of time. Pervesely, it is this very quality which prevents insects developing any form of resistance as they are able to do with sythetic chemicals. For example it has recently been discovered that resistance to DEET is being genetically passed on in the Aedes aegypti species of mosquitoes – unfortunately the Dengue fever carrier.

Citronella has been used for centuries as a natural insect repellent but, under new laws, it can no longer make such claims. The laboratory style of data, as easily accumulated for chemical products, is not achievable to support the inclusion of Citronella with all the various government directives in the US, EU and Canada. Hence thousands of years of use stand for nought.

But here is the most ridiculous point – citronella, along with some long standing natural repellents can still be sold over the counter as long as it does not claim any insect repellence properties!

It seems our ‘ nanny knows best’ governments reckon we cannot make our own minds up as to whether a product works for us or not.

It is known that ’one size does not fit all’ when it comes to personal repellents….. some work for some, some work for others.

However it is not as though you are risking a huge investment by spending a few pounds, dollars, euros, rands or whatever, on your purchase to enable for you to make your own judgement. If it does not work for you then you simply do not buy it again…a small loss admittedly but if it does work as those that have been clinically tested will invariably do…then great joy and good riddance to annoying bites.

Regrettably though , all these new regulations introduced to ‘protect us’ make it almost impossible to develop new products-especially natural ones. Products that could indeed actually ‘protect us’!!

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