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Spices Provide Eco-Friendly PesticidesSpices Provide Eco-Friendly Pesticides

August 18, 2009

1 Min Read
Spices Provide Eco-Friendly Pesticides

WASHINGTON—New research presented at the American Chemical Society’s 238th National Meeting, reveal that rosemary, thyme, clove and mint are becoming organic agriculture’s “essential oil pesticides” or “killer spices” that represent a new class of natural insecticides that show promise as an eco-friendly alternative to conventional pesticides.

“We are exploring the potential use of natural pesticides based on plant essential oils—commonly used in foods and beverages as flavorings,” said study presenter Murray Isman, PhD, of the University of British Columbia. The new pesticides are generally a mixture of tiny amounts of two to four different spices diluted in water. Some kill insects; others repel them.

Isman said the natural pesticides have several advantages in that they do not require extensive regulatory approval and are readily available. An additional advantage is that insects are less likely to evolve resistance and they are safer for farm workers, who are at high risk for pesticide exposure.

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