There is now a safer, organic option to controlling a moth that destroys hundreds of tonnes of stored organic rice, grains and flour every year.
The Indian meal moth (Plodia interpunctella) is a headache for grain millers, manufacturers and retailers and a nuisance in home pantries throughout Australia and up until now there wasn’t an effective organic option available for controlling it.
Organic Crop Protectant’s product PyGanic® has just received approval from the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) to be used against Indian meal moth in silos, processing facilities and shop shelves.
Australian Certified Organic spokesperson Joanne Barber says being an approved product for use in certified organic businesses, this is a significant development. "It's great news for organic growers, processors and retailers because it's the first available APVMA and Australian Certified Organic allowed control for stored grain pests."
Organic Crop Protectants’ Gary Leeson says, “Organic processors came to me saying they were in dire straits because they had no way of controlling stored grain pests since all the APVMA registered products were either synthetic pyrethroids or were natural pyrethrins with piperonyl butoxide (PBO).”
Conventional businesses commonly use a natural pyrethrin pesticide to control the pest but it contains PBOs, a banned substance under international and domestic organic standards because it’s a suspected carcinogen. The challenge for the company was to source a product that didn’t have PBOs.
Gary says, “The moth is really hard to control because its eggs lay dormant and then turn up in flour and other grain products at this time of the year. Millions of dollars of contaminated product has to be thrown out because of it. It is very important to be vigilant and apply sprays regularly before and after emptying storage facilities to control populations.”
To comply with organic standards Organic Crop Protectants also had to source a supplier that didn’t use a petrochemical solvent when extracting pyrethrum from the chrysanthemum flower.
To satisfy these requirements it looked to the United States to find possibly the only supplier in the world that uses a non-petrochemical process to extract pyrethrum and develop a product without PBOs.
Gary says, “We would like to support a local pyrethrum industry such as Tasmania’s but it can’t afford to produce the product without using conventional solvents.
“The United States has access to huge organic markets across the States and Europe that are demanding these types of pyrethrums, so the company we use can justify the more expensive non-petrochemical based extraction method.”
Australian Organic media Kathy Cogo 07 4771 3714 | 0466 015 183. Images of moth available.