California Approves Reduced-Risk Insecticide

California Approves Reduced-Risk Insecticide

The California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) has approved a new, reduced-risk insesticide under a streamlined registration process now in its second year.


DPR has approved spinetoram for use on corn, bulb crops, fruiting vegetables, bush berries, and tree fruit to control various insects, including leafminers, thrips, and lepidopterous larvae.

Developed by Dow AgroSciences, spinetoram is part of a class of chemicals derived from a fermentation process using natural soil organisms. These products work by binding to nerve sites inside the target insect, according to the company. For some crops and pests, spinetoram is expected to offer an alternative to older pesticides of regulatory concern, including chlorpyrifos and other organophosphates.

A new active ingredient, spinetoram is among a number of new-generation pesticides coming to market. In general, they tend to be less toxic to people, less persistent in the environment, harmless to beneficial insects, and offer a practical alternative to older, harsher pesticides. Its approval was expedited thanks to California legislation that allows DPR to speed up approval of new chemicals without compromising the state’s stringent environmental standards.