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RHONE-POULENC'S CHIPCO(R) CHOICE(TM) FIPRONIL INSECTICIDE APPROVED FOR TURF

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C., May 16 /PRNewswire/ -- Rhone-Poulenc Ag Co., a unit of Rhone-Poulenc S.A. (NYSE: RP), said that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has approved the registration and use of Rhone-Poulenc's CHIPCO(R) CHOICE(TM) insecticide to control an insect which devastates golf course turf in the Southeastern U.S. This approval marks the first commercial introduction of what eventually could be a number of products in the U.S. containing Rhone-Poulenc's new fipronil insecticide.

Under the CHIPCO(R) CHOICE(TM) system, a turf manager can order treatment applications to control mole crickets, tunneling insects which have widely ravaged turf in Florida and elsewhere in the Southeastern U.S. Field trials conducted by leading universities and experts have documented that fipronil is highly effective against these pests which eat and burrow through turf roots.

The granular product will be applied via a slit which is cut into turf thatch by special equipment.

The annual cost associated with turf damage from the mole cricket has been estimated at more than $60 million. It is believed that 80 percent of the insecticide resources of golf turf managers in the region today are targeted at this insect.

Fipronil, the active ingredient in CHIPCO(R) CHOICE(TM), belongs to a new class of insecticide with a unique mode of action discovered by Rhone-Poulenc scientists in England. It is already proving highly successful around the world as a low-dose and long-lasting insecticide that controls a variety of pests in agriculture, animal and public health applications.

Rhone-Poulenc Ag Company is aiming for U.S. regulatory approval and commercial introduction of fipronil in agriculture use in 1997. Fipronil is now registered for agriculture uses in more than 30 other countries to protect crops against a wide variety of damaging insects and other pests.

Other approved or potential uses of fipronil under development include control of termites, locusts and insects that transmit disease.

For instance, FRONTLINE(R), a fipronil-based veterinary spray product for control of fleas and ticks on dogs and cats, is already in use in more than 40 countries and awaiting regulatory approval in the U.S.

CHIPCO is the specialty turf and ornamental business of Rhone-Poulenc Ag Company, the North American unit of one of the world's leading research-based makers of crop and plant protection products.

Rhone-Poulenc S.A. is the world's seventh largest pharmaceuticals and chemicals company. Consolidated sales of Rhone-Poulenc in 1995 were $17.3 billion. In 1995, Rhone-Poulenc's U.S. chemicals, agricultural and animal nutrition businesses generated $2.4 billion of sales. The company employs some 6,500 people in its 55 U.S. facilities. Rhone-Poulenc S.A. also owns 68 percent of Rhone-Poulenc Rorer (NYSE: RPR), a leading pharmaceuticals company.
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/CONTACT: media, Rick Rountree, 919-549-2310, or investors, Dwight Grimestad, 908-821-3487, both of Rhone-Poulenc/

(RP)

CO: Rhone-Poulenc Ag Co.; Rhone-Poulenc S.A. ST: North Carolina, Florida, New Jersey IN: CHM SU:

LJ-JM -- PHTH006 -- 0181 05/16/96 09:09 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:May 16, 1996
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