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SAFETY OF PESTICIDE USERS DRIVING NEW PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT

 SAFETY OF PESTICIDE USERS DRIVING NEW PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT
 ARLINGTON, Va., June 19 /PRNewswire/ -- The need to protect farm workers and others who use pesticides is a driving force behind the development of new agricultural products, Dr. Lou Hargett, director of product development at Sandoz Agro Inc., said today, here.
 A growing number of companies are focusing attention on the naturally occurring microbe Bacillus thuringiensis (B.t.), which is not toxic to humans.
 Speaking at the National Integrated Pest Management Forum here, Hargett said concerns about user safety, environmental standards and market needs are prompting companies to take a look at new kinds of chemical and biological pesticides. "Society has raised the pesticide safety bar, and the agricultural chemical industry is responding," he said.
 Hargett said several companies are attempting to increase B.t. use by developing insect-resistant crops and improved B.t. products through biotechnology. He said companies are also introducing new chemical products that are kinder to the user.
 "Two of the newer chemistries have excellent toxicological profiles. They are also kinder to the environment since they are applied in grams rather than pounds per acre," he said.
 Hargett said pest resistance is a third force behind new product development. To combat resistance, farmers often are advised to use products that work differently from the ones usually applied. However, Hargett said growers are losing many choices from the existing pest management arsenal. "The industry is responding, but all of us must recognize the need to have as many safe and effective tools in the pest management tool box as possible," he said.
 The National Integrated Pest Management Forum was sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Agriculture. Sandoz Agro Inc., which is headquartered in Des Plaines, Ill., produces chemical and biological plant protection products for North American agriculture and noncrop markets.
 -0- 6/19/92
 /CONTACT: Doug Jeske of Sandoz, 708-390-3718/ CO: Sandoz Agro Inc. ST: Virginia; Illinois IN: CHM SU:


MC -- SF011 -- 2143 06/19/92 20:36 EDT
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Date:Jun 19, 1992
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