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EPA lifts bee toxicity warning from Vestaron’s Spear Biopesticide
David Rountree | December 28, 2015

Vestaron Corp., a developer of peptide-based insecticides, has received approval from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to remove the bee toxicity warning statement from the company’s Spear Biopesticide label following a review.

Now that the company has assured federal regulators of Spear's safety for bees, the company will begin testing the insecticide's effects on other beneficial insects found in greenhouses.

Now that Vestaron has assured federal regulators of Spear’s safety for bees, the company will begin testing the insecticide’s effects on other beneficial insects found in greenhouses.

Vestaron says removal of the toxicity statement was supported by third-party topical and feeding evaluations that show Spear neither increases mortality nor has any detrimental effects on honeybees.

Earlier this month, the results of the studies were presented at the AgChem Summit 2015: Pollinators and Pesticides in Arlington, Virginia, according to a Vestaron news release on the research.

“It’s exciting to unveil our more environmentally compatible biopesticides, which for the first time perform comparably to synthetic insecticides,” said Robert Kennedy, chief scientific officer at Vestaron.

The Kalamazoo, Michigan-based company’s CEO, John Sorenson, said Vestaron is now a world leader in the development of insecticidal peptides with “the commercialization of Spear for control of thrips in greenhouses.”

Early in 2016, Sorenson adds, the company will be submitting additional data to EPA on Spear’s effects on other beneficial insects used in greenhouses.

Vestaron says its family of biopesticides is based on natural peptides that degrade to useful nutrients in the environment.

A few weeks ago, the company’s bioinsecticide technology received the inaugural Bernard Blum Award for Novel Biocontrol Solutions. Vestaron is a venture-backed company that recently closed a new round of financing totaling $14 million.

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