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Food, feed and property Insect control

For most of the 20th century the world believed that the application of chemical pesticides is the solution that will prevent damage to food and property. However, in light of the rise of environmental awareness many pesticides phased out and the awareness to develop alternative technologies became consciousness. For several decades, Methyl Bromide has been a mainstay treatment to kill a wide array of quarantine pests as well as those encountered in orchards, packinghouses, and food plants. But this potent fumigant is now associated with depletion of the Earth's ozone and, under the terms of the Montreal Protocol it has been phased out in January of 2005 for Non-Article 5 (developed) countries, and will be phased out in the year 2015 for Article 5 (developing) countries, except for quarantine and pre-shipment fumigations. Even though the Methyl Bromide Technical Options Committee (MBTOC) of the UNEP recognizes the problem of MB phase-out in Non-Article 5 countries, and in consequence, enables parties to submit requests for exemptions under circumstances where no technically or economically feasible alternative treatment to MB yet exists, the parties that submit these nominations must demonstrate that they are making intense efforts to search for suitable alternatives.

Today the main fumigant, which is allowed to use, is phosphine. Since its use is very wide a common all around the world insects developed resistance to phosphine that constitutes a problem when applied. Furthermore, its application requires at least 7 days and a temperature above 15 0 C for good insect control.

To overcome these 2 major problems, members of FTIC have been active over recent years in searching for such viable alternatives to methyl bromide, and some of these are already being practiced in commerce. These solutions have a potential for adoption in many other circumstances and under a wide range of conditions. The FTIC staff has the most advanced expertise to advice on appropriate insect pest control solutions to food industries on alternatives to chemical control in general and to methyl bromide in particular. They include:

Further information on practical application of these alternatives may be obtained in the published literature or contact us.