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Whatever Happened to Nootkatone?

"Our people use deet" she said firmly.  I had stopped at a very attractive campground, hoping to showcase some of the Mozzi and Coco-Noot brands of insect repellents containing nootkatone.  She wasn't having any of it though.  I pleaded my case.   That a significant number of people do choose to try natural products at least once, because they very much want to like them.  The problem is those products really don't work well, and smell too strong.  Headache strong.  I explained that none of those products contain nootkatone.  Our lady was not impressed.  She never heard of it.  "Her people use deet" she repeated (with emphasis). 

News of the CDC promoting the use of nootkatone in insect repellents gained real traction in blogs throughout 2011 and 2012 when NPR first interviewed a CDC scientist. about the discovery of this natural wonder.  Today, seven years later, I find comments on old blogs asking the question.  "Why can't we buy this still?"

The answer is a bit complicated. Simply stated, the EPA is the regulating authority in this space, and the manufacturers of existing active ingredients such as deet are quite happy with the little fiefdoms they now maintain.  They have been quite effective at slowing the approval process for nootkatone by complaining about the CDC owning patents for the use of nootkatone in repellent and pesticide applications only.  In this instance, regulation serves to actually help shield these companies from having to compete with new market forces.

The good news is we no longer need wait for a better natural insect repellent.  It's here.  Mozzi Magic® and Coco-Noot®  each contain nootkatone.  The FAQ section pasted here explains how and why this is made possible by AM&L Formulators, LLC.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTION

Q.  I see that the active ingredient is peppermint oil.  Given the amazing insect repellent qualities reported of nootkatone, why is nootkatone not listed as an active ingredient?

A.  Great Question!  Although nootkatone has been recognized by the Center for Disease Control as a promising alternative for people who wish to avoid DEET, the EPA is the regulating authority in this space and has not yet approved it for such labeling.  The EPA does allow nootkatone to be used in insect repellents as a 'fragrance ingrediet'.  It  has for many years.  To date though, no other company has done so - due to cost, and the difficulty in educating and promoting a product while not being permitted to label in accordance with such proper education.

This is a new product launch that was six years in the making and testing.  We ask that you consider the no risk option afforded by the money back guarantee and free return shipping policy, and then please leave us a review on our facebook page.

Q.  Can I just use grapefruit oil instead?

A.   No.  It takes around 400,000 kg of grapefruit to extract 1kg of nootkatone, and the other constituents of the grapefruit oil can damage the skin when exposed to sunlight.

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This NPR audio link from 2011 featuring the CDC's search for a new type of insect repellent to replace DEET is provided
solely to educate the public regarding
Nootkatone.  NPR does not endorse 
products.

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