Would you be surprised to learn that the Environmental Protection Agency often acts in ways that promote jobs within their own community? Or, that the largest corporate interests of industries regulated by the EPA benefit by being regulated? Who is the EPA protecting, really? Sadly, the evidence shows that they are often protecting their own little club. Where barrier to entry is made so difficult that these regulated companies enjoy being insulated from true market forces. Let me be clear. I’m not an EPA hater. I shudder to think where we would be without them. Some of you may be old enough to remember the television commercials where scenes of pollution flashed across the screen, and we witnessed a tear eventually roll down the cheek of an old, silent Indian Chief. We needed that image. Pollution was much worse here then.
Somehow though, after years of good intentions, the strange reality on the ground is an environment where big business is the friend of the EPA, and small business is shut out, even victimized. An environment where only arrogant, foolish, or extremely hard-headed newcomers wish to wade. Take your pick. Those would be me. This is my story.
Understand that an overwhelming amount of ingredients found in the best, safest cosmetic formulas are not permitted in unregistered insect repellents. Why do you suppose that is? Sometimes there are reasons for it, but often it’s only because those inert ingredients are so nice that they are reserved for companies in 'the regulated club'. These regulated companies like things just as they are.
For many years consumers were not willing to pay premium prices for insect repellents. People just wanted them to work. Therefore, cosmetically unattractive formulations were the norm. Registered many years ago, most of these insect repellents are still common today. Often the registrants are not permitted to change these formulas without paying substantial new fees to the EPA. The EPA sympathizes though, and helps shield these products from fair competition. In new registrations, the EPA will permit their corporate benefactors to use more appealing ingredients if they have been shown to be safe in skin care products which are regulated by the FDA. However, the EPA purposefully prevents natural formulations from using many of these very same inert ingredients.
The space for products exempted from registration exists because the EPA recognizes there are natural active ingredients which can be proven to have some insect repellent qualities, and are generally safer than available synthetic repellents. They were not perceived as a significant threat to the EPA’s corporate clients, due to their relative ineffectiveness. The perceived threat has increased in recent years though, as the public has shown a real desire to avoid DEET. The regulated industry has taken note of this, and some have even started to offer their own unregistered products. That scares the EPA. It means less money for them. In fairness, it also means that many people are choosing products which are not very effective. This is where I come in. What do you suppose will happen to someone who develops natural insect repellents so effective that they threaten to disrupt the apple cart for the EPA's commercial clients in the regulated space? This is because the new products qualify for exemption from EPA registration under FIFRA section 25(b). Stay tuned..................
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
Q. I see that the active ingredient in the Coco Noot insect repellent product is listed as peppermint oil. Given the amazing insect repellent qualities reported of nootkatone, why is nootkatone not listed as an active ingredient in this product?
A. Great question! Although nootkatone has been recognized by the Center for Disease Control (the CDC) 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 has approved peppermint oil for such labeling, but it has also reported that peppermint oil and all other essential oils don't work very well. The CDC believes in nootkatone so much that it spent millions of dollars studying and patenting it for insect control applications. The EPA does allow nootkatone to be used in insect repellents as a 'fragrance ingredient'. It has for many years. To date though, no other company has used it as such because it is so expensive, and it's hard to justify using any ingredient where one has to educate the public while not being permitted to label in accordance with such proper education.
The creator of Coco Noot (AM&L Formulators) was successful in securing a most favorable pricing agreement with the world's lowest cost producer of nootkatone - possibly by virtue of possessing the registered trademark NOOT®. The agreement has now made insect repellent products with nootkatone scenting a viable product for the first time ever. Please help us spread the word,
Q. Does Coco Noot use enough nootkatone as a scenting agent to effectively repel mosquitoes and ticks?
A. We are not permitted to make any such claim. This product does come with a money back guarantee. This is a new product launch that was six years in the making and testing. We do welcome any competitor in the natural space to a heads up mosquito cage test competition by a certified independent testing agency. We ask that you consider the no risk option afforded by the money back guarantee, and then please leave a review on our Facebook page.
Q. Is nootkatone natural?
A. It is naturally derived without use of harsh chemicals. Nootkatone is traditionally extracted from grapefuit skins. It takes approx 400,000 grapefuits to make just 1kg of nootkatone. We use nootkatone which is made from fermentation of select natural sugars, which is more uniformly safe and pure.