What is a Minimum Risk Pesticide?

Not all pesticides are created equal. Learn how Hedge Defense Plant Protectant is different from [and safer than] the "norm".

What is a pesticide?

Let's start with the basics. As it relates to our product, the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) defines a pesticide as any substance intended for preventing, destroying, repelling or mitigating any pest. Pests can be defined as insects, animals and/or microorganisms.

The EPA casts a wide net in determining if a product is or is not a pesticide. Products are classified as pesticides primarily based on the claims made on the product label. If a product makes any claim to kill, destroy, deter, remove or repel [or any similar action] any pest, if it indirectly or implies an action against a pest, if it draws a comparison to a pesticide or displays pictures of pests on the label, it's considered a pesticide in the eyes of the EPA. This means that products making claims, whether intended to mitigate pests affecting humans (ie, disinfectants, sterilants...) or plants (ie, fungicide, insecticide...), are all considered pesticides and must be regulated accordingly.

What Makes Minimum Risk Pesticides Different?

Every pesticide on the market must meet safety criteria through a risk assessment which evaluates the potential for health and ecological effects. Through this exercise over time, the EPA has created a set of six conditions, that if met by a product, place it in a category called "Minimum Risk Pesticides". These pesticides have been determined to pose little to no risk to human health or the environment, and as such the EPA has exempted them from federal registration under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, & Rodenticide Act (FIFRA).

The EPA defines the conditions as follows:

Condition 1: The product's active ingredients must only be those that are listed in 40 CFR 152.25(f)(1).

Condition 2: The product's inert ingredients may only be those that have been classified by EPA as:

Listed in 40 CFR 152.25(f)(2) commonly consumed food commodities, animal feed items, and edible fats and oils as described in 40 CFR 180.950(a), (b), and (c); and

certain chemical substances listed under 40 CFR 180.950(e).

Condition 3: All of the ingredients (both active and inert) must be listed on the label. The active ingredient(s) must be listed by label display name and percentage by weight. Each inert ingredient must be listed by label display name.

Condition 4: The product must not bear claims either to control or mitigate organisms that pose a threat to human health, or insects or rodents carrying specific diseases (ex. bed bugs).

Condition 5: The name of the producer or the company for whom the product was produced and the company’s contact information must be displayed prominently on the product label.

Condition 6: The label cannot include any false or misleading statements.

Where can Minimum Risk Pesticides be Used?

All states allow the use of Minimum Risk Pesticides with some states requiring product registration. States requiring registration may assign a registration number to the filing, but this is not to be mistaken for an EPA registration number. Minimum Risk products do not carry EPA registration numbers.

Generally, Minimum Risk Pesticides can be used safely on all types of plants and crops. However, certain industries carry additional rules or regulations governing inputs specific to the industry. Always refer to the rules surrounding to your [plant] industry when deciding whether or not to incorporate new products.

Is Hedge Defense a Minimum Risk Pesticides?

Yes. Hedge Defense Plant Protectant meets all 6 conditions for Minimum Risk Pesticides. The product label has successfully undergone a voluntary review in the state of California, and is registered on a state-by-state basis. If you're wondering if Hedge is available yet in your state, please inquire.

NOTE: Always use proper PPE and follow all industry safety guidelines when handling and applying any type of pesticide, Minimum Risk or otherwise.