Source: Arysta news release

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency honored Arysta LifeScience North America with the Ozone Layer Protection Award for bringing the breakthrough fumigant Midas to market.

Midas, a broad spectrum fumigant used before planting, controls a wide array of pests, weeds and plant diseases. Registered by the EPA for use in agricultural crops and turf in 2007, Midas does not deplete the ozone layer and has been proven in commercial fields to be as effective as methyl bromide at lower use rates.

Arysta LifeScience and a team of independent scientists were recognized during a special ceremony at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts April 21 in Washington, D.C.

Arysta LifeScience is one of only three corporations honored this year. The other recipients are Kraft Foods and Hill Phoenix, Inc., a commercial refrigeration company.

"This recognition by the EPA is a great honor for Arysta worldwide and it validates our longstanding belief in the chemistry and benefit Midas brings to the agricultural industry," said Bill Lewis, Chief Executive Officer of Arysta LifeScience North America. "The best agricultural chemistry researchers in the nation have worked tirelessly to bring this product to market. As a result, we have already helped eliminate tons of an ozone depleting substance from being released into our environment."

The company licensed iodomethane (an active ingredient in Midas) from the University of California Riverside and spent seven years bringing it to market. Arysta conducted a full-scale research program, extensive toxicology studies and developed state-of-the-art pharmacokinetic and exposure models to support registration of Midas

Researchers recognized with Arysta LifeScience North America include Husein Ajwa, University of California-Davis, USDA-ARS; Joe Noling, University of Florida Citrus Research and Education Center; Dan Chellemi, U.S. Horticultural Research Laboratory; Erin Rosskopf, U.S. Horticultural Research Laboratory; Greg Browne, University of California-Davis Department of Plant Pathology; and Frank Sances, Pacific Ag Research Inc.

Arysta has been ramping up production of Midas to increase availability to growers in the face of future methyl bromide reductions mandated by the Montreal Protocol.

Since registration, Midas has been used to fumigate thousands of acres in the southeastern United States.

"The discovery of Iodomethane was truly groundbreaking," said Royce Schulte, Product Manager for Midas. "Midas effectively controls diseases, nematodes, weed seeds and insects that threaten high value crops, yet does not contribute to ozone depletion. Since the phase out of methyl bromide began in the 1990s, we have sought an alternative that delivers comparable results and does not pose harm or risk to the environment. Midas is that alternative."

Midas is approved for use on high value crops including ornamentals, strawberries, tomatoes, peppers, tree fruit, nuts and vines as well as turf. It is is registered in 47 U.S. states and is available through select fumigant distributors.