The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has approved an experimental use permit that will allow experimentation to move forward on a spinach-based product to help control citrus greening disease.
EPA has approved Southern Garden Citrus work toward development of the spinach protein product. Approval is made under the Federal Insecticide, fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA).
Research conducted by Dr. Erik Mirkov, a plant pathologist at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center at Weslaco, resulted in the production of proteins that appear to provide effective control of citrus greening disease.
Mirkov’s patented use of spinach proteins also provides defense against diseases other plants, he said.
Ricke Kress, president of South Garden Citrus, said this latest development is a milestone in efforts to fight off citrus greening.
Approval is considered a “landmark step in the fight against citrus greening disease.”