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New technique sterilizes rats

March 19, 2010


November 27, 2009, 2:21pm

A revolutionary product has been developed by an American firm, SenesTech, Inc., which will virtually sterilize the female rats so that they will not reproduce. The product is called ContraPest that is claimed to be the first of its kind in the world, a non-toxic product that can dramatically decrease rat population in rice fields.

The product is not yet available in the market but Dr. Timothy Vail, vice president of manufacturing and regulations, and George Siegel, vice president of business development for SenesTech, visited the Philippine government officials in Manila recently to discuss field testing and regulatory registration of the technology so that the product can be manufactured and marketed in the Philippines. The product will then be sold throughout  Southeast Asia to address the major problem of rice field rats.

During the visit, Sunil Sutlani, president of Indian Drug Distributors Inc., was appointed as an exclusive agent to act on behalf of SenesTech in order to make formal applications to the Philippine FDA and associated government agencies for compliance testing that will lead to regulatory approval of the product.

ContraPest is not a poison. It will not kill the rats that will eat it. But the female rat that will eat ContraPest will not be able to give birth because it causes reproductive infertility.

Field rats are very destructive pests in rice crops. They eat the tillers of standing crops as well as the grains in the field, and also grains in storage. This is not only a big problem in the Philippines but in Southeast Asia and other rice-growing areas as well.

Currently, farmers fight back with a variety of methods that include poisons such as the anti-coagulant coumatetraryl or the acute rodenticide zinc phosphide. Other extreme methods also include electrocution or flame throwers. Nonetheless, the problem continues to be a chronic detriment to rice production.

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