RENO, NV--(Marketwired - Aug 26, 2013) - Itronics Inc. (PINKSHEETS: ITRO) wholly-owned subsidiary, Itronics Metallurgical, Inc., is resuming field testing of its breakthrough GOLD'n GRO Guardian Deer Repellent fertilizer. The fertilizer provides systemic protection for plants from foraging deer while at the same time improving plant health through fertilization.
The U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC) recently issued a report stating that more than 300,000 new cases of Lyme disease are occurring annually in the United States, up from 21,000 cases reported in 2007. It is a 10 times increase from the 30,000 cases per year that the CDC had been recently reporting. "Because of the increasingly rapid spread of Lyme disease by deer ticks and black legged ticks, and the potential great expense and difficulty of treating Lyme disease, reduction of deer foraging in suburban yards is a desirable method of reducing the spread of deer ticks to humans," said Dr. John Whitney, Itronics President.
Lyme disease, if not treated early, can lead to severe and chronic health problems. The cost to the United States is estimated at $30 billion annually. A report issued in "Contingencies," an actuarial publication, estimated that the average per patient cost of Lyme disease, including treatment, diagnosis, and lost wages, is more than $60,000 per year per patient. Adjusted for inflation to 2013 dollars, this cost increases to almost $100,000 per patient per year. Since Lyme disease is not readily diagnosed, and if not identified right away the health impact can take years to overcome, the national cost is potentially staggering.
Deer damage to people and property in the United States is also very costly. In a report issued by Cornell University, it was estimated that the annual damage exceeds $2 billion. The damage categories and amounts were $1 billion in car damage, more than $100 million to agricultural crops, $750 million in damage to the timber industry, and more than $250 million in damage to metropolitan households, mainly to landscape plantings. The annual cost adjusted for inflation to 2013 dollars exceeds $3 billion.
The Company's development of GOLD'n GRO Guardian was driven by the need to solve a severe urban problem, deer foraging in people's yards. Deer destroy suburban landscapes and spread Lyme disease by transporting deer ticks and black legged ticks, the primary carriers of Lyme disease and related ailments. Reduction of deer foraging in urban yards reduces the potential for human contact with the deer ticks, which get into family lawns and shrubs and are transported by family pets to their owners. The GOLD'n GRO product does not harm the deer.
In December 2008 the Company obtained a provisional biopesticide registration for GOLD'n GRO Guardian from the Federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Under United States Environmental Protection Agency rules, costly and extensive outside contract laboratory testing of the GOLD'n GRO systemic repellent system for safety in the natural environment is required before final registration can be approved. In 2008 the Company's registration consultants had estimated this cost to approach $1.5 million and to meet the EPA mandated requirement would take a minimum of 3 years. This is true even though the individual repelling ingredients have been used safely in the human environment for more than 40 years in America. For example, the main repelling ingredient is used in anti-freeze throughout the United States as a bittering agent to prevent children and pets from drinking the anti-freeze.
The recession that began in 2008 made it impossible for the Company to obtain the funds required to pay for the research. The market and sales development of GOLD'n GRO Guardian Deer Repellent fertilizer was discontinued in the second half of 2009 due to the collapse of the housing market in the United States. The state registrations were dropped in 2010 and 2011. The registration of the manufacturing locations has been maintained.
The U.S. housing market is improving and is expected to return to more normal conditions over the next several years. The Company's plan is to continue to selectively obtain field effectiveness information in anticipation of re-starting the registration process when the housing market regains sufficient strength. Itronics Board of Directors has authorized management to investigate the possibility of government grants to fund the needed environmental research so that the Company can obtain the registration needed before manufacturing and sale of GOLD'n GRO Guardian can resume.
The GOLD'n GRO systemic deer repellent fertilizer technology and manufacturing process was developed as an outgrowth of the GOLD'n GRO advanced nutrient technology utilized in the award winning GOLD'n GRO fertilizers and is 100 percent owned by the Company.
Itronics' technologies maximize sustainability. The Company is using science and engineering to pursue profitable clean technology driven growth in chelated specialty fertilizers, silver, and related technologies and products. "Itronics as a fertilizer and silver producer, and a large-scale iron copper gold mineral exploration property owner is well positioned to participate in these strong markets," said Dr. Whitney.
Headquartered in Reno, Nevada, Itronics Inc. is a "Creative Clean Technology" company that produces GOLD'n GRO liquid fertilizers and pure silver bullion. Itronics, through its subsidiary, Itronics Metallurgical, Inc. is the only company with a fully permitted "Beneficial Use Photochemical, Silver, and Water Recycling" plant in the United States that converts spent photoliquids into pure silver and GOLD'n GRO liquid fertilizers. The Company is developing environmentally compatible mining technology, and is developing the Fulstone Iron Oxide Copper Gold exploration property in Nevada.
Itronics has received numerous domestic and international awards that recognize its ability to successfully create and implement new environmentally clean recycling and fertilizer technologies.
The Company's environmentally friendly GOLD'n GRO liquid fertilizers, which are extensively used in agriculture, can be used for lawns and houseplants, and are available, along with liquid fertilizer injectors, at the Company's "e-store" catalog at http://goldngro.com. Its popular Silver Nevada Miner bars are available at the Company's "e-store" catalog at http://www.itromet.com.
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("Safe Harbor" Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995: This press release contains or may contain forward-looking statements such as statements regarding the Company's growth and profitability, growth strategy, liquidity and access to public markets, operating expense reduction, and trends in the industry in which the Company operates. The forward-looking statements contained in this press release are also subject to other risks and uncertainties, including those more fully described in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The Company assumes no obligation to update these forward-looking statements to reflect actual results, changes in risks, uncertainties or assumptions underlying or affecting such statements, or for prospective events that may have a retroactive effect.)