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Not All OTC Products Are Created Equally

Daniel CooperHLB Management, OTC Expert


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In this special series, Tom Johnson, owner of TJ BioTech, tackles questions about optimizing trunk-injection applications to treat HLB.

Q: The claim has been made that all oxytetracycline (OTC) products are the same. What have you found in your research and development work?

Tom Johnson: During the development of ReMedium TI®, we had to determine the formulation, rates of application and the timing of application needed to have a successful product to treat HLB.

What we learned early on in 2017 to 2018 is that trees that fell below the health threshold of 70% canopy level could not handle the same rate of OTC injection as trees that showed better health. Therefore, two concentration levels began to take shape.

The next discovery was the injury levels as indicated by phytotoxicity, particularly in these low-canopy trees. High-concentration and high-application rates were implicated in the phytotoxicity symptoms, but the purity of the OTC was the common factor.

The final decision to create ReMedium TI® from high-purity material (pharmaceutical grade) was initially made because the high-purity OTC was more stable in package and in formulation and stayed on specification. That was deemed to be essential for a commercial product.

It turns out that the potential for additional damage or injury to trees may be the bigger factor in the long run, even though that was not the initial reason to choose higher-grade material.

So, are all OTC products the same? The answer is definitely not.

Tom Johnson is the owner of TJ BioTech, the manufacturer of ReMedium TI®. If you have a question about trunk injection, please send it to

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