Hi my name is Genevieve Faherty and I head up Citrefine’s Regulatory Affairs team.
I have been doing this job for about 14 years and I really enjoy my work. One of the best parts about the work I do at Citrefine is the satisfaction that comes from doing something challenging and novel, which I believe benefits both consumers and the planet.
Q: Where do you live? How do you like to spend your time at home?
I live in rural Vermont, and spend much of my free time growing, preserving and cooking food that our family can eat all year round. I’m happiest when our root vegetable cellar is full and there is a meal on the table filled with the garden’s harvest. I also really enjoy mountain biking and skiing in the back country with friends.
Q: What do you like the most about working at Citrefine?
I really believe in our product and the inherent value of naturally sourced compounds. Citrefine manufactures an insect repellent made from the essential oil from the Eucalyptus citriodora tree. Essential oils like this are made up of many naturally occurring components which vary depending on the growing conditions of the tree prior to harvest of its leaves. This complexity is what nature intended, but it is much more than the single, synthesized molecule that most regulatory authorities are used to reviewing.
I have been lucky enough to build relationships with these authorities and establish a way for their regulatory framework to be applied to evaluate the safety and efficacy of essential oil based substances like Citriodiol®. This work has created a route to market for our products around the world, so that consumers can benefit from the rigour of regulatory review alongside the unique benefits of nature’s complexity.
This outcome reflects my personal belief that we can find solutions for many of our needs by learning from nature without compromising on consumer safety.
Q: Why does this difference between botanical and synthetic chemicals impact your work?
A regulatory authority looks for well supported scientific end points to make an assessment as to whether a substance will be safe for human use and in the environment. For example, they will require physical chemical endpoints like vapour pressure of the substance, or water solubility.
For a single chemical molecule which can be controlled via the manufacturing process you can produce one endpoint for each particular requirement. Now imagine working with a natural substance such as Citriodiol® , which contains nearly 30 different components – each present in the essential oil to varying degrees. The challenge is working with the regulator to ensure they have the right data to verify the safety of the substance and at the same time maintaining a commercially viable product.
Q: What are the main challenges in your job?
Because our team’s deadlines are often determined by regulatory authorities, it is important to maintain a balance in life in order to be able to approach the next regulatory project with the level of energy and diligence it requires. In the past 12 months our Regulatory team has grown, helping us to support our customers’ development projects presence on our key markets as well as 2021 expansion in new product applications and regions. The strength and depth of our regulatory team makes meeting this challenge easier.
I love my work, but I also need time outside, connecting with the natural world and my family to feel centered. I feel extremely fortunate that Citrefine is actively committed to investing in its people helping all of its employees maintain a work-life balance.
Q: What are the Regulatory plans for 2021?
We anticipate an inclusion decision for Citriodiol® under the EU BPR, which will trigger new product data development to support our European Biocidal Product Family allowing our customers to access a wider range of effective formulations.
Q: What are you most proud of for 2020?
Company-wide, I am incredibly proud of the flexibility all our employees displayed in dealing with the challenges posed by coronavirus restrictions. On a personal level I feel proud to have been involved in developing the new European PT19 (repellents and attractants) efficacy guidance, which will hopefully be finalized and released in 2021.
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