Dow AgroSciences Responds To Appeal Of EPA-Approved Sulfoxaflor

Dow AgroSciences, the manufacturer of sulfoxaflor, says it does not expect a recent petition by beekeeping groups challenging the EPA for its approval of the product to have any impact on the registration, sale or use of sulfoxaflor products. The company has offered the following perspective on the matter, as well as a list of organizations and individuals supporting the registration and excerpts from previous EPA statements:

Perspective:

  • Farmers need insecticides. Sulfoxaflor is less toxic to bees and less persistent in the environment than many of the insecticides that farmers are using now. EPA registered sulfoxaflor with the understanding that it would displace older products posing greater risk to bees.
  • Contrary to claims by petitioners, sulfoxaflor is not a neonicitinoid. It’s the first member of a new class of chemistry (the sulfoximines) with a unique mode of action for insect control. Insects resistant to neonicitinoids are still controlled by sulfoxaflor.
  • EPA was aware of the potential for litigation and thoroughly considered pollinator protection issues in registering sulfoxaflor. We understand that the rigor EPA used in its pollinator protection evaluations with sulfoxaflor went well beyond that used with previously registered products.
  • We are confident in the scientific and legal foundation supporting our product’s registration and use.

Organizations and individuals supporting sulfoxaflor’s registration:

  • The California League of Food Processors
  • The California Specialty Crops Council
  • The Washington State Potato Commission
  • The National Cotton Council
  • The U.S. Canola Association
  • The California Strawberry Commission
  • The American Soybean Association
  • The National Sunflower Association
  • The California Grape and Fruit Trade
  • The United Fresh Produce Association
  • Numerous university entomologists and individual farmers

Excerpts from previous EPA statements about sulfoxaflor:

  • “…[A]s sulfoxaflor has greater efficacy than many of the currently registered insecticides, it is more likely that sulfoxaflor will be used in place of numerous applications of less effective insecticides and could reduce overall honey bee insecticide exposure.” EPA – Sulfoxaflor – Response to Public Comments p. 32.
  • Growers believe that without obtaining use of a chemical with a new mode of action such as sulfoxaflor, they may experience significant economic impacts and failure of their IPM programs. They state they would be forced to continue to rely on older chemistries, of which most pose risk to bees. Many growers familiar with field trials of sulfoxaflor said it is more effective on specific target pests and less injurious to beneficials. The use of sulfoxaflor can reduce the potential adverse effects from multiple applications of other pesticides.” EPA – Sulfoxaflor – Response to Public Comments, p. 36.
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