Growers, Distributors May Use Remaining Stocks Of Belt Insecticide

The U.S. EPA’s Environmental Appeals Board (EAB) has upheld an earlier EPA decision to cancel registration for Bayer’s insecticide flubendiamide, marketed in the U.S. as Belt, but is allowing sales of existing stocks to growers.

The EAB overruled EPA’s proposed existing stocks determination and will permit distributors and retailers to distribute and sell remaining flubendiamide inventories, and permit growers to continue using product consistent with label use directions.

While Bayer intends to comply with the order, it will fully review the EAB’s decision and evaluate its options going forward.

Today’s ruling follows an earlier appeal to the EPA’s Administrative Law Judge, who ruled in favor of the Agency after excluding any documentary evidence and testimony regarding the scientific issues raised by EPA’s actions on flubendiamide.

“Bayer maintains the EPA’s actions on flubendiamide are unlawful and inconsistent with sound regulatory risk assessment practices,” says Dana Sargent, Bayer’s Vice President of Regulatory Affairs. “The science supporting the registration of flubendiamide may be complex, but it is solid, and it’s unfortunate that we were denied the opportunity to argue the scientific merits of our case. You cannot use the regulatory process as a shield to avoid engaging in meaningful dialogue, but that is exactly what the EPA has done.

“Since we first learned of the EPA’s actions on flubendiamide a few months ago, we have tried our best to argue on behalf of our industry and the many growers who depend on these products for sustainable pest control. In the end it is they who will be most impacted by this decision.”

Sargent continues: “The ruling was narrowly focused on process issues around the registration. It is notable that it did not weigh in on the lawfulness of EPA’s cancellation nor did it consider the fundamental science underpinning Bayer’s argument.

“I want to express Bayer’s deep appreciation to everyone who supported us during this process, with a special thank you to Crop Life America, Agriculture Retailers Association, American Soybean Association, and all the groups that signed amici in support of a sound science regulatory process.”

Growers, retailers and distributors with questions about this issue, should contact their local Bayer Field Sales Representative, or call 1-866-99-BAYER (1-866-992-2937).

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