Agency Opposes EPA Limits

EPA has decided that the use of three organophosphate crop protection products will require product label changes as well as increased application buffer zones.

CropLife America’s action comes in response to an earlier released National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) Biological Opinion (BioOp) regarding the effects of these pesticides to endangered and threatened salmon and steelhead in California, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington.

“We’re very disappointed that EPA seems to have altered its earlier position in response to NMFS’s July 2008 Biological Opinion draft,” says Jay Vroom, CropLife America president and CEO. “Among other issues, EPA had previously expressed concern over a lack of transparency with regard to NMFS’s rationale for concluding that these pesticides will jeopardize any of the species at issue.”

The three organophosphates — chlorpyrifos, diazinon and malathion — are currently registered for a number of agricultural and non-agricultural uses. The new use limitation proposals for the products are the product of so-called "formal consultations" between EPA and National Marine Fisheries Service as required under the Endangered Species Act.

“We believe that current labeling is already protective of endangered species and that further restrictions are not required,” continues Vroom. “However, we’re pleased with EPA’s determination to implement less restrictive, more reasonable buffers than those recommended by NMFS.

“The importance of the agricultural use of crop protection products cannot be underestimated. This is recognized by Section 1010 of the Endangered Species Act which specifically requires ESA implementation programs to ‘minimize the impacts to persons engaged in agricultural food and fiber commodity production and other affected pesticide users and applicators.’ As always, our concern remains how these decisions might ultimately impact our country’s farmers and agricultural productivity,” concludes Vroom.

(Source: CropLife America)

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