FMC Corp strongly disagrees with the announcement by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to revoke all U.S. food tolerances for the pesticide carbofuran. FMC plans to file objections to this action by the EPA and to seek an administrative hearing, according to a company press release.
"We are very disappointed by the EPA revocation and their unwillingness to recognize that our voluntary changes to the label allowed the product to meet the dietary safety standard using EPA’s own conservative assumptions," said Dr. Michael Morelli, Director of Global Regulatory Affairs, FMC Agricultural Products Group. "President Obama has committed EPA to regulating on the basis of sound science, and FMC is confident that a fair hearing based on sound scientific principles will prove carbofuran’s safety to the satisfaction of all."
FMC finds the Agency’s action to be highly unusual as well as contrary to the EPA’s past position which would have maintained at least imported food tolerances for the product. Since EPA announced its intention to cancel carbofuran registrations in 2006, FMC has modified the product label and generated additional data, to augment an already substantial database, all of which confirm the safety of this product.
This action by the EPA is confusing to growers and others in the agricultural community as it circumvents the normal re-registration process under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), said Morelli. EPA has taken no action to cancel carbofuran’s registrations, which continue under FIFRA. Several major grower associations, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and all 50 Secretaries of State Departments of Agriculture have gone on record supporting the continued, but very limited use of carbofuran where there are no alternative products, such as in sunflowers and corn rootworm rescue.
Under the EPA action, FMC can still sell and growers can use carbofuran until December 31, 2009. The company will follow all available administrative procedures and hopes to have the product available for the next crop growing year.
FMC Corporation is a diversified chemical company serving agricultural, industrial and consumer markets globally for more than a century with innovative solutions, applications and quality products. The company employs approximately 5,000 people throughout the world. The company operates its businesses in three segments: Agricultural Products, Specialty Chemicals and Industrial Chemicals.