The U.S. EPA has issued a long-term approval for the insecticide sulfoxaflor. After conducting an extensive risk analysis, including the review of one of the agency’s largest datasets on the effects of a pesticide on bees, EPA is approving the use of sulfoxaflor on crops including citrus, corn, cucurbits (squash, cucumbers, watermelons, some gourds), and strawberries.
“EPA is providing long-term certainty for U.S. growers to use an important tool to protect crops and avoid potentially significant economic losses while maintaining strong protection for pollinators,” said Alexandra Dapolito Dunn, Assistant Administrator for EPA’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention. “Today’s decision shows the agency’s commitment to making decisions that are based on sound science.”
Sulfoxaflor is an important tool for growers that targets difficult pests such as sugarcane aphids and tarnished plant bugs. These pests can damage crops and cause significant economic loss. Additionally, there are few viable alternatives for sulfoxaflor for these pests. In many cases, alternative insecticides may be effective only if applied repeatedly or in a tank mix, whereas sulfoxaflor often requires fewer applications, resulting in less risk to aquatic and terrestrial wildlife.
EPA’s registration also includes updated requirements for product labels, which will include crop-specific restrictions and pollinator protection language.