EPA Says It Is Unlikely To Approve New Neonicotinoid Outdoor Uses

EPA Says It Is Unlikely To Approve New Neonicotinoid Outdoor Uses

EPA has sent letters to registrants of neonicotinoid pesticides with outdoor uses telling them the agency probably will not be in a position to approve most applications for new uses of these chemicals. The reason, according to a press release, is EPA is waiting until new bee data has been submitted and pollinator risk assessments are complete.

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The letters to registrants reiterate that EPA has required new bee safety studies for its ongoing registration review process for the neonicotinoid pesticides, and that the agency must complete its new pollinator risk assessments, which are based, in part, on the new data, before it will likely be able to make  regulatory decisions on imidacloprid, clothianidin, thiamethoxam, and dinotefuran that would expand the current uses of these pesticides.

Affected neonicotinoid actions include:

  • New Uses (including crop group expansion requests)
  • Addition of New Use Patterns, such as aerial application
  • Experimental Use Permits
  • New Special Local Needs Registrations

This is an interim position. However, if a significant new pest issue should arise that may be uniquely addressed by one of these chemicals, EPA is prepared to consider whether an emergency use under FIFRA section 18 might be appropriate. Due to the localized nature of many emergency pest management programs, it may be possible to develop mitigation or adjust the use pattern in a manner that would minimize exposure to bees, the press release states. In the event that an emergency use is requested, EPA plans to assess such requests by relying on available information and risk mitigation strategies.

In response to the EPA announcement, Bayer CropScience gave the following statement:
“The EPA is continuing its reevaluation process of the nitroguanidine neonicotinoids (neonics) as part of its normal regulatory reregistration process of all pesticides.

“With hundreds of studies already completed, we know more about neonics and bees than any class of insecticide in use today and new studies conducted as part of the reevaluation process continue to support the safe use of these products.

“We believe the substantial product benefits coupled with the extensive safety database of neonics does not warrant today’s decision to not consider new label expansions, but we will continue to work with EPA to ensure that all future regulatory decisions will be based on sound scientific risk assessment.”

More information on EPA’s efforts to protect pollinators: http://www2.epa.gov/pollinator-protection.