ASA's Kevin Scott Disappointed in EPA's Revocation of All Ag Tolerances for ChlorpyrifosFri, 20 Aug 2021 09:32:55 CDT
From the American Soybean Association (ASA), the Environmental Protection Agency announced that, effective six months from now, all agricultural-use tolerances for the insecticide chlorpyrifos will be revoked. This effectively prevents use of the chemistry, as any crops found with residues of chlorpyrifos will be considered “adulterated” under the Federal Food, Drug, & Cosmetics Act (FFDCA). In the months to come, EPA is expected to also cancel uses for chlorpyrifos under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA).
Chlorpyrifos is registered for use on 50 crops and is an important tool farmers use to protect their crops from damaging insects. Soybean farmers use chlorpyrifos to guard against soybean aphids, spider mites, and other pests that can transmit viruses that can further harm crops.
The decision to revoke tolerances follows on the heels of the April 29 decision from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals that ruled EPA must grant a 2007 NGO human health petition to revoke all tolerances and cancel registered uses for chlorpyrifos or modify them to meet FFDCA standards. The Court gave EPA until August 20 to respond, which EPA has done with this ruling.
ASA and its farmer-leaders have expressed significant disappointment with this decision.
“A pledge was made at the beginning of this administration that regulatory decisions would be based in sound science,” ASA President Kevin Scott said. “EPA’s decision to revoke tolerances of chlorpyrifos has given us great reason to question that promise. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals gave EPA the opportunity to preserve uses of chlorpyrifos if human health could be protected. EPA’s career scientists have indicated they believe that is possible, yet EPA decided to revoke all agricultural tolerances regardless. As a result, our nation’s ag producers and related environmental outcomes will suffer. It is disappointing EPA has allowed the fear of litigation to eclipse sound science and its regulatory responsibilities.”
ASA has been on the front lines trying to protect continued grower access to chlorpyrifos. In March 2020, ASA filed its own comments and led coalition comments to EPA supporting the chemistry, which drew nearly forty signers. In response the Ninth Circuit Court ruling, ASA drafted a coalition letter to EPA urging the agency to appeal or seek a rehearing on the Court’s decision. ASA also participated in a grower meeting with EPA in July detailing critical uses of the chemistry and asking EPA to maintain as many uses as possible.
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