Sulfoxaflor Update from the American Soybean AssociationFri, 23 Apr 2021 07:46:07 CDT
On April 22, ASA and several other grower groups filed an amicus curiae brief in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals opposing vacatur of the registration for the insecticide sulfoxaflor. In July 2019, EPA re-registered sulfoxaflor for use in soybeans for controlling aphids and suppressing stink bugs and, in addition, for controlling various pests in other crops. This re-registration follows a 2013 registration of the chemistry that was vacated by the Ninth Circuit Court in 2015 following a lawsuit by environmental groups contending that EPA did not sufficiently establish that sulfoxaflor would not harm pollinators.
Following the 2019 re-registration, the same groups that brough the lawsuit against the former sulfoxaflor registration filed a new lawsuit against the second registration, claiming that EPA failed to fulfill its Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) and Endangered Species Act (ESA) obligations in the new registration. However, as part of its briefing in the case, EPA acknowledged an error in its ESA analysis and motioned for the Court to permit the Agency to remand the registration without vacatur to address the error - a request the Court has denied to date. The grower amicus highlights numerous economic and environmental harms that would arise if the Court were to vacate the new registration, including removing the only tool some crops have available to combat certain pests, as well as removing an important rotational chemistry other crops need to mitigate insect resistance pressures.
Sulfoxaflor is a Group 4C, narrow-spectrum insecticide that primarily targets sap-feeding insects. One of the significant benefits of sulfoxaflor is its effectiveness against a narrow spectrum of insect pests, leaving pollinators, biocontrol insects, and other non-target species unaffected. It has been especially valuable for cotton, sorghum, and citrus crops, all or which received emergency use authorizations over the past several years for controlling lygus bugs, aphids, and psyllids.
Joining American Soybean Association in the brief are American Farm Bureau Federation; American Sugarbeet Growers Association; Florida Citrus Mutual; Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association; National Alfalfa and Forage Alliance; National Corn Growers Association; National Cotton Council; National Potato Council; and the National Sorghum Producers.
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