EPA Proposes No Food Tolerances for Chlorpyrifos

November 11, 2016 11:18 AM
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Building on human health risk claims found in the Notice of Data Availability (NODA) prepublication, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is moving toward revoking all food tolerances for the insecticide chlorpyrifos.

“We revised our human health risk assessment and drinking water exposure assessment for chlorpyrifos that supported our October 2015 proposal to revoke all food residue tolerances,” EPA says in a recent press release. “The revised analysis shows risks from dietary exposure and drinking water.”

Chlorpyrifos insecticides are used in more than 50 crops on more than 40,000 farms to control a wide variety of insects. “Because tolerances are the maximum residue of a pesticide that can be in or on food, this proposed rule revoking all chlorpyrifos tolerances means that if this approach is finalized, all agricultural uses of chlorpyrifos would cease,” EPA says.

Dow AgroSciences, manufacturer of chlorpyrifos, says the insecticide is a critical tool for growers and if revoked some growers face no alternatives for the product.

“We disagree with the chlorpyrifos NODA and with key aspects of the underlying assessment,” says Phil Jost, Dow AgroSciences portfolio marketing leader, U.S. crop protection insecticides. “The assessment lacks scientific rigor, is contrary to EPA and administration policies of data access and transparency in scientific decision-making, and falls short of the FIFRA requirement that decisions be based on valid, complete and reliable scientific data. However, it is important to note this NODA is not a final decision.”

EPA will open a 60-day public comment period that the organization says will be the last opportunity for stakeholders to share their opinions on the product. EPA will make a final decision by March 31, 2017. The group can deny the petition and retain all tolerances or move forward with no tolerances.

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