Georgia Pest Management Newsletter



The University of Georgia
College of Agricultural and
Environmental Sciences



Cooperative Extension Service



Your source for pest management and pesticide news

April 1999/Volume 22, no. 4




 

 



REDS ALERT

The EPA has issued Re-registration Eligibility Documents for chlorine gas, dacthal, alachor, methomyl, thiodicarb, and hydramethylnon

FOOD QUALITY PROTECTION ACT

The Implementation Working Group (IWG) is intended to help EPA execute FQPA
Here is the latest update for FQPA policies that have been released for comment
Finally, here is the status of preliminary risk assessments for the organophosphates
According to EPA, they need to reassess 3,210 tolerance by August 3, 1999 to meet FQPA deadlines

PLOWING THE INTERNET

Visit this Web site if you want to see the FQPA-mandated brochure about pesticides and food safety

NEW TOOLS

You may not know (I didn't) that a product is available to distinguish Helicoverpa zea and Heliothis virescens in the egg stage
A graduate student at UC-Davis has developed a treatment for cotton-based textiles that can decompose up to 99% of methomyl or aldicarb in five minutes
The Georgia Department of Agriculture has issued a Special Local Need registration for the use of Acrobat Fungicide to control blue mold on tobacco
The USDA lab in Byron, Georgia, has released three new peach varieties
Most certified pesticide applicators in Georgia recently received a 'Notice of Intent to Consider the Adoption of Rules' from Department of Agriculture

HEALTH & THE ENVIRONMENT

According a Harvard University study, women are more likely to believe hazards, such as chemical exposure, as they are presented in the mass media

IPM IN SCHOOLS

We are preparing to make a big impact on the protection of school children from unnecessary pesticide exposure

CANCELED

The following products will be canceled at the request of the registrant unless the request is withdrawn by 9-20-99

BIOTECHNOLOGY

Local authorities in the United Kingdom may now issue fines for failure to label genetically engineered foods
Some members of the U.S. Congress are questioning EPA's authority to regulate genetically engineered plants


Reds Alert

The EPA has issued Re-registration Eligibility Documents for chlorine gas, dacthal, alachor, methomyl, thiodicarb, and hydramethylnon. If you want to comment, you should review the documents on the Web. http://www.epa.gov/oppsrrd1/REDs/index.html

Food Quality Protection Act

Here is what the Wall Street Journal had to say about the recent Consumers' Union report on pesticides and food safety.

(To read the Consumers Union reports. www.consunion.org/food/worst1st-1.htm)

Fear of Fruit

February 25, 1999 - Wall Street Journal

Michael Fumento, a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute, writes in this editorial today that 10 years ago today, "60 Minutes" aired a scientifically unfounded report that set off a scare over the pesticide Alar, used on apples. Now one of the supporting players in that frightfest, Consumers Union, publisher of Consumer Reports, has decided it's time for a sequel. They've branched out to warn against not just poisoned apples but poisoned peaches as well. CU, says Fumento, is still putting fear before fact and ideology before science, and the media are just as credulous. The CU report claims to be "one of the most comprehensive studies ever undertaken of pesticide residues on fruits and vegetables." Published with an accompanying article in the March issue of Consumer Reports, it ostensibly aims at educating parents. But it appears to be a thinly veiled attempt to influence the Environmental Protection Agency during a crucial time for making decisions as to what pesticides will be effectively banned.

The report relies on a rating system that assigns a "toxicity index" score to 27 foods. The number is based on an arbitrarily selected set of criteria. "This all looks very impressive and comprehensive on paper but really has no valid scientific precedent," says Carl Winter, director of the FoodSafe Program at the University of California at Davis. Example: For pesticides listed as suspected "endocrine disrupters" - chemicals that may cause harm by mimicking hormones - the toxicity index "was multiplied by a factor of three." Why? "In our judgment, potential endocrine disruption is a more important aspect of a chemical's toxicity than even potential carcinogenicity." A better explanation is that much more is known about cancer causation than about endocrine-disruption potential. "There is no method yet for doing a risk assessment on chemicals that have possible endocrine active effects," says Robert Golden, a Bethesda, Md., toxicologist who formerly worked for the EPA. "So there's no justification scientifically for putting any sort of a factor in, three or otherwise."

Interestingly, the source CU used for determining what is an endocrine disrupter is no official database but rather the 1996 book "Our Stolen Future." One of the three underwriters of the CU report was the W. Alton Jones Foundation, whose director was one of the book's co-authors. "For them to come up with a list pulled from a popular book and say these are endocrine disrupters, this isn't science," says Golden. "This is all politics." Another of CU's novelties was to confuse allowable daily doses with chronic ones. The daily or "acute" dose is the most someone can be legally exposed to in a given day; the chronic dose is how much a person can receive daily spread over a lifetime. Obviously, chronic doses are lower because they average some days with higher doses and others with none at all. But, notes Winter, the CU report often uses the chronic dose in place of the acute one, so that "if a child exceeds this (chronic dose) one day, it's called an `unsafe' exposure. At the least, that's naive. At the worst it's outright dishonesty." Such nuances generally didn't make it into the media coverage of the report. Independent scientists were virtually ignored, though environmentalists were called upon for comments. UPI paraphrased one, Todd Hettenbach of the Environmental Working Group, saying that "just a bite or two of an apple, peach or pear" could "cause dizziness, nausea and blurred vision" in a child if the fruit had been treated with the commonly used pesticide methyl parathion. Shades of Snow White. Hettenbach is "totally off the wall," says Laura Plunkett, a Phoenix neurotoxicologist who works as a consultant to the EPA, the Food and Drug Administration and private industry. "Unless it were 100% soaked, absolutely dripping with methyl parathion, there's no way that a few bites of fruit would be a problem." The worst aspect of CU's rating system and the media coverage thereof is that it has no outside reference point. Yet the media were mightily impressed. "Seven fruits and vegetables," Reuters reported, "had up to hundreds of times higher toxicity than other foods analyzed." But hundreds of times a virtually nonexistent risk can still be virtually nonexistent. "When you use real data it's hard to make a strong case that pesticides are posing real health threats to infants and children," says Winter. Even CU found that more than 95% of the time detected pesticide residues were within legal bounds, and even when they weren't it was usually because a pesticide happened to be on a crop it wasn't registered for. Yet those bounds themselves are incredibly conservative, generally based on taking a dose below that which causes any discernible effects in lab animals and dividing it by 100. "If the food supply has such conservative tolerances and only a little is above, that's pretty darned good," says Golden. This also applies to the idea that children and infants are inherently at greater risk from pesticides. This assumption runs throughout the CU report and is intrinsic to the Food Quality Protection Act of 1996, which the EPA is currently implementing.

But it's false. "In some cases they could be more susceptible and in other cases less susceptible," says Winter. Consider the CU report's biggest bugbear, methyl parathion. "The delicate developing nervous system is not so delicate as one would be afraid of," says Stan Schuman, a pediatrician and epidemiologist at the Medical University of South Carolina. "That includes in the womb," he says. The real neurotoxic threats are heavy metals such as lead and mercury: "Once you get past the heavy metals, you just don't see anything." CU's technical policy director, Ed Groth, was quoted as saying the report is "not frightening. It's empowering. It's about giving consumers information to make choices for themselves." But the headlines suggest it's really about scaring parents. "Pesticide Danger Seen in Fresh Fruits, Vegetables; Children Found Most at Risk" (Washington Post). "Some Fruits, Vegetables Endanger Kids, Study Says" (Los Angeles Times). "Fruit, Vegetable Pesticide Called Dangerous to Kids" (Newsday). The only entity the report was meant to empower was the EPA, to interpret the Food Quality Protection Act as severely as possible against pesticides and farmers. CU's own representatives indicated as much at the group's press conference. "We think it's time for the EPA to get on with it," said CU pesticide policy analyst Jeannine Kenney. "Put this tough new law into action." No, the CU report isn't about kids; it's about stirring up fear of chemicals. And it's hard to think of any more obvious consequence of this report than to dissuade parents from feeding their children fresh fruits and vegetables. "People need to know that all the evidence just keeps pointing towards eating more fruits and vegetables," says Golden. "What Consumers Union has done, this is dangerous stuff."

The Implementation Working Group (IWG) is intended to help EPA execute FQPA (but not in the way you may have in mind). The IWG includes 20 pesticide manufacturers, 8 major commodities, 15 specialty crops, National Food Processors Association, 6 non-food groups and 5 'others'. If you or your organization is interested in becoming a part of IWG, email Adam Sharp at the American Farm Bureau (adams@fb.com).

Here are the current officers and committee chairs if you want to contact them to provide or obtain information.

Mark Maslyn, American Farm Bureau
Dan Botts, Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association/Minor Crop Farmers Alliance
George Rolofson, American CropProtection Association and the Treasurer
Tom VanArsdall, National Council of Farmer Cooperatives
Cindy Baker, Gowan Company
Jean Reimer, Rhone-Poulenc
Keira Franz, National Corn Growers
John Maguire, National Cotton Council
Jim Cranney, US Apple
Vern Highley, National Watermelon
Rick Jarman, National Food Processors Association
Bob Rosenberg, National Pest Control Association
Bryce Quick, American Nursery and Landscape Association
John Festa, American Forestry and Paper Association
Has Shah, Chemical Manufacturers

The IWG is drafting a legislative bill that focuses on sound science, relief for Section 18 and statutory deadlines, etc. There are some reports that some members of Congress will support additional FQPA legislation. {Rule for the day: often there is not enough time or money for government to do things right the first time. There seems to be an unlimited amount of time and money to do things over.} A technical committee is developing comments concerning EPA science policies.

Here is the latest update for FQPA policies that have been released for comment.

Finally, here is the status of preliminary risk assessments for the organophosphates.

* Pre-Phase - The preliminary risk assessment is under development: Chlorpyrifos-methyl, chlorpyrifos (Lorsban/Dursban), Coumaphos (Co-Ral), Diazinon, Dicrotophos (Bidrin), Fenitrothion (Sumithion, Rothion), Malathion, Mevinphos (import tolerance only), Phosalone (import tolerance only) and Trichlorfon (Dylox)

* Phase 1- Registrant has 30 days to correct typographical or mathematical errors: No Organophosphates currently in this phase

* Phase 2 - EPA is responding to 30 day error corrections: Dichlorvos (DDVP, Vapona), Phostebupirim

* Phase 3 - Preliminary Risk Assessment in 60 day public comment period: Acephate (Orthene, Payload), Azinphos-methyl (Guthion, Sniper) - only ecological risk assessment, Chlorethoxyfos (Fortress), Disulfoton (Disyston), Ethyl Parathion, Methamidophos (Monitor), Methidathion (Supracide), Methyl Parathion (Penncap M), Oxdemeton-methyl (Metasystox-R), Phosmet (Imidan), Pirimiphos-methyl (Silosan), Propetamphos (Safrotin) and Tetrachlorvinphos (Rabon, Gardona)

* Phase 4 - EPA is responding to the comments received during the 60 day comment period. Azinphos-methyl(Guthion, Sniper) - only the human health assessment, Bensulide (Prefar, Betasan), Cadusafos import tolerance only), Dimethoate, Ethion, Ethoprop (Mocap), Fenamiphos (Nemacur), enthion (Baytex, Tiguvon), Naled (Dibrom, Legion), Phorate (Thimet), Profenofos (Curacron), Sulfotepp (Bladafum), Temephos(Abate), Terbufos (Counter), and Tribufos (DEF)

After completion of Phase 4, EPA will have refined risk assessments that will go over to USDA with an overview of what is driving the risk and whether mitigation steps need to take place. USDA will focus their review on the risk assessment's utilization of use and usage information, assumptions used in the assessment, and on possible strategies/options for managing risk. They will most likely use the Land Grant Universities (Cooperative Extension) to get a reality check on the assessment and information used (we have reviewed one assessment, and another on my desk awaits my attention.) IF the use is for public health, the review will go to the Department of Health and Human Services. Once USDA returns their comments to EPA, a technical briefing will take place that is open to anyone. EPA and USDA will describe the refined risk assessment (risk drivers, how public comment affected the assessment and use information that was used. USDA will provide ideas on possible risk management strategies. Stakeholders will have an opportunity to ask clarifying questions. The minutes of these meetings will be placed in the public docket.

ANOTHER CHANCE FOR YOU: the refined risk assessment will be placed in the public docket and on the website for another 60 day comment period. During this 60 day comment period, EPA and USDA are willing to hold meetings with interested stakeholders to discuss risk management. After the close of this second 60 day comment period, EPA will develop Risk Management Strategies.

According to EPA, they need to reassess 3,210 tolerance by August 3, 1999 to meet FQPA deadlines. About 2,300 assessments are complete. The Agency seems confident that another 1,000 tolerances will be evaluated by August. The complete tolerance assessment of all organophosphates is projected for the end of 2000.

Thanks to Cindy Baker of Gowan Company for this FQPQ update.

Plowing the Internet

Visit this Web site if you want to see the FQPA-mandated brochure about pesticides and food safety. You are unlikely to see it displayed in your grocer's. http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/food

New Tools

You may not know (I didn't) that a product is available to distinguish Helicoverpa zea and Heliothis virescens in the egg stage. I cannot endorse this product because I have no experience with it. If you want more information, visit their web site at http://www.agdia.com/

A graduate student at UC-Davis has developed a treatment for cotton-based textiles that can decompose up to 99% of methomyl or aldicarb in five minutes! The treatment was less effective for other types of carbamate pesticides. Washing the clothes with chlorine bleach regenerates the active sites of the clothing as it is washed. Treated cotton clothing could replace the hotter, more bulky protective clothing required when handling some pesticides. (Pesticide & Tox. Chem. News, 3-25-99)

The Georgia Department of Agriculture has issued a Special Local Need registration for the use of Acrobat Fungicide to control blue mold on tobacco.

The USDA lab in Byron, Georgia, has released three new peach varieties: Autumnprince, Springprince, and Sureprince. Sureprince ripens in mid-June; Springprince ripens in mid-June; and Autumnprince ripens in late August. (Agric. Research, 4-99)

Most certified pesticide applicators in Georgia recently received a 'Notice of Intent to Consider the Adoption of Rules' from Department of Agriculture. The notice includes a lot of information about pesticide certification requirements, certification categories, etc. NOTHING has changed. The Department is simply going through some required paperwork to establish the current procedures as rules. You will not have to take any action or change anything about your pesticide certification. (GDA, 3-11-99)

Health & the Environment

Dear readers, Paul Guillebeau made the deliberate choice to buy organic food this week, but pesticide concerns were not a factor. In some twist of the market, both the organic broccoli and cauliflower were much better looking and cheaper than the conventional produce. The lesson to be learned from my experience is that somebody up the line lost on this deal. The grower received a premium for organic produce and the store sells the product at a reduced price.

The bigger illustration is that the vagaries of the marketplace make it difficult to preserve the premium from farmer to middle-man to middle-man to consumer. In my case, the supermarket probably had more organic produce than they could sell before it spoiled. Next time, they may buy less organic produce; there will be less incentive for the grower to produce it; it becomes a vicious cycle. Until consumers consistently demonstrate a desire to pay a premium for organic produce, the market can never grow very large.

However, the organic industry is growing by leaps and bounds. General Mills is the first major company to introduce an organic breakfast cereal. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization, organic agriculture represents up to 10% of the market. The Organic Trade Association reports that 23% of U.S. shoppers use organic products twice a week or more. For all that growth, organic foods still make up a very small proportion of the U.S. agricultural market. (Pesticide & Tox. Chem. News, 3-25-99)

According to a Harvard University study, women are more likely to believe hazards, such as chemical exposure, as they are presented in the mass media. The authors report that the people don't believe everything they see on TV (good thing). However, public perception of technological hazards are often unsupported by scientific evidence. (Technology, via Pestic. & Tox. Chem. News, 2-11-99).

IPM in Schools

We are preparing to make a big impact on the protection of school children from unnecessary pesticide exposure. The University of Georgia Extension Service, the Georgia Pest Control Association, and the Legal Environmental Assistance Foundation are coming out as a team to implement IPM in Georgia schools. This area is one in which we can produce significant impacts in a short time. Many schools apply pesticides that they do not need to control the target pest. Schools are not deliberately creating additional risk, but the personnel do have the training to incorporate other control strategies.

Many plans are in place. The IPM coordinators from the Southern region will meet in Atlanta this month to discuss activities in each state and available resources. The GPCA, LEAF, and I plan a statewide satellite conference for the fall, followed by training workshops, establishment of pilot schools, and a PR campaign. How can you get involved? Bring up IPM at the next PTA meeting or when you meet school officials. In Georgia, the state school board has little authority over local school systems, so we will need to establish IPM programs in each individual district. Support from local citizens will be invaluable.

Canceled

The following products will be canceled at the request of the registrant unless the request is withdrawn by 9-20-99. Typically, product can continue to be sold for a year after this type of cancellation, and end-users may use all of their stock. Contact the pesticide company if you want to support continued registration. (FR, 2-11-99 & 3-24-99)



Alco Slug'M (love that name) Lilly/Miller Ultragreen Crabgrass Control & Lawn Food
Amerstat 10 M-100 Mosquito Repellent Solution
Cyfly 1% Premix Metaldehyde Methiocarb Granules
Cyfly Technical Metaldehyde Methiocarb Granules 2-1homeowner use
Dacthal 5-G Plus Oftanol 1.5% Granular
Dacthal 5-G Weed Preventer Oftanol 5% Granular Insecticide
Dorsan Insecticide Oftanol 5% Granular Turf & Ornamental Insecticide
Eptam 6E Paraquat Concentrate
Ferti-Lome Bug Bait Prentox Ban Bug Bait
Ficam Insecticidal Shelf & Drawer Paper Prodione R
Ficam Plus R/S Rigo Streptomycin Sulfate
Ficam Wasp Spray Rockland Super Dacthal 686
Flexstar Herbicide Slug'M for Homeowners' Use
Gold Crest Vengeance Rodenticide Talon
Gold Crest Vengeance Rodenticide Small Bait Packs Talon G Rodenticide Bait Pack (mini pellets)
Gowan Dicofol Talon G Rodenticide Bait Pack (pellets)
Gramaxone Super Herbicide Talon G Rodenticide Mini Pellets
Gramaxone Extra Herbicide Talon G Rodenticide Mini Pellets in Mouse Box
Havoc Rodenticide Bait Pack (mini pellets) Talon G Rodenticide Pellets
Havoc Rodenticide Bait Pack (pellets) Tee Time Fertilizer
Havoc Rodenticide Mini Pellets Triple X Garden Weed Preventer
Havoc Rodenticide Pellets Weatherblok Bait
Isotox Insect Killer Formula III ZEP Insect Repellent
Lawn Food and Insecticide Zerepel 2
Lilly/Miller Casaron Granules Zoecon RF-156 Collar for Dogs 


Biotechnology

Local authorities in the United Kingdom may now issue fines for failure to label genetically engineered foods. The European Union has already issued a similar directive. Under these regulations, companies would have to label all products that contain genetically modified soybeans or corn.

Many consumers in the UK do not want genetically engineered foods. One major supermarket chain in UK announced that they would no longer include any genetically engineered ingredients in their brand-name products. Another company indicated that their profits rose considerably after they spoke out against genetically engineered foods.

In a typical fashion, industry is springing up with the regulatory technology. A UK company has developed a screening technique to identify foods with genetically engineered components. The technique looks for DNA that does not occur naturally in the foods. My prediction: the consumer market will soon see a new product that will promise to help consumers identify genetically engineered foods at home or in restaurants. (Pesticide & Tox. Chem. News, 4-1-99)

Some members of the U.S. Congress are questioning EPA's authority to regulate genetically engineered plants. The chairman of the House Ag. Subcommittee has asked EPA to reopen the comment period for the five-year old proposed rule. FIFRA has a very broad definition of 'pesticide,' and EPA interprets FIFRA language as providing the Agency the necessary authority. Other countries have written entirely new laws to regulate biotechnology, but the outcome has not always been more helpful.

A major contributor to the current reconsideration is probably the enormous market for genetically engineered plants that has developed in the U.S. sales of biotech products are expected to reach $20 million this year. (Pesticide & Tox. Chem. News, 3-25-99)


The appearance of any trade name in this newsletter is not intended to endorse that product nor convey negative implications of unmentioned products.

Dear Readers:

The Georgia Pest Management Newsletter is a monthly journal for extension agents, extension specialists, and others interested in pest management news. It provides information on legislation, regulations, and other issues affecting pest management in Georgia.

Do not regard the information in this newsletter as pest management recommendations. Consult the Georgia Pest Control Handbook, other extension publications, or appropriate specialists for this information.

Your input in this newsletter is encouraged.

If you wish to be added to the mailing list, just call us at 706-542-1765

Or write us:

Department of Entomology
University of Georgia
Athens, GA 30602
E-mail: pguillebeau@bugs.ent.uga.edu

Or visit us on the Web. You will find all the back issues there and other useful information. http://www.ces.uga.edu/ces/wnews.html

Sincerely:

Paul Guillebeau, Assistant Professor & Extension Entomologist