Cooperative Extension Service
The University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences

Your source for pest management and pesticide news

April 2002/Volume 25, No. 4

COMMENT ALERT

As directed by the Food Quality Protection Act, the EPA is considering a cumulative risk assessment of the triazine herbicides

NEWS YOU CAN USE

Some populations of diamondback moth seem to be resistant to spinosad
The Georgia Department of Agriculture is establishing some rules regarding the use of videotapes for pesticide recertification
The EPA granted "reduced-risk" status for the first food uses of a miticide

FEDERAL NEWS

The EPA will continue to allow the use of approved herbicides in irrigation canals

CANCELED

The EPA is canceling all registrations for ethion
As of March 13, 2002, the EPA canceled all residential uses and some agricultural uses of dimethoate

GRANTS, GRANTS, GRANTS

The EPA has announced a call for proposals under the Pesticide Environmental Stewardship Program

HEALTH AND THE ENVIRONMENT

Some public action groups are calling for a worldwide ban on lindane
We make it a point not to promote specific products, but I could not resist this unsolicited ad I received from China

BIOTECHNOLOGY

An economist with the University of Arizona has been evaluating the economic benefits and costs associated with providing refugia in Bt cotton
The United States and China have reached an agreement that would allow U.S. exports of genetically engineered soybeans into China

Comment Alert

As directed by the Food Quality Protection Act, the EPA is considering a cumulative risk assessment of the triazine herbicides. The Agency is soliciting comments on their determination whether the triazines share a toxic mode action for humans. The EPA has concluded that the following triazine-containing pesticides should be included in a common mechanism group and thus considered by means of cumulative risk assessment:
atrazine, simazine, propazine, and the degradants diaminochlorotriazine (DACT), desethyl-s-atrazine (DEA), and desisopropyl-s-atrazine (DIA). The law requires a 60-day comment period regarding EPA's findings.

Until now, almost all of the discussion of cumulative risks has focused on the organophosphate insecticides, and EPA is continuing forward with a cumulative risk assessment of the organophosphates. The triazines are also receiving high priority for a couple of reasons. The triazines, particularly atrazine, are widely used across the United States. Secondly, the triazines have already caused some EPA and public concern. The herbicides have been detected in surface water, including drinking water supplies.

If you care about triazines (or about the process of cumulative risk assessment), you should read EPA's determination and make appropriate comments. Keep in mind that "EPA is stupid" is not very helpful. Make comments regarding the way that EPA made the determination. If possible, back up your arguments with additional information. You can find the assessment at www.epa.gov/pesticides The deadline for comments is June 2, 2002. The web site above will also tell you how to make comments.

On a related note, a briefing on the revised risk assessment for atrazine alone is scheduled for April 16. This assessment considers environmental/worker risks that are not mandated for the cumulative risk assessment by FQPA.

News You Can Use

Some populations of diamondback moth seem to be resistant to spinosad. At a recent meeting, a Dow AgroSciences representative told us of diamondback control failures in Georgia with spinosad. A survey of the state indicated that high levels of resistance were uncommon.

The problem seems to have arisen from continuous production of collards. Because there was never a break in production, the same diamondback moth population was continuously exposed. The grower thought he was taking a risk, but his buyers were pressuring him for more production. Like the rest of us, the grower could not say "No" to more money.

Two lessons can be learned from this incident. 1) It does not take long to "use up" a new product if we do not use it wisely. 2) Discuss resistance management programs with your extension agent. Other growers and the buyers should also be involved.

The Georgia Department of Agriculture is establishing some rules regarding the use of videotapes for pesticide recertification. They and we have been concerned that applicators are relying too heavily on videotape recertification to maintain their pesticide applicator's license. The videos are intended to supplement other types of training. Even though we produce the tapes, we readily profess that live training is superior.

After some discussion, GDA and we would like for applicators and Extension agents to use the following guidelines. Applicators should not receive all of their recertification hours via videotape. Categories 21, 24, and 31 require 10 hours of recertification, so applicators are limited to nine hours from videotape. The other categories require six hours of recertification, so applicators are limited to five hours. We are glad to provide the video training to help applicators achieve that last hour or two, but please don't rely on the tapes for all of your hours in the last few months before your license expires.

If you need more information, call us (706-542-9035 or GDA at 404-686-4958).

The EPA granted "reduced-risk" status for the first food uses of a miticide, etoxazole (Secure). It will be available for pome fruits, cotton, and strawberries. The registrant believes that the miticide inhibits molting, so it is active against eggs and juveniles but not adults. The mode of action is reported to be so specific that predatory mites are not killed even though the pest mites are killed. (OPMP Newest News, 3-15-02)

Federal News

The EPA will continue to allow the use of approved herbicides in irrigation canals without permits despite a court ruling that permits are required under the Clean Water Act. This case is interesting. The EPA said that applying herbicides, according to the label, to maintain an irrigation system should be considered exempt from Clean Water Act permitting requirements. Two environmental groups had sued the Talent Irrigation District in Oregon after an accident that spilled acrolein in a local creek; thousands of juvenile trout were killed. The federal appeals court overturned a lower court ruling that the district did not need a permit to discharge the chemical. (Associated Press, 3-29-02)

Canceled

The EPA is canceling all registrations for ethion. The Agency published a notice back in September 2001 and received no comments. Cancellation of manufacturing use products will be effective on October 1, 2003, and cancellation of end-use products will be effective on December 31, 2003. Sale of existing stocks is prohibited as of October 1, 2004, and use of these products will be prohibited as of December 31, 2004. For more information, http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/op/ethion/

As of March 13, 2002, the EPA canceled all residential uses and some agricultural uses of dimethoate. The Agency had received requests to cancel these uses from the registrants. No comments were received during and following public comment period. Some people are probably not happy with this decision, but apparently they did not say anything.

Registrants may distribute or sell dimethoate products with residential, public area, and agricultural housefly uses only until March 12, 2003. Others may continue to sell, distribute, and use these products until existing stocks are exhausted. While this notice does affect the majority of dimethoate products, it does not require any changes to the labeling for majority of agricultural uses.

Grants, Grants, Grants

The EPA has announced a call for proposals under the Pesticide Environmental Stewardship Program. The program is open to all organizations involved in work that reduces the risk and use of pesticides in agricultural and non-agricultural settings. Once upon a time, your organization had to be a member of the PESP program, but that restriction no longer applies. Although this is EPA money, the grants program is administered by the National Foundation for IPM Education, so the amount of paperwork is greatly reduced

If you have an idea to reduce pesticide risks, you should apply to this program. Many pesticide grants programs are limited to land-grant universities or other institutions of higher learning. The PESP program really is open to any organization, from a university to a garden club.

For more information, visit http://www.ipm-education.org/2002rfp.html The applications are handled by each of the EPA Regional Offices. The closing date is May 27, 2002.

Health and the Environment

Some public action groups are calling for a worldwide ban on lindane. In January, a girl in the United Kingdom died after ingesting a small amount of ant poison that contained lindane. The coroner ruled that lindane was the likely cause of death.

All uses of lindane have already been banned in Denmark, Germany, The Netherlands, Sweden, Finland, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Norway, Turkey, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Egypt, Indonesia and Mozambique. In the United States, most registrations have been canceled. Lindane is still a commonly used seed treatment, and it is registered for human application to control head lice and scabies. Source: PAN UK press release, March 11, 2002.

I would never apply lindane to my child's head or body. The EPA acted some years ago to greatly restrict lindane availability, I am concerned about an increase in lindane use for head lice because many populations of head lice are resistant to the most commonly used over-the-counter alternatives that contain permethrin. Additionally, parents often get very excited about head lice, and they may demand a prescriptive treatment from their doctor.

Here is some information I copied from the Centers for Disease Control web page. Lindane is one of the most common treatments used to treat head lice. When used as directed, the drug is usually safe. Overuse, misuse, or accidentally swallowing of lindane can be toxic to the brain and nervous system. Lindane should not be used if excessive scratching has caused open sores on the head.

If you take your child to the doctor for head lice, keep these things in mind. Head lice are not a medical emergency. In many cases, it is possible to control head lice without pesticides. Discuss your concerns about applying pesticide to your child with your doctor. You can find more information about controlling head lice at our web site http://entomology.ent.uga.edu/online_pubs.htm

We make it a point not to promote specific products, but I could not resist this unsolicited ad I received from China. The following text is verbatim, except for my pithy comments.

Dear sirs

We have the great honor to introduce our company, [name deleted], as the only one enterprise which produces excellent disinfectant detergent made from 100% pure natural Chinese herb. It has no any chemical ingredients (What can anything be made of if it contains no chemicals?). It is wide spectrum nontoxic and non-polluted detergent by adopting many specific scientific technologies. These natural products are made on the basis of Chinese traditional medicine and modern high technology.

The [bleep] series consist of [bleep] bath foam, [bleep] pet shampoo, [bleep] head lice shampoo, [bleep] silk tree bath foam, [bleep] table ware disinfectant, [bleep] disinfectant liquid soap.

[Bleep] HEAD-LICE SHAMPOO is a new kind of excellent detergent. The shampoo is a high-technology product, which is made from natural plants. So it has no chemical in gradients (Now, I understand, just no chemicals in gradients). It can kill all sorts of human body parasites (Didn't they say earlier that this product was nontoxic?). It also can nurse hair and smooth skill wrinkles (I am not sure what this means, but it sure makes me want to order a carton). The product has no by-effect and is harmless to users.

[Bleep] series was paid close attention by the related company from all over the world after linking to the internet. We sincerely hope we can enjoy a cooperation by the following manners:

 

I put this article in for two reasons. First, I thought it was funny. Second, it points out a serious, ongoing scam concerning head lice. As I pointed out, there is resistance to the most commonly used head lice shampoo, and parents sometimes become desperate. As a result, the public is ripe for fraudulent head lice products. I have been informed of many head lice "miracles" and received some directly to my office. I have no confidence in any of them.

Biotechnology

An economist with the University of Arizona has been evaluating the economic benefits and costs associated with providing refugia in Bt cotton. As you may know, Bt cotton expresses a toxic protein from genes derived from Bacillus thuringiensis. Among other concerns, there is a possibility that the target pests will develop resistance to the toxin. Therefore, federal and state agencies are requiring that a certain acreage of the crop be planted to nonBt cotton. The theory is that some pests will remain susceptible to the toxin because they are protected from exposure in the refuge. Then, the susceptibles will mate with the tolerant pests, and the offspring will be susceptible to the Bt toxin. In the meantime, farmers may be losing money by planting some nonBt cotton.

According to economist Dr. George Frisvold, the refuge requirements can benefit growers in the medium run although there may be short-term costs. The refugia will extend the useful life of Bt cotton. From a longer-term perspective, the refuge requirements actually increases grower returns relative to a no-regulation (no refuge) case. The net benefits or costs of refuge requirements depend on two key variables: 1) how long resistance takes to occur without a refuge and 2) how long a given refuge extends the useful life of Bt cotton. Frisvold's preliminary results vary according to the particular initial resistance allele (R) frequency. His results suggest that, over a period from 1997-2003, the impact of Bt cotton refuge requirements range from modest costs (less than 1% of variable costs) to actual gains to producers, -$10 to +$30 per acre per year. This range holds even if Bollgard II becomes available for the 2004 crop year. (OPMP Newest News, 3-15-02)

The United States and China have reached an agreement that would allow U.S. exports of genetically engineered soybeans into China. U.S. soybean sales to China have an estimated value of $1 billion; and about 70 percent of U.S. soybeans are genetically engineered. Clearly, U.S. growers needed an agreement.

Originally, Chinese regulations were to require labeling for all genetically engineered imports and a safety certificate issued by the Chinese government. These certificates would demonstrate that the products were safe for humans and the environment. It was expected to take up to 270 days to receive a safety certificate.

Under the new agreement, the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture will issue temporary safety certificates to GE food exporters if they have a similar certificate from their own or a third country. The temporary certificates will take only 30 days to obtain and will remain in effect until December 20, 2002.

There is considerable controversy surrounding the new agreement. Critics charge that the United States pressured China into accepting genetically modified crops and that the products have not been proven to be safe. Officials in the United States argued that the new restrictions were a de facto trade barrier rather than "real" concerns about the safety of genetically modified crops. As always, the truth (whatever that is) probably lies somewhere in the middle. China may very well be using health/ environmental concerns as an avenue to protect their domestic production. Likewise, the United States is unlikely to stand idly by as our soybean growers lose this huge market. (PANUPS, 3-18-02)

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/Agriculture/entomology/pestnewsletter/newsarchive.html

Sincerely:

Paul Guillebeau, Associate Professor & Extension Entomologist