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

Your source for pest management and pesticide news

December, 2002/Volume 25, No. 12

NEWS YOU CAN USE

Reserve February 13 on your calendar for the 2003 Satellite Pesticide Workshop.
If your organization has a project on the risk or use of pesticides, funding is available through the Pesticide Environmental Stewardship Program.
English and Spanish versions of the popular pest prevention activity book for children, Socorro! Una Cucaracha! (Help! It's a Roach!), are now on-line.

FEDERAL NEWS

If you want to know what new pesticides might be coming, take a look at the 2003 work plan for the EPA-OPP Registration Division.
Although there has not been much activity for some time, the Endangered Species Act is still around, and EPA is looking for comments on the agency's Endangered Species Protection Program.

FOOD QUALITY PROTECTION ACT -- RE-REGISTRATION

Heads up if you care about dimethoate.
Dimethoate Issues Summary Table
The EPA has issued a re-registration eligibility document
(RED) for endosulfan.

HEALTH AND THE ENVIRONMENT

The EPA PA has ordered two companies to stop selling and distributing BI-ARREST 2, an ineffective hospital disinfectant and tuberculocide.
Hartz Mountain Corporation has agreed with EPA requests to reduce potential risks to pets attributed to flea and tick products.
A new curriculum for middle school instructors teaches children about invasive aquatic plants.
You might have guessed that unscrupulous companies are selling bogus products that allegedly protect you (and your precious children) from antrax.

BIOTECHNOLOGY

Look for the next wave of crop plants engineered with genes from Bacillus thuringiensis.
The USDA seized and destroyed 500,000 bushels of soybeans that may have been contaminated with biopharmaceuticals produced by genetically engineered corn.



Well, we made it through another year. Thank you for your support, and we hope you and your family have a wonderful holiday season.

News You Can Use

Reserve February 13 on your calendar for the 2003 Satellite Pesticide Workshop. As usual, we will be offering a variety of scintillating topics on a variety of pesticide topics. We are planning to talk about new pesticides, biotechnology, EPA activities, water and a whole lot more. Certified pesticide applicators will also receive 5 hours of re-certification credit in any nonstructural category. Watch your mail and this newsletter for details about registration.

If your organization has a project on the risk or use of pesticides, funding is available through the Pesticide Environmental Stewardship Program. Any organization is eligible for funding. Projects may include education, demonstration, outreach, risk reduction, measurement/monitoring, risk mitigation and technology transfer. Construction projects and projects that focus solely on research are not funded by this program.

Projects must have measurable goals and outcomes, and they should focus on one of the following areas:

For details, see http://www.ipm-education.org/2003rfp.htm The deadline for application is January 31, 2003.

English and Spanish versions of the popular pest prevention activity book for children, Socorro! Una Cucaracha! (Help! It's a Roach), are now on-line. The activities have been designed to be interactive, to provide a fun way to learn about managing indoor insect pests. The messages of removing food, water and shelter apply to may pests, not just cockroaches. The web version is found at http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/kids/roaches/spanish/ Paper versions of this book are available from EPA's publication center: http://www.epa.gov/ncepihom/ordering.htm

Federal News

If you want to know what new pesticides might be coming, take a look at the 2003 work plan for the EPA-OPP Registration Division. The plan shows the current list of potential conventional chemical registration candidates for review and possible decision-making during the year. The 2002 report for conventional pesticide decisions is posted at the same site: http://www.epa.gov/opprd001/workplan/

Although there has not been much activity for some time, the Endangered Species Act is still around, and EPA is looking for comments on the agency's Endangered Species Protection Program. The EPA proposal describes how the agency will ensure that appropriate protection measures are implemented for federally listed endangered and threatened species in compliance with both section 7(a)(2) of the Endangered Species Act and with the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act. The EPA plans to complete and upgrade county-specific bulletins, amend pesticide labels to reference these county bulletins, and enhance monitoring programs to ensure that lawful pesticide use does not adversely affect listed species. If a pesticide label refers to a bulletin about endangered species, the user is required to obtain and follow that bulletin if it applies to the county where the pesticide will be used.

The agency has to comply with the Endangered Species Act, but EPA does not want to place unnecessary burdens on agricultural and other pesticide users. Some people may not believe the part about the unnecessary burden. The agency, however, has specifically made that statement and it is up to us to hold them to their word. Public action groups commonly (and rightly) demand that EPA stand by official statements. The first step is to take advantage of the comment period. If you do not take the time to comment, why should EPA think you care about the issue? I always ask my children what they want for breakfast. If they say nothing, I prepare whatever I want and they have to eat it.

You have until March 2, 2003, to comment or eat whatever EPA dishes out. You can find the EPA proposal at http://www.epa.gov/fedrgstr/index.htm Information about the EPA Endangered Species Protection Program is posted as http://www.epa.gov/espp/ (EPA Pesticide Program Updates, 12-04-02)

Food Quality Protection Act -- Re-Registration

Heads up if you care about dimethoate. The EPA is finalizing its risk assessment based on the information in the following table. If you spot mistakes, contact the Chemical Review Manager, Mr. Pat Dobak, at 703-308-8180 or e-mail: dobak.pat@epa.gov



Dimethoate Issues Summary Table by Group -- Draft, November 27, 2002
Crop/Category Risk/Benefits Summary Mitigation Starting Point
(not to be construed as agency position)
Grapes, apples Dietary risk exceeded individually, may not be critical. The two leading contributors to cumulative risk. Cancel uses and revoke tolerances.
Head lettuce Leading dietary risk driver. Use not as critical as leaf lettuce use. Dietary risks are high enough to justify deleting these uses.
Leaf lettuce Critical use based on the elimination of other aphid alternatives. Retain use and modify labels with additional mitigation to address occupational risks.
Succulent beans and peas, spinach Dietary risk driver, but does not exceed individually. Unacceptable handler risks. Need to evaluate usage. Delete uses. Determine what is needed to set up a pre-bloom SLN.
Field crops (alfalfa, cotton, field & pop corn, grass for seed, safflower, sorghum, soybeans) Unacceptable handler risks; dietary acceptable. Low percent crop treated. 50 percent of total

AI usage.

MOEs are low enough to justify deleting these uses. Need management input on how low handler MOEs could be.
Pecans Occupational risks (MOEs and REIs) are only an issue for the SLN. Modify labels with additional mitigation to address occupational risks. Possible to lower GA SLN use rate to 0.5 to address MOEs and REIs?
Cherries Unacceptable handler risks; dietary acceptable. Critical uses with existing SLNs. Options: limit to dormant use or phase out.
Critical non-food crops (Douglas fir seed orchards, cottonwoods for pulp, Christmas trees) Unacceptable handler risks; no dietary exposure. USDA has already been heavily involved in efforts to retain these uses. Limited acreage. Douglas fir seed orchards are only in OR and WA. MOEs are low enough to justify deleting these uses but will need to explore mitigation. Cheminova is not supporting these uses.
Vegetables with low application rates1 A few crops will have acceptable dietary and occupational risks. Retain these uses and modify labels with additional mitigation to address occupational risks.
Vegetables with higher applications rates2 Acceptable dietary risk rates; unacceptable M/L groundboom risks; low percent crop treated.3 Possible to delete these uses.
  Acceptable dietary risk rates; unacceptable M/L groundboom risks; high percent crop treated.4 Need input on mitigation options to support retention of these uses.
Citrus, pears Unacceptable handler risks; dietary acceptable. Pear use not critical. Handler MOEs are low enough and REIs are prohibitively long enough to justify deleting this use. Need management input on how low handler MOEs could be. Florida citrus use must be deleted due to drinking water concerns.
Aerial application Unacceptable handler risks for all crop/rate comtinations. Delete.
1The crops with low application rates (0.16-0.33 lb ai/A) include peas, peppers, collards, kale, mustard greens, endive (escarole), spinach, Swiss chard and turnips.
2Vegetables with higher application rates (0.5-1.0 lb ai/A) include asparagus, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, celery, lentils, melons, potatoes and tomatoes.
3Asparagus, cauliflower, celery, lentils, potatoes and tomatoes.
4Snap beans, broccoli, cabbage, melons.
SLN: Special Local Need (state label); MOE: Margin of Exposure (low MOE means more dangerous); REI: Reentry Interval


The EPA has issued a re-registration eligibility document (RED) for endosulfan. Read the RED at http://www.epa.gov/oppsrrd1/reregistration/endosulfan/ The deadline for comments is January 6, 2003.

Health and the Environment

The EPA PA has ordered two companies to stop selling and distributing BI-ARREST 2, an ineffective hospital disinfectant and tuberculocide. Both Biospan Technologies Inc. of Washington, MO, and Infection Control Technologies of Woods Cross, UT, were asked to recall all quantities of this product from the marketplace. The product, BI-ARREST 2, is sold to disinfect operating rooms, emergency rooms and other public health areas. In this case, the inactivity of the pesticide may pose a serious risk to the public. On November 15, EPA ordered the companies to stop selling the misbranded pesticide.

The label contained statements that the product was effective against Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Mycobacterium tuberculosis, but EPA found these claims to be untrue. Agency laboratories routinely test tuberculosis and hospital disinfectant products to ensure products marketed to the public protect public health providers, consumers and others. FIFRA prohibits selling or distributing a misbranded pesticide; misbranding includes a false or misleading statement concerning the effectiveness of the product as a pesticide. (EPA Press Advisory, 11-27-02)

Many people forget that pesticides save lives when they call for banning all pesticides.

Although EPA tests disinfectants and sanitizers, the agency does not routinely test pesticides sold to control pests that do not directly endanger human lives. Just because a pesticide is registered to control fleas does not mean that it will work. Get advice from your local county extension office before you buy an unfamiliar pesticide.

Hartz Mountain Corporation has agreed with EPA requests to reduce potential risks to pets attributed to flea and tick products. Hartz has ceased sale and distribution of Hartz Advanced Care Brand Flea and Tick Drops Plus for Cats and Kittens (EPA Reg. No. 2596-148) and Hartz Advanced Care Brand Once-a-Month Flea and Tick Drops for Cats and Kittens (EPA Reg. No. 2596-151). Hartz will recover the products and repackage them with an improved label. The company will also provide a consumer education program, including a web site and direct mail to pet owners, pet stores and veterinarians.

The EPA has investigated thousands of complaints associated with these products over the past two years. Incident reports ranged from minor adverse effects, including skin irritation or hair loss at the application site and salivation, to more serious effects on the nervous system, such as tremors (twitching of muscles), convulsion and death.

If you and/or your pets have experienced adverse health reactions to pesticides, report those reactions to your local Poison Control Center, physician or veterinarian. You can also call the National Pesticide Information Center (NPIC) at 1-800-858-7378, seven days a week excluding holidays, from 6:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Pacific Time -- or fax them at 514-737-0761 -- or send them an e-mail at npic@ace.orst.edu Report adverse health reactions involving cats and/or kittens that are associated with these products to the Hartz Mountain Corporation by calling 1-800-275-1414.

If you have any of these products, contact Hartz for a refund or to exchange the products. If you have any unused products or portions of these products, you may contact the Hartz Mountain Corporation toll free at 1-800-275-1414 for instructions on how to exchange the product or obtain a refund from Hartz.

For more information, visit this EPA web site: http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/citizens/hartzq_a.htm

A new curriculum for middle school instructors teaches children about invasive aquatic plants. Nineteen organizations with an interest in limiting the spread of noxious aquatic plants have produced Understanding Invasive Aquatic Weeds: Homework & Classroom Activities for the 5th Grade as an informative electronic publication. With extensive full-color photos and simple text, the 16-page work introduces the topic of aquatic plants -- the good and the bad -- and then describes five of the worst aquatic weeds. The document can be freely downloaded from the website: http://www.apms.org/book/activity.htm For hard copies, contact scott.aquarium@usm.edu (IPMnet NEWS #108, December, 2002)

You might have guessed that unscrupulous companies are selling bogus products that allegedly protect you (and your precious children) from anthrax. The EPA issued stop-sale orders to Aerotech Laboratories Inc., Phoenix, AZ, and American Security and Control Inc., Falls Church, VA, to cease advertising and selling their respective products that supposedly protect against anthrax. The companies both marketed their unregistered pesticides over the Internet.

The EPA ordered Aerotech to stop selling the unregistered pesticide Modec Decon Formulation included in their "Bioterrorism Response Kit." The label claimed the pesticide "Decontaminates & Mitigates Chemical & Biological Weapons Agents." American Security was selling "Easy DECON Spray," promoted as a "personal incident anthrax and biological and chemical decontamination sprayer." The stop sale order also included "Anthrax and Biological Decontamination System" and the "Anthrax and other Biologicals Decontaminant Killer Solution." The company claimed the pesticide had received EPA approval. The agency has no pesticides registered for the control of anthrax.

Although you can spend millions of dollars on products that supposedly protect you from anthrax, you would probably be better off to stick your money up your nose. It would protect you just as well, and you could get the money back later. Believe it or not, some information on the Internet is not true. Do not buy pesticides over the Internet unless the dealer is a reputable company that you know well.

Biotechnology

Look for the next wave of crop plants engineered with genes from Bacillus thuringiensis. Growers will have new options to control pests, and protesters will have new targets for their ire. Most of the introductions involve genes derived from the soil bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt). Some of the new varieties will be introduced in 2003; others are not ready for the market.

Monsanto's chief technology officer states that nearly all invertebrate plant pests can be managed with Bt technology. Keep in mind that people once said similar things about DDT. Things are a little different this time; Monsanto has a library of more than 8,000 Bt proteins. Only a handful of them have been introduced so far.

You can read the whole story at this web site: http://www.agweb.com/pub_get_article.asp?sigcat=farmjournal&pageid=92806%20

Even with all these new ideas, we can still safely say "You ain't seen nothin' yet." Industry progress with genetic engineering continues to accelerate, but that news it not all good. The public has not embraced genetically engineered products, and part of the reluctance can be attributed to the pace of change. People are uncomfortable with new technologies until they begin to understand them (or have forgotten about them), and public opinion drives the marketplace. If consumers do not want to buy genetically engineered foods, investments with biotechnology may not pay off as anticipated. Eventually, the public will grow accustomed to this brave new world; but, in my opinion, industry needs to do more to market the advantages of genetic engineering to the public. -- Excerpted with thanks from Farm Journal, November, 2002. (IPMnet NEWS #108, December, 2002)

The USDA seized and destroyed 500,00 bushels of soybeans that may have been contaminated with biopharmaceuticals produced by genetically engineered corn. Reportedly volunteer corn from earlier experiments was discovered in a field of soybeans destined for the food/feed market. The company also destroyed 155 acres of corn that may have cross-pollinated with the volunteer corn.

The company, ProdiGene, did not admit or deny wrongdoing but agreed to pay a civil penalty of $250,000 and reimburse USDA for expenses associated with acquiring and destroying the soybeans. ProdiGene agreed to a $1 million bond and higher compliance standards, including additional approvals before field testing and harvesting genetically modified material. The company will develop a written compliance program with USDA to ensure that its employees, agents, cooperators and managers are aware of and comply with the Plant Protection Act, federal regulations and permit conditions.

The soybeans never reached the human or animal food supply, and different groups are applying their own spin to the situation. The USDA pointed out how the safeguards in place are working to protect human health and the environment. PANUPS, the Union of Concerned Scientists and others say that the incident demonstrates how easily unintended proteins or traits can be introduced into the human food chain.

The Grocery Manufacturers of America expressed concern about producing biopharmaceuticals in food crops. The National Food Processors Association supports mandatory regulatory oversight to prevent contamination and adulteration of the food supply with plant-made pharmaceuticals and industrial compounds not approved for human food or animal feed. Biotechnology companies had issued a self-imposed moratorium on biopharmaceutical testing in major corn states. The moratorium was softened after Iowa lawmakers complained that the policy discriminated against their state. (USDA News Release, 12-06-02; CropChoice news, 12-04-02; PANUPS, 11-22-02; GMA News Release, 11-14-02; NFPA News Release, 11-14-02)

The issue of biopharmaceuticals is the next big battleground for genetic engineering. The potential benefits are tremendous. The advances in this field could save millions of lives and improve life for everyone. The money is huge; biopharmaceuticals are the biggest player in the biotech game. Billions of dollars are at stake. One the other hand, the risks are bigger. Companies are engineering food crops to produce drugs. They are testing with corn in Iowa and other corn states. The ProdiGene incident shows that mistakes can happen. We would be foolish to deny mankind the benefits of this research, but we could make some huge mistakes if the oversight and regulation are not adequate.

The appearance of any trace 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 Management 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 706-542-2816.

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://pubs.caes.uga.edu/caespubs/entomology/pestnewsletter/newsarchive.html

Sincerely,

Dr. Paul Guillebeau, Associate Professor & Extension Entomologist