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

 

 

 

Your source for pest management and pesticide news

 

February 1999/Volume 22, no. 2

 

 

 

 

 


If your address changes, let us know; if you no longer wish to receive GPMN, let us know

HEALTH AND THE ENVIRONMENT

Why do people believe pseudo-scientific reports on herbal and vitamin 'cures,' and distrust scientific reports that the relative risks of pesticides are quite small?
Look for additional restrictions on pesticides as EPA tries coordinate the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) and the Clean Water Act (CWA).
According to the USDA Pesticide Data Program, 30% of fresh fruits and vegetables and more than 50% of processed produce had no detectable pesticide residues.
The Georgia Clean Day Program collected and disposed of more than 63 TONS of unwanted pesticides in 1998.

BIOTECHNOLOGY

Canada is requiring larger non-B.t. refuges for all farms that plant corn containing Bacillus thuringiensis genes.
In a related story, major seed companies plan to require growers to increase refuges to 20% -50% of the planted acreage.
Most scientists think that genetic changes made through direct genetic engineering are quite similar to changes that result from conventional plant breeding, but new research challenges that paradigm.
The International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications reports that the global acreage of genetically engineered crops more than tripled from 1997 to 1998, with a total approaching 70 million acres.
As of December 1998, there are more than 40 genetically engineered crops or microorganisms approved for commercial use in the U.S.

CANCELLED

Bayer Corporation has requested that EPA cancel registrations for all isofenphos products

REDS ALERT

If you want to keep important pesticides, NEVER use them illegally

FOOD QUALITY PROTECTION ACT

The EPA will be under tremendous pressure to make decisions regarding organophosphate and carbamate pesticides by August of 1999 or shortly thereafter.
The Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association is hosting a Workshop on FQPA in March.
EPA has announced the availability of preliminary risk assessments on 16 organophophates.

PLOWING THE INTERNET

The Environmental Working Group has a new interactive Web site that supposedly tells you what pesticides you eat in your food and the health risks.
The Council for Agricultural Science and Technology (CAST) has explored the possibility of prescriptive use of pesticide as a mechanism for saving critical high-risk pesticide uses.

NEW TOOLS

According to Chemical Producers and Distributors Association (CPDA), the EPA is stifling incentive to produce new pesticide compounds.
The Georgia Department of Agriculture has issued a special local need label that permits Georgia farmers to use Dormex on blueberries and peaches and to use Envoy in dormant Berudagrass turf.
Attract-and-kill lures so effectively controlled insect pests in a recent Agricultural Research Service study that a private company has agreed to help further develop the technology.
The Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, recently established a list-server for an Internet "work-shop on research needs for assessing and reducing non-target impacts of biological control introductions."


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Health and the Environment

Why do people believe pseudo-scientific reports on herbal and vitamin 'cures' and distrust scientific reports that the relative risks of pesticides are quite small?

Americans spend billions of dollars on mega-doses of vitamins and herbal remedies. The benefits and/or purity of many of these supplements are questionable; a number of them have known health risks. For many of the others, the risks are largely unknown.

On the other hand, the U.S. National Research Council/National Academy of Science and the National Cancer Institute of Canada recently issued reports that encourage the increased consumption of fruits and vegetables as protection against cancer. Additionally, both groups found the increased intake of fruits and vegetables outweighed any additional risk associated with pesticide residues on food.

Ironically, Americans are much more concerned about pesticide residues on food. Many of the same people that promote herbal remedies also rail against pesticide residues on food.

Look for additional restrictions on pesticides as EPA tries coordinate the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) and the Clean Water Act (CWA). The CWA sets standards for contaminants (e.g., pesticides) in streams, lakes, etc.; it applies primarily to industries (e.g., farms) that discharge pollutants. The SDWA regulates facilities that supply drinking water (e.g., municipal water systems).

The maximum contaminant level for many chemicals is substantially higher under CWA. Under SDWA, water systems must reduce the levels of these chemicals before the water is delivered to customers. It can be very expensive to remove contaminants such as atrazine and nitrates. The Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies and the American Water Works Association want EPA to reduce levels permitted under CWA to one-half of the levels permitted under CWA.

According to the USDA Pesticide Data Program, 30% of fresh fruits and vegetables and more than 50% of processed produce had no detectable pesticide residues. In 99% of the samples with detectable residues, the pesticide level was below the EPA standard. (Pestic. & Tox. Chem. News, 1-21-99)

The Georgia Clean Day Program collected and disposed of more than 63 TONS of unwanted pesticides in 1998. Thanks to the Georgia Department of Agriculture, University of Georgia Extension, Georgia Farm Bureau, the Georgia Crop Alliance, and your state legislators, 126,000 pounds of pesticides will not threaten our health and the environment.

Additional collections are planned for Miller-Seminole-Decatur counties in February and Quitman-Clay-Early counties in March. We will also help to facilitate collections for your professional organization; if you have enough pesticide for disposal (at least 1,000 pounds), the disposal price may be less than $1.00 per pound.

Biotechnology

Canada is requiring larger non-B.t. refuges for all farms that plant corn containing Bacillus thuringiensis genes. Every farm will be required to have a minimum of 20% refuge of unsprayed, non-B.t. corn. The Canadian action is based upon a report from the B.t. Corn Coalition, a group composed of corn growers, the seed industry, and university/government scientists. (Gene Exchange, Fall/Winter 1998)

The U.S. currently requires little or no refuge for most B.t. corn, and some groups consider the currently required cotton refuges to be too small. There are suggestions that the U.S. EPA will implement stronger requirements for resistance management. The Agency must resolve some difficult issues. If EPA requires resistance management for B.t. crops, why should they not require resistance management for conventional pesticides? Does EPA have the legal authority to promulgate regulations for some pesticides (e.g., B.t. crops) and not others? Finally, we do not understand all of the behavioral, ecological, and sociological (e.g., farmer actions) factors that influence resistance. Should EPA establish strong regulations now or wait until more information is collected? If we wait, it may be too late. If we act prematurely, the regulations may be shortsighted and even exacerbate resistance.

In a related story, major seed companies plan to require growers to increase refuges to 20% -50% of the planted acreage. It has not been decided whether the refuge could be sprayed with other pesticides. (Pestic. & Tox. Chem. News, 1-21-99)

Most scientists think that genetic changes made through direct genetic engineering are quite similar to changes that result from conventional plant breeding, but new research challenges that paradigm. Researchers compared two lines of mustard plants that contain a gene conferring herbicide resistance. The gene was placed into one line directly, and the gene was introduced into the other line via conventional plant breeding. The genetically engineered plants were 20 times more likely to outcross with wild relatives. This phenomenon has not been explained. (Nature, 9-3-98 via Gene Exchange, Fall/Winter 1998)

The International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications reports that the global acreage of genetically engineered crops more than tripled from 1997 to 1998, with a total approaching 70 million acres (51 million acres in U.S.). Nearly 50 million acres were planted to herbicide resistant crops (primarily soybeans), and B.t. crops (chiefly corn) were planted on about 19 million acres. In the U.S. about 32% of U.S. soybeans, 25% of corn, 45% of cotton, and 3.5% of potatoes were planted to transgenic varieties. (ISAAA Briefs no. 8 via Gene Exchange, Fall/Winter 1998)

As of December 1998, there are more than 40 genetically engineered crops or microorganisms approved for commercial use in the U.S. Available transgenic crops include canola, chicory, corn, cotton, papaya, potato, soybean, squash, and tomato. The microorganisms comprise Bacillus thuringiensis, Pseudomonas flourescens, Sinorhizobium meliloti, and Vaccinia virus. (FDA & APHIS via Gene Exchange, Fall/Winter 1998)

Cancelled

Bayer Corporation has requested that EPA cancel registrations for all isofenphos products. Isofenphos products are currently sold in the U.S. to control white grubs and mole crickets infesting turf and ornamentals. The EPA will accept comments regarding this cancellation until March 16. (FR, 1-15-99)

Reds Alert

If you see an important pesticide on this list, take the time to review the Reregistration Eligibility Document and provide comments. All of the REDs can be found at http://www.epa.gov/REDs

You can also receive a copy directly from EPA by calling 703-305-5805.

If you want to keep important pesticides, NEVER use them illegally. A man in South Georgia used aluminum phosphide (an important grain fumigant) in his house. He killed his own child and jeopardized the future availability of aluminum phosphide. Many people see no problem with using aldicarb (Temik) to kill dogs or other animals. Temik registration is hanging by a thread.

Food Quality Protection Act

The EPA will be under tremendous pressure to make decisions regarding organophosphate and carbamate pesticides by August of 1999 or shortly thereafter. If you want to influence the process, the time to submit information is NOW. Crop profiles and other information will be used if we can provide data in time.

The Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association is hosting a Workshop on FQPA in March. The one-day workshop is targeted to commercial agriculture, lawn care, pest control, golf courses, etc. If you would like more information, call the Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association at 407-894-1351)

EPA has announced the availability of preliminary risk assessments on 16 organophophates (OPs). Two of these documents are the preliminary human health risk assessments for chlorethoxyfos (Fortress) and tetrachlorvinphos (stirophos or Rabon) and four are preliminary ecological risk assessments for azinphos methyl (Guthion), ethoprop (Mocap), temephos (Abate), and terbufos (Counter). The remaining documents cover both the preliminary human health and ecological risk assessments for ten other OPs: acephate (Orthene), disulfoton (Di-Syston), ethyl parathion (know also as parathion), methamidophos (Monitor), methidathion (Supracide), methyl parathion, oxydemeton methyl (Metasystox-R), phosmet (Imidan), pirimiphos-methyl (Actellic) and propetamphos (Safrotin). EPA is seeking to strengthen stakeholder involvement and help ensure that their decisions under the Food Quality Protection Act (FQPA) are transparent and based on the best available information.

These documents reflect only the work and analysis conducted as of the time they were produced and it is appropriate that, as new information becomes available and/or additional analyses are performed, the conclusions they contain may change. If you submit information, you can change the conclusions.

These assessments can be viewed and downloaded from the EPA website at: <http://www.epa.gov/oppsrrd1/op>. To obtain a hard copy of any of the preliminary risk assessments and related documents, call 703-305-5805.

Written comments on these assessments should be submitted by

  1. 2/16/99 for ethoprop (submission docket number OPP-34144A), methyl parathion (OPP-34161), temephos (OPP-34147A), and terbufos (OPP-34139A);
  2. 3/9/99 for acephate (OPP-34164), disulfoton (OPP-34165), methamidophos (OPP-34166), oxydemeton methyl (OPP-34167), and pirimiphos-methyl (OPP-34168); and
  3. 3/16/99 for azinphos methyl (OPP-34131A), chlorethoxyfos (OPP-34170),
    ethyl parathion (OPP-34171), methidathion (OPP-34172), phosmet (OPP-34173), propetamphos (OPP-34174), and tetrachlorvinphos (OPP-34175).

Comments may be electronically submitted to opp-docket@epa.gov.

For further information, contact: Ms. Karen Angulo, EPA, 702-308-8004 angulo.karen@epa.gov

(RNN, 1-29-99)

Plowing the Internet

The Environmental Working Group has a new interactive Web site that supposedly tells you what pesticides you eat in your food and the health risks. The site also has an automatic feature to relay your comments to the government and food companies. I visited this site; although it is not without merit, it definitely has the EWG 'slant.' I also used the automatic comment feature; I advised regulatory agencies to base policies on science instead of emotion and rhetoric. If you want to visit the site and comment, visit http://www.foodnews.org/ Apparently, EWG is turning to different tactics now they have resigned from the Tolerance Reassessment Advisory Committee.

The Council for Agricultural Science and Technology (CAST) has explored the possibility of prescriptive use of pesticide as a mechanism for saving critical high-risk pesticide uses. You can find the CAST paper at www.cast-science.org/pres_ip.htm

www.unl.edu/ provides an extensive list of links to other pesticide websites.

www.acpa.org has a good selection of headline news and links to the articles, as well as a 20-year database of pesticide regulation notices and EPA pesticide registration guides.

www.acsh.org Look in the press release section for links to food safety, the environment, and diseases.

www.foodsafety.org U.S. food safety databases

"The Agricultural and Farming Search Engine" (thanks Bob Bellinger)
http://www.joefarmer.com/

A tip of the cap to Virginia Fruit magazine for several of these websites.

New Tools

According to Chemical Producers and Distributors Association (CPDA), the EPA is stifling incentive to produce new pesticide compounds. The EPA has a backlog of 77 applications for new inert ingredients; the Agency has made 15 decisions concerning inerts in the last two years. Additionally, public interest groups want EPA to divulge information about inert ingredients on the pesticide label; pesticide companies consider this information a trade secret. (Pestic. & Tox. Chem. News, 1-14-99)

The Georgia Department of Agriculture has issued a special local need label that permit Georgia farmers to use Dormex on blueberries and peaches and to use Envoy in dormant Berudagrass turf.

Attract-and-kill lures so effectively controlled insect pests in a recent Agricultural Research Service study that a private company has agreed to help further develop the technology. ARS is the U.S. Department of Agriculture's chief scientific research agency.

In ARS laboratory and field experiments, lures containing a special blend of pheromone to attract cabbage looper and beet armyworm moths -- laced with a minute quantity of insecticide -- successfully drew the pests to their death. This suggests that attract-and-kill lures can control these and probably other insect pests in the field on a large scale.

The problem has been that systems for applying mating-disruption pheromones are generally short-lived, labor-intensive, inconvenient and expensive compared with more conventional alternatives such as insecticides.

The insects targeted--fall and beet armyworm, cabbage looper, diamondback moth, tobacco budworm and corn earworm--are among the most destructive U.S. crop pests. Corn earworm and armyworms attack a wide variety of crops, including cotton, corn, sorghum, peanuts, lettuce, tomatoes and peppers. Other pests, such as the diamondback moth and cabbage looper, are more limited in the range of plants attacked, but they can totally destroy crops such as cabbage, collards and broccoli. For more information, contact Everett Mitchell at (352) 374-5710 or emitchell@gainesville.usda.ufl.edu. (ARS News Service, 1-11-99)

The Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, recently established a list-server for an Internet "work-shop on research needs for assessing and reducing non-target impacts of biological control introductions." The electronic workshop is designed to promote discussion among researchers involved with this problem. While discussions will generally emphasize introductions of arthropods to control arthropod pests and weeds, other sorts of introductions will also be included.

The plan is for the workshop to last 6-12 months followed by distribution of a summary of the discussions that develop within the workshop's framework. Initially, the list is open and unmoderated. Subscribe by sending a one line message to: majordomo@udel.edu, that says: "subscribe bc-ntimpact@udel.edu" and leave the subject line blank.

For more info, contact K.R. Hopper at khopper@udel.edu or 1-302-731-7330, ext. 38.

The appearance of any trade name in this newsletter is neither 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 as well as other useful information.

http://www.ces.uga.edu/ces/wnews.html

Sincerely:

Paul Guillebeau, Assistant Professor & Extension Entomologist