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

Your source for pest management and pesticide news

February 2002/Volume 25, no. 2

COMMENT ALERT
The EPA is giving you another chance to comment on proposed label changes
The EPA also wants comments regarding the cumulative risk assessment of the organophosphates
If you care about lindane or oxyflourfen, you need to comment on the revised risk assessments

NEWS YOU CAN USE
The USDA has free help for people who have a big problem with grasshoppers
If you "dig" the organic scene, here are a few books that may be of interest
The EPA has received an application for iodomethane

FEDERAL NEWS
A new appointee with EPA will help ensure farmer input into pesticide regulatory decisions
Here are some agriculture numbers from the President’s proposed budget
More public action groups have notified EPA of intent to sue

CANCELED
Retailers can no longer sell homeowner products containing chlorpyrifos

IPM IN SCHOOLS
The EPA has released an interactive book for children about indoor pest management

FOOD QUALITY PROTECTION ACT - REREGISTRATION
The EPA is concerned about risks to workers and (other) terrestrial animals

HEALTH AND THE ENVIRONMENT
The wood industry plans to stop selling products that have been treated with arsenic wood preservatives to homeowners
How can we better protect farm workers from pesticide risks
Poison control has a new nationwide number, 1-800-222-1222

BIOTECHNOLOGY
Public action groups in several companies are attacking Kraft Foods for using genetically engineered components

Comment Alert

The EPA is giving you another chance to comment on proposed label changes regarding pesticide drift. If you use pesticides, you should take the time to read the proposed changes and comment. Keep in mind that label language is a major enforcement tool for regulatory agencies and attorneys involved in pesticide lawsuits. If you cannot comply with the new label language, you should let EPA know. See www.epa.gov/pesticides The comment period expires 3-31-02.

The EPA also wants comments regarding the cumulative risk assessment of the organophosphates. The cumulative assessment of the organophosphates has tremendous implications. The Agency has already taken significant regulatory actions based on individual assessments. Essentially, the cumulative assessment will add all of the organophosphate risks together. Furthermore, the organophosphate cumulative assessment will establish how other groups of pesticides (e.g., carbamates) will be evaluated. Do not miss your opportunity for input. See www.epa.gov/pesticides The comment period ends 3-8-02.

If you care about lindane or oxyflourfen, you need to comment on the revised risk assessments. A number of people are concerned about the lack of an effective borer control without lindane, and seed treatments are considered to be critical for some uses. For oxyflourfen, cancer risk from dietary (food + water) exposure and some occupational exposures are of concern. See www.epa.gov/pesticides The comment periods for both pesticides ends 4-1-02.

News You Can Use

The USDA has free help for people who have a big problem with grasshoppers. A CD is available with the best management techniques for grasshopper populations. This product focuses on pasture/rangeland problems, so the CD is not likely to help the homeowner. The CD-ROM is available without charge by contacting the Northern Plains Agricultural Research Laboratory, 1500 North Central Ave., Sidney, MT 59270, phone (406) 433-5038, fax (406) 433-2020, hoppercd@sidney.ars.usda.gov. The web site is on the World Wide Web at: www.sidney.ars.usda.gov/grasshopper/index.htm

If you "dig" the organic scene, here are a few books that may be of interest. Note: We have not reviewed these books and cannot vouch for their utility. (PANUPS, 2-12-02)

The Organic Foods Sourcebook 2001 outlines the rationale and principles of organic agriculture and eco-food labeling. Emphasizes importance of protecting soil, water and soil quality, promoting farmworker health, conserving energy costs and promoting social and economic justice. Lists sources of affordable organic plant and animal products. Profiles organic farmers, chefs and advocates. Includes lists of organizations, publications and consumer resources. 221 pages for $15.95. Contact McGraw-Hill Company, PO Box 182604, Columbus, OH 43272; phone (800) 262-4729; fax (614) 759-3644; or visit http://www.books.mcgraw-hill.com/

This Organic Life: Confessions of a Suburban Homesteader describes the importance of organic home gardens in a personal and inviting tone. Highlights environmental, health, economic and moral links between food production and consumption. Includes recipes highlighting organic homegrown ingredients. 273 pages for $22.95. Contact Chelsea Green Publishing Company, PO Box 428, White River Junction, VT 05001; phone (800) 639-4099; fax (802) 295-6444; Web site http://www.chelseagreen.com/

This book probably has nothing to do with our usual topics, but there are a lot of people interested in the world’s most popular drug. The Coffee Book: Anatomy of an Industry from Crop to the Last Drop recounts the impact of coffee on several centuries of civilization and its present importance to world trade. Details the route of coffee production from cultivation and processing to grading, roasting and decaffeination. Explores socio-economical aspects of coffee trade and gives a breakdown of production cost/cup. Examines physical and social effects of caffeine and modern marketing practices of the drug. Promotes critical consumerism and options for fair-trade buys. 196 pages for $14.95. Contact The New Press, 450 West 41st Street, 6th Floor New York, N.Y. 10036; phone (800) 233-4830; fax (212) 629-8617; Web site http://www.thenewpress.com//.

The EPA has received an application for iodomethane, a potential replacement for methyl bromide. This compound has shown great promise in IR-4 efficacy trials as a "drop-in" replacement for methyl bromide. With the January 1, 2003, methyl bromide phase-down approaching (when methyl bromide production will be phased-down to 30 percent of 1991 production levels), the Office of Pesticide Programs has committed to expedite the review of this new compound. (USDA-OPMP Newest News, 2-01-02)

Federal News

A new appointee with EPA will help ensure farmer input into pesticide regulatory decisions. Adam J. Sharp has been named Associate Assistant Administrator for the Office f Prevention, Pesticides and Toxic Substances. Sharp has worked for a number of years with American Farm Bureau in Washington, and he reportedly has extensive experience in environmental law and regulations at the federal level.

I wish Sharp all the best. Remember, he works for you now. He will want your input to be sure that agricultural interests are properly represented with EPA. Contact information for Sharp is not available, but we will provide those details in later issues. (EPA Pesticide Program Update, 2-12-02)

Here are some agriculture numbers from the President's proposed budget to Congress. You never know what will happen until the ink is dry, but you may find these figures interesting.

Name of Program -- $Allocation in millions (% Change from FY 2002)

Section 406 Legislative Authority (Integrated Activities):
Organic Transition Program -- $0.499 (down 66.7%) Wow!
Regional Pest Management Centers -- $4.531 (unchanged)
Crops at Risk (CAR) from FQPA Implementation -- $1.497 (unchanged)
FQPA Risk Mitigation Program/Major Food Crop Systems -- $4.889 (unchanged)
Methyl Bromide Transition Program -- $2.498 (unchanged)

Other Legislative Authorities (Integrated Activities):
Critical Issues* -- $5.0 (up 150%) Don’t know what these issues are, but I want to know.
Regional Rural Development Centers** -- $1.513 (unchanged)

Smith Lever 3(d) Programs:
Farm Safety -- $0 (down 100% from $5.25) What!?
Pest Management -- $10.759 (unchanged)
Sustainable Agriculture -- $3.792 (down 20%)

Special Research Grants:
Expert IPM Decision Support Systems -- $0.177 (unchanged)
Integrated Pest Management & Biological Control -- $2.725 (unchanged)
Minor Crop Pest Management (I-R4) -- $10.485 (unchanged) Good.
Pest Management Alternatives (PMAP) -- $1.619 (unchanged)

Other Research:
Supplemental and Alternative Crops -- $0 (down 100% from $0.924)
Sustainable Agricultural Research & Education (SARE) Program -- $9.230 (down 26%)

National Research Initiative Competitive Grants -- $240 (up 99%)

More public action groups have notified EPA of intent to sue over violation of the Endangered Species Act relative to fenthion. In addition to violations of the Endangered Species Act, the notice claims violations of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and the Administrative Procedures Act. Defenders of Wildlife, joined by the American Bird Conservancy and the Biodiversity Legal Foundation, sent the NOIS. Field and External Affairs Division and SRRD will meet to determine how best to manage whatever work is necessary, given the combination of MBTA and ESA issues raised by the Notice. (USDA-OPMP Newest News, 2-1-02)

Apparently, the lawsuit stems from the use of fenthion to kill mosquitoes in Florida. The plaintiff claims that the pesticide is highly toxic to birds and is putting thousands of birds that winter or breed in the state at risk. The groups further report that fenthion sprayed for mosquito control killed an estimated 25,000 birds of 37 species. In Florida, the pesticide has caused the death of the Piping Plover, a bird on the endangered species list. (PANUPS, 2-4-02)

I do not want to deny anyone their right to the legal system, but lawsuits can have the opposite effects that groups intend. The government agency has to use scarce resources to defend itself, so the real work is left undone. For example, lawsuits have slowed activity concerning endangered species to a crawl, except for court cases filed by various groups trying to defend their favorite endangered species. Even though they sometimes seem to take most of mine, the government is not made of money, and lawsuits are often very expensive and time consuming.

Canceled

Retailers can no longer sell homeowner products containing chlorpyrifos, but they can give the products away to professional end users. Although companies have provided repeated notices, some retailers were left with chlorpyrifos products they could no longer sell. In some instances, the retailers faced the costs of disposal for hazardous wastes. According to a major registrant and the Georgia Department of Agriculture, retailers are allowed to give the chlorpyrifos products to professional end users who can use the products according the label.

IPM in Schools

The EPA has released an interactive book, Help! It's a Roach!, for children about indoor pest management. The book's lessons about IPM can be applied to many indoor pests. If the children learn more about why roaches come to school, maybe it will make everyone's job easier. www.epa.gov/opp00001/kids/roaches/english/ A Spanish version is coming.

Food Quality Protection Act - Reregistration

The EPA is concerned about risks to workers and (other) terrestrial animals associated with dicrotophos use on cotton. The registrant, Amvac Chemical Corporation, and EPA met last month to discuss dicrotophos risks and possible mitigation. The registrant will consider risk mitigation and talk with EPA more. The IRED for dicrotophos is scheduled for completion March 1. (USDA-OPMP Newest News, 2-8-02)

Health and the Environment

By December 31, 2003, the wood industry plans to stop selling products that have been treated with arsenic wood preservatives to homeowners. A number of products containing arsenic are used to pressure-treat wood. Pressure-treating makes the wood resistant to insects and decay. Almost all wood used in decks, playgrounds, and other outdoor uses is pressure treated. The EPA is concerned that children may be overexposed to arsenic compounds.

This voluntary decision will affect nearly all residential uses of wood treated with chromated copper arsenate, also known as CCA, including wood used in play-structures, decks, picnic tables, landscaping timbers, residential fencing, patios and walkways/boardwalks. By January 2004, EPA will not allow CCA products for any of these residential uses. This decision will facilitate the voluntary transition to new alternative wood preservatives that do not contain arsenic in both the manufacturing and retail sectors.

There are two factors (or more behind this decision) because almost no regulatory decision is completely voluntary. 1) There are other effective products available that do not contain arsenic. The new products are more expensive, but cost is less significant to residential buyers. 2) Although EPA has not concluded that the older wood products pose any unreasonable risks, people get excited when they hear "arsenic" and "children" in the same sentence. Public action groups have been campaigning against the arsenic-treated products for several years. The industry is wise to be proactive and move away from the products that contain arsenic.

The Agency does not recommend replacing existing structures that contain wood treated with arsenic preservatives. However, they do offer these tips to reduce the likelihood of exposure to arsenic.

  1. Do not burn pressure-treated wood. This tip is particularly important. Fire will break down arsenic.
  2. Do not allow food to come in direct contact with pressure-treated wood.
  3. Paint pressure-treated wood.
  4. Wash hands after handling pressure-treated wood.
  5. If you saw or sand pressure-treated wood, avoid breathing dust.
  6. Wrap your deck completely with plastic wrap (just kidding on #6).

For more information, visit http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/citizens/cca_transition.htm

How can we better protect farm workers from pesticide risks when approximately 53 percent of the U.S. farm labor pool reads no English and 45 percent do not speak it? The American Association of Pesticide Safety Educators (AAPSE) recently organized a committee to explore ways to better communicate pesticide safety information to this population. The committee is comprised of 16 individuals with experience in training and education from academia, the extension service, a grower organization, state departments of agriculture, and the EPA Office of Pesticide Programs. The group will investigate the true quality of pesticide information resources available to farmworkers in languages other than English (OPP has many such training materials in Creole, Vietnamese, Ilocono, Laotian, Chinese, Tagalog, Korean and Polish). In addition, the group will investigate the effectiveness of a pesticide applicator exam for limited English proficiency applicators. Finally, the committee will develop a bilingual English/Spanish terminology matrix and explore its expansion to Asian languages.

Poison control has a new nationwide number, 1-800-222-1222. This new number will automatically link the caller to the nearest poison control center. Along with many other groups, we have distributed materials with state poison control numbers. The state numbers will also remain in effect for at least another year (probably longer).

Biotechnology

Public action groups in several companies are attacking Kraft Foods for using genetically engineered components in their food products. The parent company, Phillip Morris, is one of the largest food and beverage companies in the United States. The groups are writing Kraft and telling consumers that the genetically engineered components in Kraft products are not identified or adequately tested for safety.

Genetically engineered corn and soybeans are widely grown across the United States, and many products contain either corn and/or soybean components. Not surprisingly, independent testing by public action groups showed that Kraft products contained genetically engineered components. There is no regulation that requires labeling of foods with genetically engineered ingredients.

Kraft is a target because the company was already involved in a high-publicity incident involving genetically engineered corn. StarLink corn was accidentally mixed with corn used to make taco shells. Although health experts agreed that the StarLink corn posed little or no risks, the EPA had not approved the corn for human consumption. To make matters more volatile, Phillip Morris is also a leading tobacco company. (PANUPS, 2-8-02)

It will be interesting to see how Kraft reacts. Some major companies, including Frito-Lay and McDonalds, are refusing to use genetically engineered components. Additionally, Kraft reportedly is offering non-engineered products to Europe.

Company and consumer reactions, not regulations, will drive production of genetically modified crops. However, the acceptance of genetic engineering is of great interest to USDA, producers, and seed companies. These groups have considerable resources to influence public opinion.

Undoubtedly, agricultural producers and seed companies realize substantial direct benefit from the use of genetically engineered crops. Indirectly, society probably also benefits from reduced environmental impact of agriculture. However, consumers do not recognize any direct benefit. Until consumers see better products, lower prices, or other direct benefit, selling genetically engineered foods will be a tough row to hoe.

Since I am not here to tell you what to think (not usually anyway), I will provide contact information for Kraft. If you have an opinion, you should contact them. If you are adamantly opposed to genetically engineered foods, they want to know. Kraft wants you to buy lots of their products. If you think these public action groups are mistaken, you should also contact Kraft. Otherwise, you may be allowing other people to make decisions for you.

Kraft contact information:

Call: (800) 323-0768
Email: info@kraft.com
Fax: (847) 646-6005
Write: Betsy Holden, President and CEO, Kraft Foods, 3 Lakes Drive,
Northfield, IL 60093.

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.

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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