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

Your source for pest management and pesticide news

June 2002/Volume 25, no. 6

Did you know that some pesticides do not have to be registered with EPA?

NEWS YOU CAN USE

The EPA has established tolerances on citrus, field corn, popcorn, tree nuts, pistachios, stonefruit, and rice for the reduced risk fungicide trifloxystrobin.
The EPA granted 'reduced-risk' status to fenproximate, a new miticide/insecticide for apples, grapes, and cotton.
Clopyralid residues
continue to cause problems in compost.

FEDERAL NEWS

The EPA will meet with their termite Scientific Advisory Panel this week to discuss termite baits.
The proposed phase-out
of methyl bromide allows continued use for critical use exemptions.
The new farm bill
contains $17 billion for conservation programs.
You no longer
have to remain in the dark about acronyms.

IPM NOTEBOOK

IPM even works on elephants.

FOOD QUALITY PROTECTION ACT - REREGISTRATION

The EPA has released the revised cumulative assessment of the organophosphate insecticides.
Bayer Corporation has requested cancellation of all existing fenamiphos product registrations.
The EPA is required
to have 66 percent of all pesticide tolerances reassessed by August 3, 2002.
The EPA, Bayer
and Makhteshim-Agan signed a Memorandum of Agreement for azinphos-methyl
The EPA has announced
that 275 tolerances (amount of pesticide that can remain on a food) for organophosphate insecticides do not contribute to the FQPA cumulative risk assessment.
An EPA analysis
finds some interesting facts about the market for organophosphate insecticides in the United States.

HEALTH AND THE ENVIRONMENT

Many people equate 'natural' with safer or better, but that is not always true.
There will be
a conference on the value of ecolabeling in Boston (Nov. 7-9, 2002).

Did you know that some pesticides do not have to be registered with EPA? Most pesticides have to be registered with EPA before they can be sold in the United States. The term 'pesticide' has a broad legal definition that encompasses insect repellents and cleaning products that claim to kill germs in addition to insecticides and weed killers. If you want to know how the EPA defines pesticides, visit their web site www.epa.gov/pesticides/ and choose "What is a pesticide?"

Registered pesticides will carry an EPA registration number on the product label. Registration means that EPA has evaluated data on the potential human health and environmental effects associated with use of the product. Registration also means that EPA has determined that the product can be used safely if you follow the label directions. That statement makes one wonder exactly why pesticides registered for years are suddenly being canceled with little or no new data.

In 1996, EPA decided that certain pesticides do not need to be registered because the active ingredients pose little or no risk to man or the environment. This exemption is called 25(b) because it refers to that part of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). (You can read the regulation at www.epa.gov/docs/fedrgstr/EPA-PEST/1996/March/Day-06/pr-577.html) The EPA realized that the Agency could eliminate some of their regulatory burden by exempting certain pesticides from registration. The registrants may not even have to submit an application.

To qualify for a 25(b) exemption, the product must meet ALL of the following conditions.



Castor oil Geraniol Rosemary and rosemary oil
Cedar oil Geranium oil Sesame (includes ground sesame plant) & sesame oil
Cinnamon and cinnamon oil Lauryl sulfate
Citric acid Lemongrass oil Sodium chloride (common salt)
Citronella and Citronella oil Linseed oil Sodium lauryl sulfate
Cloves and clove oil Malic acid Soybean oil
Corn gluten meal Mint and mint oil Thyme and thyme oil
Corn oil Peppermint & peppermint oil White pepper
Cottonseed oil 2-Phenethyl propionate (2-phenylethyl propionate) Zinc metal strips (consisting solely of zinc metal and impurities)
Dried Blood
Eugenol Potassium sorbate  
Garlic and garlic oil Putrescent whole egg solids  

The federal exemption from registration does not provide an exemption from state registration. Most states still regulate these products, which means they would have to be registered with the state regulatory agency.

News You Can Use

Certified commercial or private applicators can obtain 5 hours of recertification credits in any category (I do not think structural categories are included) by successfully completing this online course for pesticide users. The course includes eight modules of instruction covering the material contained in the textbook, The Standard Pesticide User's Guide by Bohmont, published by Prentice Hall, New York. The modules cover topics like pest control strategies using integrated pest management (IPM), pesticide toxicity, calibration, application equipment, and various other topics relating to the control of pests.

Students can progress and complete the course at their own pace. The course is taught by Dr. Philip G. Gibson. Assessment consists of module quizzes and a final exam. All aspects of the course are completed online. Registration can be completed by emailing SPattillo@gwinnett.tec.ga.us or by calling the Gwinnett Technical College Continuing Education Office at 770-995-9697. Confirmation of enrollment and directions for accessing the course site and obtaining the text will be returned via email within 48 hours. The course costs $99.00, plus the cost of the text (approximately $100.00).

The EPA has established tolerances on citrus, field corn, popcorn, tree nuts, pistachios, stonefruit and rice for the reduced risk fungicide trifloxystrobin. Trifloxystrobin may replace some fungicides (e.g., mancozeb and chlorothalonil) that are considered higher risks because of their carcinogenic profile.

The EPA granted 'reduced-risk' status to fenproximate, a new miticide/insecticide for apples, grapes and cotton. The new product is reported to be soft on beneficial insects and predatory mites. It will be registered first for apples, grapes and cotton. Reportedly, fenproximate will control mites, leafhoppers and mealybugs. The registrant is Nichino America.

The identification as reduced risk does not mean the product is available yet, but its status will put fenproximate at the front of the registration queue.

Clopyralid residues continue to cause problems in compost. Clopyralid is an herbicide commonly used by commercial lawn care companies. Ordinarily it causes no risks of particular concern. However, grass clippings may contain low residues of the herbicide. Composting the grass clippings can concentrate the clopyralid to a phytotoxic level, which will injure or kill gardens or crops to which the compost is applied. Well-minded community programs can exacerbate the problem because grass clippings are part of mandatory recycling programs that forbid grass clippings in landfill disposal. Many states have reported problems.

What can you do? Nearly all clopyralid used on lawns is applied by commercial lawn-care companies. If you plan to compost the clippings, ask them what fungicides they use. You could always reapply the composted grass to your lawn; clopyralid is active against broadleaf plants. If you get compost from your municipality, ask them if they take grass clippings from commercial companies. You may want to avoid grass compost in your garden.

Federal News

The EPA will meet with their termite Scientific Advisory Panel this week to discuss termite baits. There have been questions about proving the efficacy of termite baits. The Panel will review EPA testing guidelines for termite baits and make recommendations on improving the process. The market seems to be moving toward termite bait products and away from traditional barrier treatments. It is imperative for EPA to have rigorous testing standards.

The proposed phase-out of methyl bromide allows continued use for critical use exemptions. It will be critical for growers to develop and support a strong case before EPA will consider an exemption. The EPA has planned a series of public meetings to explain the types of information that will be needed to support an exemption proposal. The workshops are scheduled for June 10 - 14 in Washington, D.C.; June 24 - 28 in Orlando, Florida; and July 15 - 19 in Davis, California. If you depend on methyl bromide, you need to stay informed. For more information, contact Lelia Kaplus at lkaplus@icfconsulting.com or (202) 862-1586. For information about the Methyl Bromide Critical Use Exemption see http://www.epa.gov/spdpublc/mbr/index.html

The Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association has already raised some questions about the critical use exemption process for methyl bromide.

These types of questions have dogged EPA in a number of other time-sensitive areas, such as the emergency exemption process (Section 18). By their nature, emergency exemptions have to be reviewed quickly. As a result, EPA has only a limited amount of time to review data and check its veracity. Conversely, the applicants had only a small amount of time to comply with EPA requests. If the Agency asked for superfluous data, the crop could be lost before the information could be collected.

The new farm bill contains $17 billion for conservation programs. Some of the major environmental provisions of the bill include: 1) a conservation security program to reward farmers for applying conservation practices to working lands rather than idling lands ($2 billion); 2) an environmental quality incentives program to fund producers who comply with soil, water, air, and wildlife habitat regulations ($9 billion); 3) a conservation reserve program which provides money to farmers who set aside sensitive lands ($1.52 billion); 4) a grassland reserve program to protect prairies by purchasing development rights from ranchers ($254 million); 5) a wetlands reserve program to pay farmers who preserve wetlands ($1.5 billion); 6) a wildlife habitat incentives program to pay farmers who create and protect wildlife habitat on their property ($700 million); and 7) a farmland protection program which provides matching funds for states, local governments, and organizations to buy farmers' development rights and prevent sprawl ($985 million). The farm bill also contains important energy programs to promote the use of alternative fuels and forestry programs to encourage the protection of our forests. You can find more information at these web sites http://www.eenews.net/sr_farmbill.htm and http://www.usda.gov/farmbill/.

You no longer have to remain in the dark about acronyms. Thanks to Rick Melnicoe and Linda Herbst of the Western Region Pest Management Center, you can impress your friends with pseudo-words like SFIREG (State FIFRA Issues Research and Evaluation Group) and PHED (Pesticide Handlers Exposure Database). Just be careful how your pronounce them, and it is a good idea to smile when you say them. See the complete list at http://www.wrpmc.ucdavis.edu/NewsAlerts/acronyms.html

IPM Notebook

IPM even works on elephants. Growers in Indonesia have a problem with elephants raiding crops (and you thought armyworms were bad). Elephanticides are largely non-existent, and there are always concerns about resistance. Scientists have devised a system of guard towers, tripwires, and ropes impregnated with hot sauce. The hot sauce is a powerful irritant to the elephants if they get a snoot full. Additionally, the tripwires alert the field guards. The elephants are chased away with lights, sirens, and firecrackers. (From the Wildlife Conservation Society's website http://wcs.org/7411/?art=57518 via IPM News, June 2002)

Food Quality Protection Act - Reregistration

The EPA has released the revised cumulative assessment of the organophosphate insecticides. The assessment differs from the preliminary risk assessment in several ways. Chlorpyrifos-methyl has been removed from the assessment because all registrations are being phased out. The new assessment includes risk estimates for two time periods of exposure: one-day exposures and seven-day rolling average exposures. The assessment presents a range of margins of exposure at various percentiles of exposure, including the percentiles at which the margins of exposure approach 100. This information provides the basis for setting upper and lower limits or bounds on the risk estimates. You can read all about it at www.epa.gov/pesticides The comment period for the preliminary risk assessment is over.

Here is the big question. After all the regulatory activity surrounding the organophosphates; after all of the millions of dollars; after removing critical insecticides from dozens of minor crops; have we really improved the safety of the American diet? Many people would say no. In my opinion, it would be impossible to empirically prove that the safety of the U.S. food supply has changed significantly. The following question and answer is directly from the EPA web page. The answer seems to dance around the big question that opened this paragraph.

How does this new assessment increase public health protection?

This assessment supports the high level of regulatory confidence in the safety of the food supply. By evaluating the potential for combined exposures to two or more organophosphate pesticides, the assessment moves beyond the already high level of protection of public health provided by the individual aggregate assessments. Looking at exposure over time helps take into account the potential effects of additional exposure before complete recovery from any given exposure. It also evaluates variation in exposure from drinking water and residential uses in different areas of the country. The assessment includes the FQPA safety factor for protecting sensitive populations, e.g., infants and children.

It is easy to get caught up in emotion and rhetoric that every risk to children should be eliminated regardless of the cost. If that assumption were really true, we should eliminate cars. Gasoline is toxic and carcinogenic; thousands of children are killed in car accidents; air pollution from cars is a known health hazard. Clearly, however, the advantages of cars outweigh these disadvantages. Pesticides are a big part of the success of the United States because so few people can produce food for everyone. Thus, everyone else is free to be doctors, engineers, scientists, businessmen, etc.

Bayer Corporation has requested cancellation of all existing fenamiphos product registrations. Consistent with Agency deliberations, cancellation of all uses on extremely vulnerable soils will be effective as of May 31, 2005, with cancellation of all remaining uses effective as of May 31, 2007. Sale and distribution of end-use products by persons other than Bayer may continue until May 31, 2008. Bayer does intend to support various import tolerances for fenamiphos.

The EPA is required to have 66 percent of all pesticide tolerances reassessed by August 3, 2002. Many of the Interim Reregistration Eligibility Documents (IRED) will be changed to final decisions as the Agency completes the cumulative risk assessment for the organophosphate insecticides. The EPA will face considerable pressure to meet these goals, so it is imperative for us to pay attention. The decisions made by EPA may have enormous implications for pest management. You can find a list of the RED, IRED, and TRED candidate pesticides for FY 2002 (ends September 30) and FY 2003 at www.epa.gov/pesticides

The EPA, Bayer and Makhteshim-Agan signed a Memorandum of Agreement for azinphos-methyl (AZM) to implement the conditions of reregistration set out in the Interim Reregistration Eligibility Document. Additional changes to the registration will be made according to stakeholder comments received during the post-IRED comment period. The registrations for these uses will expire in October 2005. However, the registrant can apply to continue particular uses. The EPA may grant a continuation based on a review of the pesticide's risks and benefits. You can find more information on the EPA web site, www.epa.gov/pesticides

The EPA has announced that 275 tolerances (amount of pesticide that can remain on a food) for organophosphate insecticides do not contribute to the FQPA cumulative risk assessment. Under FQPA, the Agency must conduct a cumulative risk assessment for all organophosphate uses that could contribute to non-occupational exposure. The EPA has decided that some tolerances contribute little or nothing to the overall exposure. These OP tolerances have been divided into four broad categories: 1) certain animal commodities, including milk, eggs, poultry, and other meats (cattle, goats, hogs, horses, and sheep), 2) certain crops that are solely used as animal feeds, 3) certain crops that are refined sugars, and 4) certain other tolerances based on the nature of their use pattern. Comments are requested for 30 days (until June 21) on the Agency's approach for identifying other non-contributing OP tolerances. For more information, visit http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/cumulative/

An EPA analysis finds some interesting facts about the market for organophosphate insecticides in the United States. The study was conducted by the Biological and Economic Analysis Division to facilitate decisions about the OP insecticides. According to EPA data, three companies sell about 70 percent of the organophosphate insecticides used in agriculture. Additionally, more than 60 percent of the agricultural organophosphates are used in just two crops, corn and cotton. These data are not surprising. The pesticide marketplace has contracted considerably over the last few years; cotton and corn are two of the few 'major' crops in the United States.

More importantly, the data will show how many smaller commodities make up the rest of the market. These crops are particularly vulnerable to adverse regulatory and/or market decisions. Companies will invest tremendous amounts of money and time to gain access to markets like corn or cotton because of the enormous potential return. In contrast, there is much less economic incentive associated with the hundreds of vegetable crops that are grown on relatively small acreages.

Health and the Environment

Many people equate 'natural' with safer or better, but that is not always true. Many people are skeptical of modern medicines and modern pesticides, so they prefer the natural approach. However, most people do not realize that nearly all modern medicines and pesticides have some natural counterpart. In truth, medicine men (and women) over the years came to recognize the medicinal qualities of certain plants. Modern science has identified and purified the active ingredients; in some cases we have tinkered with the structure to produce a similar substance with greater efficacy.

Here are some of the herbal remedies that you might find in your local market, along with some of the unwanted side effects.

Jin bu huan (Lycopodium serratum) is a traditional Chinese analgesic and sedative. Unfortunately, heavy use of this medicinal has caused life-threatening respiratory distress, abnormally slow heartbeats, and liver damage. Mu tong or chocolate vine (Aristolochia manshuriensis) -- an Asian cure for conditions including swelling, urinary tract infections, diabetes, and poor circulation -- has been linked to acute kidney failure.

Some of the potentially dangerous herbal remedies are more familiar. Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra) is a traditional treatment for ulcers, cough, and inflammation. Unfortunately, its triterpene saponins and hydroxycoumarins are among the agents reported to have triggered several cases of high blood pressure, an abnormal drop in the blood's potassium concentration, an abnormal elevation in the blood's sodium concentration, heart failure and death. Lily of the Valley (Convallaria majalis) is sometimes used to treat heart disease and poor circulation. It can also cause nausea, vomiting, dangerously irregular heartbeats, and even cardiac shock. Even good old sassafras (Sassafras albidum) can trigger muscle coordination problems, drooping of the upper eyelids, hypothermia, and, at least in animals, cancer.

You are probably thinking that you would have to take a lot of an herb to be poisonous. You are close to the mantra of toxicology; "The dose makes the poison." Unfortunately, there is little regulation of herbal remedies, and some individuals decide that a lot will certainly make them feel a lot better. Some people apply similar logic to pesticide application. Additionally, the concentrations of over-the-counter herbal remedies often vary widely, and the concentration may be unknown.

Do not think that we are anti-natural or anti-herb. When I was in college, I knew quite a few people who strongly believed that herbs made them feel much better. Humans certainly have a lot left to learn from nature. But please, do not assume that natural products are always safe. Let your doctor know if you are medicating yourself with herbal remedies. (Science News, May 4, 2002)

There will be a conference on the value of ecolabeling in Boston (Nov. 7-9, 2002). Ecolabeling is an attempt to let consumers know the environmental impacts associated with a particular product. There are two basic aims. 1) Consumers could drive the market toward more environmentally conscious products. This idea has worked to change the market for products produced with child labor. 2) The second goal is to make consumers think that your product is more environmentally friendly than your competitor's. In some cases, the warm and fuzzy words or images on these products mean nothing.

Ecolabeling faces two challenges. First, to ensure that an ecolabel identifies a product that is more environmentally friendly. Someone has to decide which products are more environmentally friendly, and beauty is often in the eye of the beholder. Suppose one crop is produced without pesticides, but the production causes greater erosion of soil. Many people might pick the product without pesticides, but EPA identifies erosion as the chief threat to surface water.

The second, perhaps bigger, challenge for ecolabeling is consumer education. Consumers are bombarded with a tremendous amount of information about the value of particular products, and buyers are somewhat jaded by manufacturers' claims. To be successful, ecolabeling would have to be clearly different from the other products and convince potential buyers that the ecolabeling claims are true.

Many people consider organic labeling a type of ecolabeling. Consumers were confused by the barrage of organic claims; there was no uniform definition for 'organic,' and unscrupulous companies were exploited the organic market to sell their 'unorganic' products.

If you are interested in the Conference on Ecolabels and the Greening of the Food Market, contact Willie Lockeretz, Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, Tufts University, Medford, MA 02155 at 613-627-5264 or willie.lockeretz@tufts.edu. The conference was organized by the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, Tufts University. Companies and environmental groups that offer, use, or are considering ecolabels; inspection and certification bodies; academic and private research groups; trade and consumer-interest groups; and food labeling-related government agencies are invited to attend. Topics include current uses of ecolabels, their known effects on food marketing, and ecolabeling controversies. You can register at this web site http://nutrition.tufts.edu/conted/ecolabels for $125 U.S.

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