The University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences
Your source for pest management and pesticide news
May 2001/Volume 24, No. 5
We hosted a tour for EPA personnel last week
IPM IN SCHOOLS
The IPM in Schools project needs to overcome an inertial barrier
IPM IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD
As summer approaches many people curse mosquitoes
you need pesticide labels, the EPA has a web site for
Some time ago, the EPA planned to issue rules regarding the Pesticide Management Plan
Stemming from the EPA/registrant decision, six state attorneys general have asked retailers to stop selling diazinon immediately
Remember the Endangered Species Act?
FOOD QUALITY PROTECTION ACT
The EPA has issued candidates for pesticide re-registration decisions in fiscal year 2001
NEWS YOU CAN USE
The Georgia Department of Agriculture has issued a Special Local Need label for Stratego
HEALTH AND THE ENVIRONMENT
is commonly vectored by the black-legged tick
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) released the first National Report on Human Exposure to Environmental Chemicals
The EPA will soon release new guidance for pesticide labels regarding drift
Consumers and food manufacturers are driving the adoption of genetically engineered crops
We hosted a tour for EPA personnel last week, and the results were well worth the effort. About 18 people from EPA, UGA, and industry joined us for a two-day tour of poultry and livestock operations. Decisions concerning livestock/poultry pesticides are pending, and Agency analysts wanted to see how the pesticides are used in 'real-world' operations.
Two important things happened during the tour. First, EPA analysts and growers began to understand each other. Often, the Agency does not understand the motivation behind grower actions. Additionally, growers usually have no idea of the constraints and pressure that EPA faces. Initially, both sides were reluctant and perhaps a little hostile. By the end of the day, however, most of the participants understood that that all of us are part of a process responsible for the regulation of pesticides and production of food.
Secondly, the EPA analysts found out that growers use much less pesticides than the Agency had assumed. In the case of broiler poultry operations, some of the growers only used pesticide once or twice in a year. Consequently, the EPA may be able to greatly reduce some of the risk estimates.
Other states have done similar tours to educate EPA analysts. I strongly recommend that all states and commodities become involved. Educating Agency personnel is the single most important thing we can do to ensure evenhanded regulation of pesticides.
The IPM in Schools project needs to overcome an inertial barrier. Many counties and schools have expressed interest, and we have responded by sending them a packet of information. In other words, everyone has done the easy part.
Now, it is time to take the next step. Because we have volunteered as one of the leaders in this project, it is up to us to push things forward. Over the next month, we will contact everyone that has requested information. If you need additional support, we will provide it. If you just need a little push, we will be glad to lend a hand.
Thanks to everyone who has cooperated thus far, and thanks to our partners, the Georgia Pest Control Association and the Legal Environmental Foundation. We look forward to working with you to take IPM in Schools to the next stage.
We are also actively taking the same principles to daycare centers. Daycare centers often face the additional challenge of keeping biting insects off of the children. Unfortunately, the most effective insect repellents also pose risk to children if they are not used properly. Again, it is IPM to the rescue.
As summer approaches, many people curse mosquitoes and reach for the pesticide or plug in the bug zapper. In most cases, however, you can take more effective (and less risky) actions. Pesticides carry risks to both humans and the environment, and bug zappers are not very effective against mosquitoes (and they may rain vaporized bug guts down on your food).
IPM is based upon the biology/ecology of the pest. Mosquitoes lay their eggs in water after digesting a blood meal. The eggs pass through a larval stage and a pupal stage before the adults emerge from the water. The aquatic stage lasts about four to seven days, depending on the temperature. Adult mosquitoes are not strong flyers. They usually do not fly more than a 300-500 yards from the site where they emerged from the water.
Use these facts to devise a mosquito IPM program for your neighborhood. Unless you live near standing water, the mosquitoes that bite you come from the nearby area. In many cases, you are providing the water for mosquitoes to reproduce. If you can eliminate this water, you can greatly reduce the mosquito populations. Common mosquito breeding areas include clogged gutters, bird baths, toys that collect water, pans under flower pots, and tire swings. Prevent water from collecting, and change bird bath water every four to five days. If you have an ornamental pond, look for products with Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (Bti). Bti is a disease that kills mosquito larvae; it is harmless to people, pets, and the environment. Vectobac and Bactimos are product names; ask for it at your local garden center or look on the Internet.
If your neighbors live close by, you will have to enlist their cooperation for a mosquito program to be effective. You can find a brochure to help organize your neighborhood at our web site, http://entomology.ent.uga.edu
If you need pesticide labels, the EPA has a web site for you. The Agency Pesticide Product Label System is available at www.epa.gov/pesticides/pestlabels You can contact Yvonne Brown for more information email@example.com or 703-305-6743
Some time ago, the EPA planned to issue rules regarding the Pesticide Management Plan (PMP); PMP is back. The PMP would establish how states would manage pesticides detected in groundwater. States were allowed to come up with their own plan for a PMP, and some states did. The big controversy at the time was the potential expense of monitoring all of a state's water.
The new administrator of EPA places these rules into the category of relatively insignificant policy implications. The rules are expected to be completed within 6-8 weeks and sent to the Office of Management and Budget. (Pestic. & Tox. Chem. News, 4-9-01)
The bottom line is that we still do not know what will happen, but the worst does not seem so bad.
Stemming from the EPA/registrant decision, six state attorneys general have asked retailers to stop selling diazinon immediately. The action was taken in Alaska, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maryland, New York, Rhode Island, and Guam. (Pestic. & Tox. Chem. News, 4-9-01)
The states based their opinions on potential adverse health effects. The registrant decision to discontinue registration was based primarily on the cost of developing new data to support diazinon, rather than concerns over health effects.
Remember the Endangered Species Act? Several years ago, we were looking for the Act to be re-authorized with substantial changes. Since that time, it seems that little or nothing happened. This kind of remission is not unusual for Federal activity. One day, an action is red-hot because of political and public pressure. The next day, a new topic has come to the front, and the older issue is forgotten.
The latest news is that inadequate funding and court costs have gutted activity regarding endangered species. Public action groups were not happy with the pace of endangered species activity, and they sued. Legal fees used up much of the available resource, and the court decisions dictated where most of the remaining money must be spent.
No issue is more difficult or contentious than policies regarding endangered species. You decide. A tick species is on the verge of extinction because of agricultural operations that provide 2,000 jobs. Do you close down the farms or let the tick become extinct? Sorry, you made the wrong choice. This particular tick makes an anticoagulant that could save millions of lives in the future . . . if it was not extinct.
I invented that scenario, but it could be true. The problem is that we do not know what species might be critical. Maybe a slug contains the clue for a cancer cure. Some obscure plant may hold a treatment for diabetes.
Too often, protection of endangered species becomes a popularity contest. Go back to the fictitious case and replace 'tick' with 'whale'. Would your decision change?
In truth, every species has a right to exist, and man may not have the right (or ability) to decide which species should survive. On the other hand, people have to live somewhere, and we have to produce food and fiber. We will have to make tough decisions, and you should be part of the debate.
The EPA has issued candidates for pesticide re-registration decisions in fiscal year 2001. The Agency is conducting two reviews simultaneously. Every pesticide registered before November 1984 is subject to re-registration per FIFRA '88. Additionally, FQPA required the Agency to review every pesticide tolerance (the amount of pesticide that can legally remain on food). Many pesticides are subject to both reviews.
Re-registration Eligibility Decisions (REDs) summarize the analysis of pesticides registered before November 1984. The report will describe the risk assessment conclusions and any risk reduction measures that will be required.
Interim Re-registration Eligibility Decisions (IREDs) are issued when a pesticide is undergoing re-registration requiring a RED, and the pesticide needs cumulative risk assessment under FQPA. This report again describes the EPA conclusions, but pesticide users and others have an opportunity to work with EPA before the final RED is issued.
Reports on Tolerance Reassessment Progress and Interim Risk Management Decisions (TREDs) are issued for pesticides that are not subject to FIFRA '88 reregistration (if they were registered after November 1984) OR if a RED was completed before FQPA was passed OR if the pesticide is not registered for use in the U.S. but has a tolerance that allows import of food on which the pesticide has been used.
In Fiscal Year 2001, the Agency plans the following REDs, IREDs, and TREDs.
|cacodylic acid||formetanate HCl|
If any of your pesticides are in this list, you should pay attention over the next year. You can find information about REDs, IREDs, and TREDs at http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/reregistration/status.htm or you can continue to read the Georgia Pest Management News. We will keep you informed.
The Georgia Department of Agriculture has issued a Special Local Need label for Stratego to control diseases on wheat. Stratego contains trifloxystrobin and propinconazole. It may be used to control rusts, powdery mildew, leaf blight, tan spot, glume blotch in wheat. For more information, contact the GDA at 404-656-4958.
Lyme disease is commonly vectored by the black-legged tick (aka deer tick). Greatly increased deer populations are one reason that Lyme disease has become such a problem. To reduce tick populations, you must reduce the populations of deer or ticks. Unfortunately, deer populations often overlap human neighborhoods where deer hunting is prohibited. Additionally, it is usually impractical to apply pesticides to kill ticks over large areas.
USDA scientists are working on a potential solution. A new device called a 'four poster' can greatly reduce the number of ticks on deer. The device is a combination deer feeder and pesticide applicator. When deer come to feed, they rub against the pesticide applicator. In early tests, the four posters have been highly effective for reducing black-legged ticks and Lone Star Ticks that can also transmit diseases to humans.
For details, visit http://www.nps.ars.usda.gov/
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) released the first National Report on Human Exposure to Environmental Chemicals. The report documents U.S. exposure to 27 environmental chemicals, including organophosphate pesticides. The data were collected in 1999 from 703 volunteers in 12 counties across the United States.
The results indicate exposure to one or more of the following organophosphates: azinphos-methyl, chlorpyrifos, chlorpyrifos-methyl, coumaphos, diazinon, dichlorvos, dimethoate, disulfoton, ethion, fenthion, malathion, methyl parathion, parathion, phorate, phosmet, temephos, and terbufos. The data could not distinguish between exposures to particular chemicals. Additionally, the CDC cautions that 'the presence of the chemical in blood or urine does not necessarily indicate that the chemical will cause a disease.' If you want more information, visit www.cdc.gov/nceh/dls (Agromedicine Program Update, 4-15-01)
This report should not cause undue alarm, nor is it not particularly surprising. We already knew that organophosphates were widely used across the United States for dozens of purposes. Additionally, modern detection methods can detect chemicals in parts per million or less. However, we should use the measured exposures as a threshold. We should conduct research to determine if these levels of exposure could affect human health.
The EPA will soon release new guidance for pesticide labels regarding drift. Technically, it is illegal for pesticide to drift off of the target site. In the real world, some drift is inevitable, and, often, no harm is done. The primary difficulty is drafting labeling language that is both realistic and enforceable. The Agency seems to prefer 'Do not allow this product to drift', but this language may be impossible to define for enforcement purposes. The Spray Drift Task Force (SDTF) would prefer 'Do not allow off-target drift to contact unprotected humans in the vicinity of the application. Minimize drift to sensitive areas. If drift occurs and causes environmental or economic damage, enforcement action may be taken.' This phrasing also has problems, such as the definition of a 'sensitive area'.
The SDTF proposes the following definitions for 'sensitive areas.'
(Pestic. & Tox. Chem. News, 4-9-01)
Taken broadly, these definitions of 'sensitive areas' seem to include every place on earth except for the small area under my back porch where I park my lawnmower (that place is not frequented by humans as my grass will attest).
As you can see, it is no easy task to define environmental terms, such as 'sensitive areas'. Another approach would be to establish a buffer zone around the pesticide application site, but similar problems arise. How large is an appropriate buffer -- 50 feet, 100 feet? What if the pesticide is applied in a granular formulation with ground equipment to control weeds adjacent to a playground? What if the pesticide is applied by air? The answer is obvious: 'It depends.' It would seem impossible to designate a universal buffer zone or devise a realistic formula. The task force would prefer to leave the decision concerning a buffer (and the responsibility) upon the applicator.
Consumers and food manufacturers are driving the adoption of genetically engineered crops. According to the National Center for Food and Agricultural Policy, potato farmers could save more than $100/acre by planting potatoes with genes from Bacillus thuringienis [that help control Colorado potato beetle]. However, McDonald's will not buy Bt potatoes because they do not want public action groups to protest at their stores. Instead, potato growers apply conventional pesticides.
A similar situation exists with sugar beet farmers. They could save $100 acre by planting RoundUp Ready sugar beets, but candy manufacturers do not want genetically engineered components. (Pestic. & Tox. Chem. News, 4-9-01)
Genetically engineered agriculture will not be accepted until consumers see some benefit (remember you heard it here first). I understand that growers would love to save $100/acre, and the environmental savings may be significant. However, the grower savings do not translate into cheaper products in the supermarket (I am not trashing growers. They receive a very small percentage of the purchase price.) Why would a consumer want to buy a genetically engineered product? The media report some risk, and no advantage is obvious to the consumer. The products are not cheaper or more nutritious.
The registrant plans to discontinue all uses of benomyl worldwide. This decision is not based on any human or environmental risks. Benomyl is known to be relatively safe product.
The company's action probably stems from the lawsuits arising from benomyl contamination. As you may recall, many producers lost plants as a result of contaminated benomyl products. Although the registrant paid restitution, producers may still lack confidence in benomyl.
This decision may not mean the end of benomyl products. The market for benomyl was very strong worldwide. Another company may purchase the registration from DuPont. DuPont may or may not be willing to sell the registration and supporting data.
I would be somewhat surprised if benomyl disappears for good, but it is not always possible to discern the factors that influence the decisions of a global company.
The appearance of any trade name in this newsletter is not intended to endorse that product nor convey negative implications of unmentioned products.
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.
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Department of Entomology, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602
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Paul Guillebeau, Associate Professor & Extension Entomologist