The University of
College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences
Cooperative Extension Service
September 1999/Volume 22, no. 9
FOOD QUALITY PROTECTION ACT
can you trust?
Chlorpyrifos, an organophosphate with significant agricultural and residential uses, has begun the six-phase process for development of a risk assessment and risk mitigation plans
An EPA draft guidance document, open to public comment through September 13, is an excellent primer about how EPA gathers and employs information on pesticide use
According to the Harvard University Center for Risk Analysis, current implementation of FQPA is not giving appropriate consideration to public health
The EPA has released a schedule of action on organophosphate pesticides
In our July issue, we reported that a large number of 'Off' and 'Cutter' product registrations were being canceled at the request of the registrant
Many of you are probably familiar with Jerry Baker, the self declared 'America's Master Gardener'
HEALTH AND THE ENVIRONMENT
are at least 100,000 tons of obsolete pesticide stockpiles in countries
around the globe
Do you know someone whose farm is an outstanding example of agricultural stewardship?
The EPA Office of Pesticide Programs recently added a page on Pesticide Safety Programs to its web site
The EPA is proposing major new regulations under the Clean Water Act to require states to accelerate surface water protection
Chemical and Union Carbide want to merge in a deal worth nearly $12
Do you have a good idea to reduce the risks of pesticides?
The IR-4 Biopesticide Research Program has also announced their call for grant proposals
Who can you trust? A little background may be necessary to set the stage. Consumers' Union (the people you trust to tell you which toaster to buy in Consumer Reports) recently published a report concerning the risks of pesticide residues on foods. The American Association of Toxicologists called it mostly hogwash. However, the Consumers Union article was part of the reason that EPA canceled methyl parathion on peaches.
Many Americans trust Consumers' Union to bring them unbiased information because Consumer Reports accepts no advertising. Consumers' Union has also lambasted the American Council on Science and Health for accepting unrestricted grants from corporations. According to Consumers' Union, these grants allow corporations to dictate ACSH reports on food safety. A May 1994 Consumer Reports article states "Industry funding compromises any claim to scientific independence." You may agree with that statement, and certainly everyone must be careful not to allow money to influence 'unbiased' decisions.
Alas, even Consumers' Union may have taken this poison bait. Consumers' Union receives funding from three foundations that support the reduction of pesticide use, including the Natural Resources Defense Council (the group that brought you the Alar public health scare). Does Consumers' Union 'funding compromises' statement apply to themselves? It makes you question the validity and motives behind the Consumers' Union recent pesticide article. The Natural Resources Defense Council makes no secret of their anti-pesticide agenda.
Let me be clear. My opinion, fortunately, is not the only one (people who disagree with me are entitled to their own stupid opinion). I believe that everyone else is entitled to their own stupid opinion. I think there is value in groups like the Natural Resources Defense Council and others that are anti-pesticide. Certainly, there are areas in which we need to work to reduce pesticide risks. The Consumers' Union may accept funding from any sources they choose. However, when Consumers' Union castigates other groups for accepting similar types of funding, I have to wonder.
This article (except my stupid opinions) was based upon a letter from Dr. Elizabeth M. Whelan, President of the American Council on Science and Health, to Dr. Edward Groth, Director of Technical Policy with Consumers' Union.
Whenever big money and emotions are involved, there are wheels within wheels driving public policy. The recent decisions regarding methyl parathion and azinphos methyl were political and had very little to do with science and the protection of children. There are bigger decisions yet to be made. We need to be vigilant to ensure that regulations concerning public health are based on science.
Chlorpyrifos, an organophosphate with significant agricultural and residential uses, has begun the six-phase process for development of a risk assessment and risk mitigation plans. This six-phase process was recommended by the Tolerance Reassessment Advisory Committee (TRAC) and is described on the EPA web site at http://www.epa.gov/oppsrrd1/op/process.htm
As previously reported, USDA and the land-grant universities are involved in reviewing EPA risk assessments for the organophosphates. This role was recommended by TRAC.
The draft assessment for chlorpyrifos now is in the 30-day period of error correction by the registrant (Phase 1). USDA participates at this phase to conduct a basic review on the use of USDA data.
In Phase 2, EPA makes revisions based on Phase 1 corrections and then initiates Phase 3 -- a 60-day public comment period -- by placing a completed preliminary risk assessment on the EPA web site and in a public docket. When Phase 3 begins, the OPMP will alert the land-grant universities and affected commodity groups, and also provide a summary and list of sections in the assessment where data and assumptions should be evaluated by the agricultural community.
During Phase 4, EPA revises the assessment. The USDA and land-grant partners contribute again by reviewing the revised assessment. The revised assessment, which EPA may present at a technical briefing, is then publicly posted. This begins Phase 5, in which risk mitigation suggestions are sought through a 60-day comment period. In Phase 6, another 60-day period, a completed risk mitigation plan is produced.
It's advisable to begin early, prior to Phase 5, to begin examining important uses of chlorpyrifos. In agriculture, the largest volume use (26%) is on corn. Based on U.S. totals, crops with a high percent of treated acreage are: Brussels sprouts (73%), cranberries (46%) apples (44%), broccoli (41%) and cauliflower (31%). Some 70% of urban use involves termite control.
Land-grant faculty may contact the OPMP if interested in participating in the USDA review of chlorpyrifos. Any interested individual may access risk assessments during the public comment periods by checking the EPA web site at. An explanation of how to comment may be found at
You will get an opportunity to comment unless the Agency and the registrant cut a deal as was the case with methyl parathion and azinphos methyl.
An EPA draft guidance document, open to public comment through September 13, is an excellent primer about how EPA gathers and employs information on pesticide use. Entitled, "The Role of Use-Related Information in Pesticide Risk Assessment and Risk Management," it can be viewed at http://www.epa.gov/oppbead1/use-related.pdf. Prospective land-grant reviewers and others who expect to comment on risk assessments would benefit from studying this document.
According to the Harvard University Center for Risk Analysis, current implementation of FQPA is not giving appropriate consideration to public health. Companies with products that control threats like tick and mosquitoes are likely to cancel registrations instead of submitting to the current risk-assessment process. Further, any benefits from banning organophosphates may be offset by increased risks to public health from arthropods and the diseases they vector. (Pestic. & Tox. Chem. News, 8-12-99)
The EPA has released a schedule of action on organophosphate pesticides.
|Risk assessments for 1999||Risk assessments for 2000|
|Begin Risk Management Proposal 1999||Begin Risk Management Proposal 1999|
(Pestic. & Tox. Chem. News, 8-5-99)
In our July issue, we reported that a large number of 'Off' and 'Cutter' product registrations were being canceled at the request of the registrant. Many people, including me, thought the S.C. Johnson Company might be discontinuing all of their insect repellent products. After several confusing telephone conversations, I discovered the 'rest of the story.' In the past, it was quite inexpensive to maintain pesticide registrations. Companies often retained registrations for products they were not currently marketing. Pesticide registration has become more expensive, and many companies are canceling registrations for products they do not intend to market. The large number of 'Off' registrations were canceled because the company is not going to market those products. However, Johnson assured me that they will continue to market a full line of insect repellent products. I did not speak with the company that markets 'Cutter,' but the situation is probably similar.
The EPA will cancel the following registrations, effective January 31, 2000, at the request of the registrant unless the request is withdrawn. Typically, the products may continue to be sold for one year following this type of cancellation, and end-users may continue to use existing stocks indefinitely.
|Bacto-Loob (wonder what this product does)||Gone Insect Repelling Table Cloth (an interesting product)|
|Chem Cap Insect Repellent II||Sergeant's Skip Flea Foam for Dogs|
|CON-O Gas||Skeedaddle 4 Hour Insect Protection|
|Co-Ral Animal Insecticide||Skeedaddle Insect Protection for Children|
|Cotton Pro 80DF||Skeedaddle Spritz|
|Farmrite Folpet 50W||Unicorn Insect Repellent|
|Feri Lome Rose & Ornamental Disease Control||Unicorn Insect Repellent #2|
Many of you are probably familiar with Jerry Baker, the self declared 'America's Master Gardener.' He is a star on the Public Broadcasting System and appears in some popular gardening videos. Baker reports that everything you need for pest control is available right in your own home and often prescribes 'tonics' from tobacco, urine, mouthwash, and other components. His style and charisma charm millions of viewers, and they trust his advice. Unfortunately, much of his advice is wrong and can be dangerous.
Baker also sells pesticide products. One herbicide they sell -- ''Only Available Through Jerry Baker'' -- is ordinary trimec, available at any garden center. His fertilizers are not an exotic tonic but a common mix of nitrogen, phosphorous, and potash, just like you buy all over town. The biggest difference is the price; you can usually buy the same ingredients for less.
Jerry Baker may have learned some things during his years of gardening, but he is primarily a television star. If you need advice about gardening, get it from the real experts, your local extension service. Their lines are being written by professional horticulturists, not by TV script writers. (USA Today, 8-23-99)
There are at least 100,000 tons of obsolete pesticide stockpiles in countries around the globe. In some cases, the pesticides were banned for use after they were imported. Sometimes, an oversupply of pesticide was delivered with international aid. Unwanted pesticides can create enormous risks for human health and the environment. Often, stockpiles of pesticides are ignored or disposed of improperly.
The international community is working to remove obsolete pesticides, but the
costs can be prohibitive. The United Nations has coordinated projects that have
disposed of 3,000 tons of pesticides in 14 countries, but the projects cost
nearly $14 million U.S. dollars. The FAO estimates that disposing of all
obsolete pesticides in Africa would cost more than $80 million. The chemical
industry has pledged to pay at least 1/4 of the African disposal costs, but FAO
reports the industry is slow to fulfill this commitment. The majority of the
funding thus far comes from development agencies in the U.S. and some European
countries. No contributions towards cleanup efforts have come from the United
Kingdom, France or Japan -- countries which have donated or exported pesticides
to developing countries in the past.
For more information on obsolete pesticides, visit the UN FAO web site at http://www.fao.org/news/1999/990504-e.htm
(Pesticides News 44, May 1999 and June 1999 via PANUPS, 7-3-99)
Do you know someone whose farm is an outstanding example of agricultural stewardship? Nominate them for a $10,000 award from the American Farmland Trust.
Nominees must be living in the United States and the criteria for the award will include a) use of farming practices that lead to a productive farm in a healthy environment, b) work to develop policies and programs for farmland protection, and c) demonstration of leadership by protecting their own farm from development. The nomination procedure is relatively easy; an application, a three page write up answering four questions, and up to seven pages of supporting material. You may not nominate yourself. The deadline for submission is November 1, 1999.
Dr. Mark Risse with the University of Georgia can help you with the nomination process. Contact Dr. Risse at firstname.lastname@example.org or 706-542-9067.
For more information, visit http://www.farmland.org/ or call the Trust at 202-331-7300.
The EPA Office of Pesticide Programs recently added a page on Pesticide Safety Programs to its web site. Among the programs featured are the pesticide applicator Certification and Training Program, which is coordinated with the USDA Pesticide Applicator Training (PAT) Program. A draft report and proposals on the future of the programs is posted at the site for public review. Other features of the site include links regarding the Worker Protection Standard and National Strategies for Health Care Providers. http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/safety/
The EPA is proposing major new regulations under the Clean Water Act to require states to accelerate surface water protection. The proposal would greatly expand restrictions on industrial discharges and would include agriculture and silviculture for the first time. The proposal could become law after a 60-day comment period.
The new law would probably increase pesticide regulation and the enforced regulation of farmers, ranchers, and feedlot operators. If states do not comply, the EPA could take over the state program.
Be alert. We will keep you informed. (Arrow Newsletter, 8-25-99)
Dow Chemical and Union Carbide want to merge in a deal worth nearly $12 billion. If approved by the Federal Trade Commission, the merger will create the second largest chemical company in the world. I understand why companies want to merge, but I am concerned about a lack of competition among pesticide registrants and the difficulty in controlling a mega-corporation. The new company would employ 49,000 people with operations in nearly 170 companies. (Pestic. & Tox. Chem. News, 8-5-99)
Do you have a good idea to reduce the risks of pesticides? You should try to get funding from the Pesticide Environmental Stewardship Program (PESP). The UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences is a PESP partner, so we are eligible for these grants. You will need to work through Dr. Mark Risse or me because we are the UGA contacts for PESP.
The deadline is October 29, 1999. If you want more information, call me (706-542-9031) or visit the PESP web site www.pesp.org/pesp/grants/2000rfp.htm
The IR-4 Biopesticide Research Program has also announced their call for grant proposals. The IR-4 program works to help minor crops obtain effective pest controls. Early stage biopesticide proposals are due on November 15, 1999. Advanced stage biopesticide proposals are due December 15, 1999. I don't know the difference between the two types of proposals. I can send you a copy of the RFP.
Contact Dr. Bill Biehn for more information (732-932-9575, ext 603)
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
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Dr. Paul Guillebeau
Assistant Professor & Extension Entomologist