January 1998/Volume 21, no. 1
Quality Protection Act
Pile of Money + Short Deadlines = Negotiation
Health and the Environment
News You Can Use
From the Courtroom
The EPA is required to evaluate nearly 10,000 pesticide food tolerances by August, 2006. Completion of one-third of the tolerance evaluation is due by August, 1999; two-thirds by August 2002.
The Agency has identified organophosphates, carbamates, carcinogens, and organochlorines as the first group for reassessment. This group comprises nearly one-half of all tolerances that must be evaluated. Does that statement give you an indication of how important these pesticides are for American agriculture?
Many people (including myself) are concerned about the potential mistakes associated with the first group of pesticides to face FQPA. The National Center for Food and Agricultural Policy presented a grim outlook to a USDA symposium; they reported that up to 80% of OP and carbamate use patterns (primarily minor crops) may be eliminated by FQPA. California's top pesticide regulator thinks that EPA is too conservative regarding the implementation of FQPA. He describes EPA's current approach as a 'train wreck' waiting to happen. (Pestic. & Tox. Chem. News, 12-10-97 and 12-17-97)
Economics, Congressional deadlines, and a lack of information create a potential disaster for minor crops. Consider that half of all OP sales go to cotton and corn. Conversely, 60 minor crops account for 5% of OP uses. Which markets do think pesticide registrants will try to preserve? After all, their primary obligation is to make money for their stockholders. Additionally, EPA plans to complete the OP tolerance review by August, 1999. Is there time to gather information concerning all of the minor crop needs for the organophosphates and to review all of these data? Finally, keep in mind that EPA cannot force registrants to keep less valuable registrations even if the grower/societal benefits are very high. The Agency can (and probably will) offer incentives; they recognize the vulnerability of minor crops.
Expect all kinds of EPA/registrant and registrant/registrant deals. After all, both EPA and registrants will save a tremendous amount of manpower and time through negotiation.
Here is an example from my days at EPA. Ethyl parathion had to go. It was extremely toxic, and it was implicated in a number of human poisonings. The EPA and the registrant were preparing to battle in court. Both sides had invested major resources, and the tab continued to climb. Finally, the EPA and the registrant agreed to a compromise. The company would 'voluntarily' drop 90% of the parathion uses, including nearly all of the minor crops. The EPA would allow continued registration on the major crops (e.g., cotton, corn, small grains) if additional safeguards were agreed upon.
Winner: EPA. They report that they eliminated more than 90% of parathion uses at minimum expense.
Winner: Registrant. They keep the major crops, their biggest markets, and they don't have to produce any more data on the dozens of minor crops.
Losers: Minor crops. They were not invited to the negotiations, and they had no recourse concerning the decision.
DO NOT be fooled into thinking the pesticide companies will take care of you. Their hands will be tied in many situations, and their decisions must reflect a positive bottom-line. Most of the battles and negotiations will determine who gets to keep a cotton or corn registration, not who gets to keep leafy greens or pecans.
The sky is not falling, yet, and some things may lessen the blow. I heard through the grapevine that the Congressional ag. committee had sent a letter to the administrator of EPA, asking her to slow down on the organophosphates/carbamates. The FQPA does not require the Agency to do this group first.
The EPA needs information about minor crops. Grower organizations need to make it clear to EPA which pesticides are critical for their crops and which pesticides they can live without. Also communicate with registrants; let them know which pesticides you need.
The EPA has reviewed tolerances for 10 pyrethroids (bifenthrin, cypermethrin, cyfluthrin, zeta-cypermethrin, deltamethirn, esfenvalerate, fenpropathrin, lambda-cyhalothrin, tralomethrin, and tefluthrin), and they all passed. These pyrethroids were granted a three-year conditional registration. The conditions relate to undetermined risks to aquatic organisms (not part of FQPA). (EPA Press Advisory, 11-21-97)
The USDA and EPA have published a list of minor crop/pest combinations that are considered to be vulnerable to FQPA activity or other regulation. Producers with these crop/pest combinations have only one or very few options for pest control. The list is not complete; if you know other combinations that need to be included, please let me know. If any pesticide registrant submits an action to address one of these problem areas, the submission becomes an EPA priority. I highlighted the combinations most likely to affect Georgia growers.
|alfalfa/aphids||blackberry, raspberry/pear psylla, rhizopus, rust|
|apricots/mites||carrot/dodder, mites, fungal leaf diseases|
|collards/alternaria, anthracnose, cercospora||peppermint, spearmint/weeds|
|cranberry/mites||plums, prunes/mites, brown rot|
|cruciferous green/alternaria, white rust||pumpkin/pigweed, nightshade|
|grape/grape phylloxera, black vine weevil||radicchio/aphids|
|leafy greens/aphids||rice/rice water weevil|
|leek shallot/alternaria, botrytis, downy mildew||sorghum/chinch bug, broadleaf weeds|
|lemon, tangerine/pale color||spinach/fungal leaf diseases|
|lettuce/aphids||sugar cane/aphids, weeds|
|millet/annual grasses||sweet potato/weeds|
|peaches/mites||pecans/yellow pecan aphid|
(IR-4 Newsletter, Fall-97)
Fungicides may increase populations of aphids by killing entomopathogenic fungi. Fungal diseases are an important natural control of aphid populations and probably help to control aphid-transmitted diseases as well.
Researchers in fungicides applied to control potato late blight are strongly linked to increased populations of green peach aphid. Some fungicides applied for plant diseases are known to also be harmful to fungi that attack insects. If entomopathogenic fungi are reduced when growers spray fungicides, populations of aphids and other insects may be released from the natural disease control. The problem may be particularly vexing with aphids because they are known to transmit important plant diseases. Additional research is being conducted to better understand the IPM implications.
This situation illustrates the complexity of IPM. This problem was recognized because of late blight resistance to metalaxyl. The resistant strain has become common in the upper Midwest, and potato growers have increased fungicide applications for late blight up to four times compared with 7-8 years ago. The end result may be that fungicide resistance will cause increased problems with viral diseases. (Midwest Biological Control News, 12-97)
IPM information aimed at growers seems to be stuck in the pipeline or ignored. Canada's Expert Committee on IPM (ECIPM) developed a questionnaire to gage the availability of IPM program information and the extent of its adoption by growers. Here are the highlights of their survey.
IPM is going global, based on this report from PANUPS (12-12-97).
The World Bank agreed that their existing policy on pest management should be revised to reflect the importance of farmer-driven, knowledge-intensive and ecologically based approaches. The bank has agreed to 1) include in the revised IPM policy a commitment to reduce reliance on chemical pesticides in Bank-funded projects; 2) recommend revisions in the Bank's 1996 integrated pest management (IPM) policy to reflect the importance of farmer-driven, participatory and ecologically based approaches; and 3) finalize the establishment of a new full-time IPM specialist position by the end of 1997 with an expert in ecologically-based, farmer-driven IPM. Finally, the bank agreed that the pesticide industry should have no formal role in the Global IPM Facility, a multi-agency program led by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization. I agree with this whole plan, except for the last part. The pesticide industry brings a great deal of information and some valuable IPM tools to the table. However, I can understand that industry may be motivated to move their products even if they did not fit everybody's definition of IPM.
The EPA has released instructions and regulations associated with child resistant packaging of insecticide bait stations that are not intended to be opened or refilled. The children try to break, tear, chew, or otherwise open the bait station for ten minutes. If any child opens the station, the test is a failure.
Initially, the EPA also required testing for adults, with the idea that adults may open the bait stations and leave them accessible to children. The EPA decided this requirement was unnecessary for bait stations that were not intended to be refilled. The EPA granted a five year exemption from adult testing.
(PR Notice 97-9) Contact Rosolind Gross at EPA (703-308-7368) Gross.Rosalind@EPAMAIL.EPA.GOV
Georgia groundwater is not being contaminated by pesticides. Data from 1996-97 collected by the Pesticide Monitoring Network indicate no pesticide contamination above the maximum contaminant levels for safe drinking water established by EPA. The Network is a cooperative project between Ga. Dept. of Ag. and the Georgia Natural Resources Environmental Protection Division. (Ga. Fields & Forests, Fall/Winter, 97)
The EPA has long relied on controversial Kenaga data to estimate the amount of pesticide that birds consume on insects and other small prey. The Kenaga estimates are used to calculate pesticide risks to insectivorous birds. There has been considerable debate within the Agency concerning the reliability of these numbers, but there were no other estimates until now. Ecotoxicology and Biosystems Associates reports that actual pesticide residues in/on insects and other bird prey was 1%-65% of the Kenaga estimates. Let's hope that EPA can validate and use more accurate data to estimate environmental risks from pesticides. (Pestic. & Tox. Chem. News, 11-26)
California reports that one person died in 1995 from pesticide exposure; nearly 1,600 pesticide-related illnesses were confirmed. Many of the cases were related to pesticide misuse. A farmer soaked sunflower seeds in pesticide and put them our for squirrel bait; neighborhood children ate some of the seeds and were hospitalized. A homeowner used four to eight ounces of pesticide instead of the spoonful indicated in the directions; she was hospitalized for four days. (Pestic. & Tox. Chem. News, 1-7-97)
These incidents will not be ignored by regulatory agencies, nor should they be. If we do not have enough sense to use pesticides according to the label, maybe the pesticides are too dangerous to be on the market. Following my recent pesticide-safety talk, one of the audience chuckled, "Can Temik (aldicarb) control unwanted dogs?" Sure, and this attitude and concomitant misuse will kill Temik.
Research continues into the best ways to recycle empty plastic pesticide jugs. Some people suggest 'closing the loop' by using them to make new pesticide containers. Although this idea is attractive, technical considerations and cost make it impractical. Pesticide jugs are being recycled into shipping pallets for pesticides. The pallets are somewhat heavier than soft-wood pallets, but they are much more durable. Other potential products include fence posts, speed bumps, and cargo bed liners.
There is also considerable energy that could be realized by burning plastic jugs. The thermal energy of high-density polyethylene (HDPE) is nearly equivalent to oil. Composed of almost pure hydrocarbons, HDPE burns more cleanly than any fossil fuel except natural gas. Twenty-seven million two-gallon jugs have the energy of 3.7 million gallons of oil (approx. $2 million worth of oil). (ACRC News Bits, Harvest Edition 1997)
Scientists are experimenting with foods as way to deliver human vaccines. The Baltimore Sun reported that human volunteers are going to eat potatoes that have been genetically engineered to stimulate human antibody production against an intestinal disease. If this idea proves practical, it could revolutionize human health care. The cost of producing the vaccine would be minimal, and people could grow it in their own backyard. Once the parent crop was produced, successive generations of the engineered plants would also produce the vaccine. (Pesticide Coordinator Report, 12-97)
The following pesticide registrations will be canceled at the request of the registrants unless the requests are withdrawn by June 1, 1998. Existing stocks may be sold for an additional year. Products in the hands of end-users may be used according to the label indefinitely. Anyone who wants to preserve any of these product registrations should contact the registrant directly. (FR, 12-3-97)
|D.Z.N. Diazinon 1% M.E. Insecticide||Johnson Raid Formula|
|D.Z.N. Diazinon 0.5% M.E. Insecticide||Raid Flea Killer VII Plus Egg Stop Formula|
|D.Z.N. Diazinon 2.0 M.E.C. Insecticide||Raid Flea Killer Plus Carpet Spray II|
|D.Z.N. MG-2||Troysan Polyphase Anti-Mildew|
|Devoe All-Weather Penetrating Wood Preservative||Troysan Polyphase Anti-Mildew P-80|
|SMCP 1% Dursban Granular||Troysan Polyphase Anti-Mildew P-40|
|Weed-Free G||Troysan Polyphase P-20 S|
|Tanglefoot Bird Repellent||Clorox Toilet Bowl Cleaner|
|T.B.H. Formula No. 6||Paraquat Concentrate|
|Eradicate Concentrate||Aqucar 536 Water Treatment Microbiocide|
|Raid Fogger Plus A||Ind-Sol 288 Liquid Weed Killer|
|Mitac EC||Weed Blast 4-H Weed Killer|
Methamidophos is canceled for use on all agricultural crops except potato and cotton, effective Dec. 31, 1997. (FR, 12-23-97)
The following uses will be deleted from these pesticide labels at the request of the registrant unless the request is withdrawn by June 24, 1998. Existing stocks may be sold for an additional year. Products in the hands of end-users may be used according to the label indefinitely. Anyone who wants to preserve any of these product registrations should contact the registrant directly. (FR, 12-24-97)
If you need to find any least-toxic pest control from a flea vacuum to cockroach parasitoids, here is your source. The IPM Practitioner has released its annual directory of sources for least-toxic pest control products. You can get a copy from them (510-524-2567) or you can call me to find a particular item. We'll be happy to look it up for you. 'Least-toxic' is the IPM Practitioner definition, not mine, and I have no data to indicate how well these products will work.
Emergency pesticide exemptions (Section 18) have always been an important part of agriculture. The FQPA is likely to increase the need for Sec. 18s. Now you can find out what exemptions that other states have obtained and for what crops and pests. Visit this EPA Web site: http://www.epa.gov/opprd001/section18/
A 1994 survey indicated that 72% of pest control operators had house preconstruction termite-treatment failures; 92% had post construction failures within five years. The failures are blamed on pesticide failure and disruption of the chemical barrier by the building contractor. (The CPCO Advantage, 11-97 via Chemically Speaking, 12-97)
Use oils of essence cautiously when controlling Varroa and tracheal mites. The effectiveness of materials such as thymol will vary greatly depending on environmental conditions and the volume of the hive. Additionally, menthol and thymol were reported to be quite toxic to honeybees. More research is needed to make definitive control recommendations. (J. of Econ. Entomol., 10-97 via APIS, 11-97).
The EPA has approved a new systemic fungicide for ornamentals, bedding plants, conifers, and turf. The new product, Foli-R-Fos 400 is not available in Georgia yet. (FR, 1-5-98)
There is a new pesticide label/MSDS database available on the Web from Crop Data Management Systems, Inc. Review the database at www.cdms.net/manuf/manuf.asp The database is free for now, but there will a charge for the information soon. (Agric. Online News, 12-12-97 via Chemically Speaking, 1-98)
Novartis is introducing a new pesticide called Fulfill (pymetrozine) for control of sucking insects. According to the company, the mode of action is unique and causes sucking insects to stop feeding by acting on the salivary pump. Fulfill is reported to be safe to mammals, the environment, and many beneficial organisms. (Novartis technical bull.)
There is a new urban IPM listserver for general, broad-based discussion list open to anyone interested in structural and/or landscape IPM (for invertebrate, vertebrate, weed, and disease pests). Topics are expected to include IPM basics, how to set up and run an urban IPM program, management tactics for specific urban pests, and related topics.
To subscribe, send an e-mail to: <email@example.com> with the following words in the body of the message: subscribe urban-IPM-L <your name>
Patchen Selective Spray Systems reports a sprayer that sprays only the weeds by detecting chlorophyll. The system shuts off when the sensor indicates bare ground. The 'Weed Seeker' is advertised as both saving money and reducing health/environmental risks. A shielded model can be used to apply herbicides between rows. If you want more information, contact Patchen Selective Spray Systems, 101A Cooper Court, Los Gatos, CA95030, USA. Fax: 1-408-399-0094. Phone: 1-408- 399-9112.
Assistant Administrator Lynn Goldman says that cotton growers will not be able to use bromoxynil on cotton in 1998. She cites data that indicate 'significant and irreversible human health effects.' Although the EPA has not issued an official notice, we strongly advise cotton growers not to purchase seed to plant BXN cotton. This announcement does not indicate a permanent ban on the use of bromoxynil on cotton. Additional data may or different use patterns may mitigate the risks to an acceptable level. (Pestic. & Tox. Chem. News, 1-7-98)
The EPA is trying to decide what to do about disclosing 'inert' ingredients in pesticides. Some inerts are known to have toxic effects on humans or other non-targets. The answer, however, is not as simple as it appears. If the next pesticide container you buy lists a dozen chemicals in addition to the active ingredient, will the information mean anything to you? Will you read it? How does the disclosure of the inerts relate to the registrants right to guard confidential business information? (Pestic. & Tox. Chem News, 11-26)
There is a new list of products for which the WPS re-entry interval is four hours. Most of the products are oils, growth regulators (e.g., gibberellic acid), and microbials (e.g., Bacillus thuringiensis, Pseudomonas). If you need a copy of the list, let us know. However, you can get the same information from the pesticide label.
The USDA has published new rules that would define 'organic' agricultural products. The proposed standards define 'organic' as produced through natural vs. synthetic processes. The new rules address methods, practices, and substances used in production and handling crops and livestock. Organic labeling, organic certification, compliance testing, and foreign equivalence are also included. The role of transgenic crops is not considered in the USDA release. If you want more information or if you want to comment, hit the Web. http://www.ams.usda.gov/nop/ Specifically, we need to help USDA decide how to address genetically engineered crops; biotechnology is usually aimed at reducing or eliminating the need for pesticides in crop production.
Comments must be submitted by March 16, 1998.
The Office of Prevention, Pesticides, and Toxic Substances is reorganizing, even though the last reorganization is not complete. Lynn Goldman has announced that the structure for OPPTS will include the following offices and responsibilities.
Immediate Office: communication coordination, special assistants, Fed. Register publications, etc.
Office of Pesticide Programs: registration and reregistration of active ingredients (except antimicrobials), FQPA, ecological risks, biopesticides, PESP.
Office of Consumer Safety and Right-to-Know: registration of pesticide products (active ingredients registered in OPP) worker protection, FQPA brochures on food safety, antimicrobials, consumer labeling, etc,
Office of Science Coordination and Policy: policy for pesticides and toxics, test guidelines, science policy, etc.
Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics: new chemicals, risk management, testing existing chemicals, etc.
Reorganization can lead to greater efficiency, but the timing was not good. The Office is already reeling from new FQPA responsibilities, OPP is not finishing reorganizing, and OPP has a brand new chief. During reorganization, energy and resources are focused on reorganizing (where do I go? what do I do?) instead of programs (e.g., implementation of FQPA). Confused staffers and managers are unhappy, unproductive staffers and managers.
Douglas Sipple of Delaware thought it would be a good idea to use carbofuran (Furadan) to kill predators on his property. After all, they were killing the rabbits that he wanted for his beagles. He faces up to a year in jail and a $100,000 fine. More importantly, this incident will be another piece of ammunition when the EPA wants to cancel carbofuran. (Pesticide Briefs, 1-98)
NOTE: The mention of any product in this newsletter should not be interpreted as an endorsement of that product nor should the omission of any product be considered a negative statement.
The Georgia Pest Management Newsletter is a monthly journal for Extension agents/specialists, and others interested in pest management news. It provides information on legislation, regulations, and other pest management issues
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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Department of Entomology
University of Georgia
Athens, GA 30602
Paul Guillebeau, Assistant Professor & Extension Entomologist
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