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

Your source for pest management and pesticide news

July 2000/Volume 23, No. 7

SPECIAL TRAINING OPPORTUNITY

On August 17, the Putnam County Extension office and our office will provide a unique pesticide workshop that will focus on the categories of forestry, right-of-way, aquatic, and wood treatment

FOOD QUALITY PROTECTION ACT/REGISTRATION

One of the most important days in the implementation of FQPA is approaching rapidly
The EPA has released interim risk management decisions for three organophosphate (OP) pesticides
Mevinphos (Phosdrin) was canceled for use in this country some years ago
The EPA has released environmental and human risk assessments for oxamyl, terrazole, and triallate
Here is the summary of a conference call concerning possible EPA action with diazinon
The EPA is replacing the old Tolerance Reassessment Advisory Committee
In our last issue, we told you that chlorpyrifos registrations for homeowner and structural products were being voluntarily withdrawn; here is the 'rest of the story'

HEALTH AND THE ENVIRONMENT

Society often views risks and benefits very differently for non-pesticide products
Global climate change could cause dramatic increases in pesticide use

BIOTECHNOLOGY

According to the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications (ISAAA), global acreage planted to genetically engineered (GE) crops is increasing dramatically
The EPA has asked a Science Advisory Panel (SAP) for guidance in assessing the potential health and environmental effects of plant pesticides

NEW REGULATIONS

New York is poised to pass a law requiring homeowners to post private lawns when they apply pesticides

NEW TOOLS

Researchers suggest that insect toxins from spider venom could be genetically engineered into food plants

WORKER PROTECTION STANDARD

The EPA and the National Alliance of Independent Crop Consultants (NAICC) have come to an agreement regarding exemptions for certified crop advisors

CANCELED


Food Quality Protection Act/Reregistration

One of the most important days in the implementation of FQPA is approaching rapidly; EPA will establish rules to estimate the cumulative risks of pesticides with a common mechanism of toxicity. The Agency will host a technical briefing July 20 (9:30 a.m.) at the National Rural Electric Cooperative Conference Center, 4301 Wilson Blvd., Arlington, VA. The draft guidance document (Proposed Guidance on Cumulative Risk Assessment of Pesticide Chemicals that have a Common Mechanism of Toxicity) is available on EPA's website www.epa.gov/pesticides/trac/science and in the Office of Pesticide Programs public docket (703-305-5805).

First, a little background for those who may be confused by some of the jargon. When the EPA establishes the amount of pesticide that can legally remain on food (pesticide tolerance), the EPA must add together the risks of all pesticides (cumulative risk) that are poisonous in the same way (common mechanism of toxicity). The EPA also speaks of aggregate risks, but EPA aggregation refers to adding together all non-occupational exposure to a pesticide.

Organophosphate insecticides are the first group in the FQPA queue. In simple terms, these pesticides are characterized by phosphorous in a double bond with oxygen or sulfur (if you had not slept through chemistry, you could write this stuff). Additionally, all OP insecticides kill insects in the same way. They interfere with a key nerve enzyme acetyl-cholinesterase. Unfortunately, humans and other animals also use acetyl-cholinesterase. Fortunately, a 120-pound person weighs more than 25,000 times as much as an insect. Organophosphates are very common in both household and commercial products; common OP insecticides include malathion, chlorpyrifos (Lorsban/Dursban), diazinon, and acephate (Orthene).

Until now, the EPA has been estimating risks for individual organophosphates. The risk assessment of individual OP insecticides has resulted in some dramatic regulatory activity including removal of the #1 peach insecticide in the Southeast (methyl parathion) and elimination of all homeowner products containing chlorpyrifos.

The determination of cumulative risks is big, big, big for anyone with interest in pesticides (pro or con). The implementation of this policy will determine the fate of the organophosphate pesticides, but it will also set precedent for how other groups of pesticides (e.g., carbamates and B2 carcinogens) are evaluated. Take the time to read the draft guidance document and offer comments. If you do not understand the policy, let EPA know. The Agency is resolved to make FQPA implementation a 'transparent' process.

No one wants to place human health or the environment at risk, but pesticides also offer tremendous benefits if used appropriately. Be sure to see our lead story in 'Health and the Environment'.

The EPA has released interim risk management decisions for three organophosphate (OP) pesticides - bensulide, cadusafos, and chlorethoxyfos. These three are significant because they are the first to have individual risks fully evaluated through the OP pilot public participation process. You can see these interim decisions on EPA's web site, www.epa.gov/REDs . With certain mitigation measures that must be implemented soon, each pesticide fits into its own "risk cup," which means that its individual, aggregate risks are within acceptable levels.

Mevinphos (Phosdrin) was canceled for use in this country some years ago, but producers in other countries can still use mevinphos on produce intended for sale in the U.S. You can comment on the EPA risk assessment for mevinphos until August 29, 2000. Look for the risk analysis at www.epa.gov/pesticides

I point out mevinphos because it illustrates the irony of some FQPA decisions. Producers often use organophosphates because the OP insecticides are the cheapest way to control pest populations. Suppose EPA cancels certain OP registrations because of worker or dietary risk concerns. U.S farmers are forced to switch to a more expensive alternative, but foreign producers can still use the OP unless EPA can also cancel the import tolerance. The foreign producer may pass the savings along to the consumer, and/or the increased cost of production may force U.S. growers out of business. In either case, the U.S. consumer may choose the foreign produce because it is cheaper or more available in the supermarket. It is likely that the foreign produce was treated with the same, cheaper pesticide that was canceled in the United States because of dietary concerns. Should you worry about the pesticide risk on the foreign produce? Probably not; OP insecticides typically break down very quickly. In most cases the pesticide residues will be undetectable.

The EPA has released environmental and human risk assessments for oxamyl, terrazole, and triallate. These pesticides are not organophosphates, and the risk assessments are part of the ongoing reregistration process. You have until July 28, 2000, to send your comments. See www.epa.gov/pesticides

Here is the summary of a conference call concerning possible EPA action with diazinon. In addition to EPA, USDA, grower groups, and land-grant university people participated. The EPA has some health and environmental concerns about diazinon, but the news was not all bad.

Human risks. The dietary risk from diazinon is estimated to be small at this point if you discount other nonoccupational exposures. However, the Agency has concerns about diazinon exposure following home uses on turf (except granular formulations) or indoors. Based on current models, there is concern for applicator exposure both in occupational and home use settings. New data concerning dermal exposure could change these risk estimates. Current monitoring data of drinking water do not indicate a risk associated with diazinon, but EPA models suggest some reason for concern.

Environmental risks. The Agency has been concerned about avian risks associated with diazinon for some time; in the past, the primary concern focused on granular formulations. In the current assessment, avian concerns include both granular and liquid formulations. Since the early 1970s, there have been more than 200 wildlife mortality incidents (primary birds). Regulatory activity since that time (e.g., banning use on golf courses and sod farms) may change the avian assessment. Diazinon is also commonly detected in surface water and in fog.

The EPA is not changing the current diazinon assessment in light of the recent cancellation of all home uses of chlorpyrifos, but future processes will likely take this regulatory change into account. After chlorpyrifos is eliminated from University of Georgia homeowner recommendations, we expect additional use of diazinon.

The comment period for the diazinon risk assessment closes July19. You can review the current assessment at www.epa.gov/pesticides

The EPA is replacing the old Tolerance Reassessment Advisory Committee (TRAC) with the Committee to Advise on Reassessment and Transition (CARAT). The mission and makeup of CARAT will be similar to TRAC. Georgia groups worked hard to get a representative on the committee, but were rebuffed in favor of a Florida person to represent the Southeast. I know the Florida man, and I am confident that he will be an active and knowledgeable participant. However, Florida agriculture is quite different from the rest of the Southeast; I wish we had a person from Ga., S.C., Tenn., etc. It is not known if the pesticide action groups that walked out on TRAC will participate in CARAT. (The people who come up with these clever committee names with a pronounceable acronym impress me. I wonder if CARAT will be followed by the Society to Indict Chemicals Kept, STICK).

In our last issue, we told you that chlorpyrifos registrations for homeowner and structural products were being voluntarily withdrawn; here is the 'rest of the story.' Dow AgroSciences says that there is 'ample evidence [to show] that this product, used as directed, is safe and provides a wide margin of safety for adults and children. Unfortunately, we found that continued efforts to retain certain uses of chlorpyrifos in the United States no longer made business sense in the current regulatory environment.' The Chemical Specialties Manufacturers Association added that the Agency may not have given enough consideration of this product's health benefits (protecting children from pests). (Pesticide & Tox. Chem. News, 6-15-00)

There are two important points to be made. First, the EPA may have acted arbitrarily to cancel chlorpyrifos registrations instead of using 'sound science' and 'transparency,' two principals that EPA has repeatedly espoused. Second, Dow clearly said the products were safe when they were used 'as directed.' In my experience, homeowners often do not follow pesticide label directions; this practice may very well be creating excessive risks.

Health and the Environment

Society often views risks and benefits very differently for non-pesticide products. The Journal of the American Medical Association indicates that the benefits of preventing unwanted pregnancies outweigh the stroke risk associated with birth control (Associated Press, 7-5-00). The increased risk of stroke ranged from 1/24,000 to 1/12,000, depending on the pill strength. Keep in mind that this increased risk is for the population of women in childbearing years and did not include typical stroke victims, such as smokers or women with high blood pressure.

Dr. S. Claiborne Johnston, a co-author of the report and assistant professor of neurology at the University of California at San Francisco states, "The key is about whether this risk matters, given how effective the pill is at preventing pregnancy." I agree with Dr. Johnston, and I think the same logic should be applied to pesticides, another valuable tool with a potential for serious side effects.

The risk threshold of 1/24,000 seems very low in light of action thresholds that EPA regularly uses to trigger pesticide regulation. The EPA generally uses a risk threshold of 1/1,000,000 for chronic illness, more than 40 times lower than the threshold for stroke associated with birth control pills. I have not heard any groups calling for a ban on birth control pills because of the health risks.

Global climate change could cause dramatic increases in pesticide use. According to an assessment mandated by Congress in 1990, pesticide applications to corn could increase up to 20%, and pesticide use on potato could rise up to 15 percent. For details, see http://www.usgcrp.gov/ and www.med.harvard.edu/chge/resources.html (Pesticide & Tox. Chem. News, 6-15-00)

Biotechnology

According to the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications (ISAAA), global acreage planted to genetically engineered (GE) crops is increasing dramatically. Worldwide acreage has increased from 4.2 million acres in 1996 to nearly 100 million acres in 1999, with a 44 percent increase from 1998 to 1999.

Twelve countries grew genetically modified crops in 1999.

United States - 70.9 million acres
Argentina - 16.5 million acres
Canada - 9.9 million acres
China - approximately 750,000 acres
Australia, South Africa - approximately 250,000 acres each
France, Mexico, Spain, Portugal, Rumania, Ukraine - less than 250,000 acres each

Seven GE crops were grown in 1999, including soybean, corn, cotton, canola/rapeseed, potato, squash, and papaya. Soybean and corn accounted for more than 80 percent of the acreage. Herbicide tolerance was the most commonly desired trait (approximately 70 percent of the acreage). Insect resistance crops (with the Bacillus thuringiensis gene) accounted for about 20 percent. Nearly all the remaining acreage was planted to crops with both herbicide tolerance and insect resistance. Virus resistance in potato, squash, and papaya accounted for less than 1 percent of the acreage planted to GE in 1999.

Revenues for GE crops increased from $75 million in 1995 to $235 million in 1996, $670 million in 1997, $1.6 billion in 1998, and more than $2 billion in 1999.

For details of the ISAAA report, visit their website, www.isaaa.org (PANUPS, 6-29-00)

The EPA has asked a Science Advisory Panel (SAP) for guidance in assessing the potential health and environmental effects of plant pesticides. Plant pesticides are defined as the 'pesticidal substance expressed in a living plant and the genetic material necessary for its expression.' Plant pesticides do not include resistance or pesticidal traits resulting from 'traditional' plant breeding; in other words, 'plant pesticides' focuses on genetically engineered organisms. This panel has an enormous responsibility because many other countries will follow the lead of the United States in this area. (Pesticide & Tox. Chem. News, 6-15-00)

New Regulations

New York is poised to pass a law requiring homeowners to post private lawns when they apply pesticides. New York is the first state to require this type of regulation. Look for other states to pass similar regulations. (Environmental Policy & Commodity Program, 6-23-00)

New Tools

Researchers suggest that insect toxins from spider venom could be genetically engineered into food plants. The newly discovered poisons are deadly to insects, but reportedly safe for humans and other animals. Spider venom is a combination of proteins; proteins are made based on the spiders' genetic code; there is no reason these genes could not spliced into the genome of plants or viruses that infect insects. (Nature, via Kansas Pesticide Newsletter, 6-16-00)

Scientists have already introduced the genetic instructions for scorpion venom into an insect virus, but no pesticide product is registered in the United States. The introduction of animal genes (particularly spiders and scorpions) into plants takes the biotechnology debate to an entirely new emotional level. Many people will be VERY squeamish about eating anything that has any component from a spider or scorpion, no matter how far removed.

In a recent lecture of mine, several people in the audience indicated that they were not concerned about bacterial genes in plants. However, they said they would not eat plants into which animal genes had been introduced. I had not considered this point of view. Would vegetarians balk at eating plants with animal genes? Would certain religions prohibit consumption of plants with pork or beef genes?

Worker Protection Standard

The EPA and the National Alliance of Independent Crop Consultants (NAICC) have come to an agreement regarding exemptions for certified crop advisors. Under current WPS rules, certified consultants are exempt from re-entry restrictions intended to protect other farm workers. However, in a recent bromoxynil decision, the revised labels indicated that the re-entry interval of four days also applied to scouts and crop advisors. The NAICC complained loudly, and the EPA has agreed to reconsider the bromoxynil language based on forthcoming data from NAICC. (Pesticide & Tox. Chem. News, 6-15-00)

Canceled

We have not carried this column recently, but a number of registrations are being cancelled at the request of the registrants. The cancellation orders will be issued December 11, 2000, unless the requests are withdrawn. Generally, the EPA will allow the products to be sold for about another year; end-users can typically use any pesticide in their possession according to the label directions.



88 Farm Bin Spray Improved M-5-3
Acclaim 1EC, 0.5WE, and 0.75 EC Herbicide Muralo Lumber Jacket Stain and Wood Preservative
BT-XtraBuctril + Atrazine Gel Ortho Home Orchard Spray
Captan 7.5 Dust Orthocide Garden Fungicide
Durham Duratex Granules Prometryne 80W
Durham Duratex Granules 2 Reldan 4E
Durham Duratex HR Granules Reldan F Insecticidal Chemical
Dycarb 76WP Insecticide for Horticulture Plants SMCP TTC Turf Fungicide
Dylox 6.2% Insecticide Granules Sprout Nip Ag
Evolve Potato Seed - Piece Treatment Trific 60 DF
Ferti-Loam Improved Rose Dust Spray Unicorn Equine Spray and Rub-On
Flowable Captan Seed Protectant Unicorn Flea & Tick Powder for Dogs and Cats
- Unicorn Flea & Tick Powder I

BT CryIA will no longer be available in any registered product.
(Pesticide & Tox. Chem. News, 6-15-00)

This list indicates only product registrations that are being cancelled, not active ingredients (except for CryIA).

If you see favorite products being canceled, you have two options. Contact the registrant and voice your concerns; they may withdraw the cancellation request. Otherwise, look for the same active ingredient in other products still available. We do not advise you to stockpile large quantities of any pesticide. The active ingredient could be canceled, or the pesticide may become ineffective over time. In either case, you could be stuck with large amounts of pesticide for which disposal could be a problem.

Special Training Opportunity

On August 17, Putnam County Extension and our office will provide a unique pesticide workshop that will focus on the categories of forestry, right-of-way, aquatic, and wood treatment. A morning session will be worth three hours of recertification credit in any category EXCEPT the structural categories (categories 28, 29 & 30 get no credit for this meeting). Additionally, we will have breakout sessions in the afternoon for forestry, right-of-way, aquatic, and wood treatment. Participants will receive two more hours in their breakout category. Private applicators can receive three hours of recertification credit. Applicators from states other than Georgia are encouraged to attend. We will gladly apply for recertification credit in other states. Just let me know.

When: August 17. Morning session - 8:45 to 12:30. Afternoon session - 1:45 to 3:15.

Where: Rock Eagle 4-H Center near Eatonton, GA

Registration: $20, includes lunch. Fill out this form and mail (along with your $20 check payable to Putnam County Extension) to:

Putnam County Extension: Pesticide Workshop
302 West Marion St.
Eatonton, GA 31024

We strongly encourage you to preregister by August 1. You can register at the door, but your $20 fee will NOT include lunch. Additionally, we expect this workshop to be very popular. If you do not preregister, you may be turned away at the door.



Name: ________________________________________________________________________________
Address: _______________________________________________________________________________
Type of Pesticide License (circle one): Private Commercial
I will attend (please check one):
- Morning session only (lunch included) ______ -
- Morning session + afternoon breakout session (lunch included) ______ -
If you plan to stay the whole day, please check one category for the afternoon breakout session:
- Aquatic
Forestry
Right-of-Way
Wood Treatment
_____
_____
_____
_____
-
You will NOT receive a letter to confirm your pre-registration. Requests for refunds will not be considered after August 24, 2000.

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/ces/wnews.html

Sincerely:

Paul Guillebeau, Associate Professor & Extension Entomologist