October, 1996 Volume 18, no. 9
Screening program for endocrine disruption
A scientist charges that the state may be suppressing evidence pesticide related health risks
San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted unanimously for a ban of pesticide use in all city departments IPM NOTEBOOK
Possibilities of making crop insurance coverage available to growers who participate in large-scale IPM
Major Existing EPA Laws and Programs that Could Affect Producers of Agricultural Commodities
Environmental Quality Incentives Program
Boycott of genetically engineered soy and corn produced in the U.S.
1/3 of the EU is now reporting that they will not accept 'Roundup Ready' soybeans
Greenpeace prevented the harvest of Roundup Ready soybeans IN THE COURTROOM
Environmentalists are upset because of an NBC news report
The threat of 'dihydrogen oxide'
PLOWING THE INTERNET
THE FOOD QUALITY PROTECTION ACT
Congress appropriated $30 million for EPA in the fiscal year 1997 specifically for the FQPA and the Safe Drinking Water Act. The Agency is directed to concentrate on 'actions which have the largest implications for infants, children, and other at-risk populations'. The spending bill also recommended that the money be spent for the approval of new pesticides and the review of existing pesticides to 'attain immediate risk reduction'. The EPA is required to submit a plan that details how the money will be spent.
Additionally, some money was earmarked to collect data concerning pesticide residues on food. The FQPA specifically orders the collection of residue data from foods most likely to be consumed by infants/children. However, the USDA Pesticide Data Program that served this function was funded. These actions may be part of a plan to place some pesticide data collection with EPA; the Agency is not to transfer this money to any other federal agency. The bill concludes by stating that the process is in transition with future funding to a 'more appropriate [unidentified] federal agency'.
The FQPA also mandates a screening program for endocrine disruption within three years. There are some problems to be overcome, however. The EPA says that existing data are simply to weak to serve as the basis for regulatory decisions. Additionally, substances that may affect our hormone systems come from many sources. Many vegetables (e.g., spinach, cabbage, peas, etc.) have substantial amounts of phyto-estrogens. Human exposure to synthetic endocrine disruptors may be negligible relative to natural sources. Or we may not be affected very much since we have been exposed to the estrogen mimics throughout our evolution. There are still a lot of question marks. The EPA is expected to request an endocrine study through the National Academy of Science. (Pesticide & Toxic Chem. News, 10-9-96)
The Assistant Administrator for the Office of Pesticide Programs has established a Food Safety Advisory Committee to help implement FQPA. In a meeting this week, they are planning to discusss the risk associated with cumulative and multiple dietary exposure to pesticides, the balance between a adequate food supply and pesticide risks, communications, IPM/safer pesticides/reduced pesticide use, and minor uses. (Pesticide & Tox. Chem. News, 10-2-96)
As the FQPA has highlighted, there are a great number of gaps in our knowledge of potential health effects of pesticides. First of all, there is a wide range of susceptibility among humans for all types of health risks, including pesticides. We all know some people who seem to never have a cold and others who regularly come down with sniffles and sneezes. Why? Is it different lifestyles, different nutrition, genetic variability, or some combination? How would you find out? Do we write pesticide regulations to protect the very most susceptible person, or do we try to protect the 'average' child? These are the issues that EPA must wrestle with as pesticide regulation evolves.
Currently, there is little evidence for age-related differences in susceptibility to pesticide effects among humans or animals. In other words, we cannot say that children are more susceptible to injury from pesticides. Primarily, the lack of evident differences is considered to be due to a lack of information. A recent, EPA-funded workshop has recommended that research try to fill this gap by focusing on these issues. 1) Understand basic neurobiology and how it applies to risk assessment. 2) Connect neurobiological function with potential pesticide disruption. 3) Understand the relationship between hormones and the developing nervous system. 4) Develop consistent protocols. 5) Streamline testing. 6) Develop in vitro testing capacity. (Pesticide & Tox. Chem. News, 10-2-96)
They say that unusual things sometimes happen in California. A scientist with California EPA charges that the state may be suppressing evidence pesticide related health risks. A draft report found no evidence increased illness in Lompoc, Calif., despite criticism by scientists who the data used in the report. Dr. Robert Holtzer, a medical doctor with the agency, stated that preliminary findings show pesticides may be causing high rates of lung and bronchus cancer and higher than normal instances of respiratory illnesses for Lompoc residents.
Dr. Holtzer asserted that he was told by superiors to ignore evidence of negative health effects and that senior environmental officials ordered state scientists to stop
analyzing data from the study. OEHHA officials denied Holtzer's charges, but admitted that the agency has stopped working on the Lompoc study.
Over the past six years, hundreds of Lompoc residents have complained of respiratory ailments, sinusitus, headaches, nausea and stomach pains, which many believe are
caused by pesticides used on nearby broccoli, lettuce and flower fields.
In other news, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted unanimously for a sweeping ban of pesticide use in all city departments, including city buildings and grounds, public housing, parks and golf courses. The ordinance bans all pesticides known or believed to cause cancer and those known to cause reproductive harm by January 1, 1997. The city must cut in half use of all other pesticides by 1998 and eliminate all pesticides by 2000. They must also hire an IPM specialist to help in the transition away from pesticides.
The ordinance does not apply to schools or school grounds, which are not considered city departments. In addition, the Board of Supervisors will provide exceptions for pesticides it deems necessary to the public health, such as chlorine in city swimming pools. (The Independent, October 4, 1996; "San Francisco Board of Supervisors Passes Landmark Pesticide Ordinance to Protect Public Health," Pesticide Watch Education Fund Press Release, October 15, 1996; San Francisco Chronicle, October 1
and October 8, 1996; Santa Barbara News-Press, September 7, 1996; Wall Street Journal, October 2, 1996.
Exports of Methomyl Continue Unrestricted as EPA Places
Control on Domestic Use
The EPA has placed additional restrictions on domestic use of methomyl (Lannate) [see last month's story]; groups are also calling for export restrictions. A final decision on whether methomyl is eligible for continued registration in the U.S. is expected in 1997. In the meantime, the Foundation for Advancements in Science and Education (FASE) reports that methomyl is being exported at the rate of nearly three tons each day.
Concerns about methomyl's acute toxicity are heightened for workers in third-world countries because of limited use of protective clothing.
The United States' budget for federally-supported IPM programs in fiscal 1997 remained steady at $50 million. A requested increase of $8 million, half for research andhalf for extension, was not approved, however. The funding increase would have supported large-scale competitive grants (one for Georgia, Oklahoma, and Texas cucurbits). Nonetheless, IPM remains a strongly emphasized program in the USDA
budget for 1998, with ardent continuing support from top level USDA personnel.
In a related activity, federal officials and others are investigating the possibilities of making crop insurance coverage available to growers who participate in large-scale IPM demonstration projects; officials are also gathering data to give to the Federal Crop Insurance entity showing that growers who use defined IPM practices have lower risks and therefore should be entitled to lower insurance rates.
The story of the U.S. saving France's wine crop from grape phylloxera is one the most often told story of entomological success. Lest we rest on our laurels, the phylloxera is back, in the U.S. this time. A new biotype has been discovered in California, and no known chemical or biological control exists. Infested vines stop producing over about three years.
When the French wine industry was saved, it took good old American know-how, resistant rootstocks. It appears that the same tactic will work, at least for now. Some evidence suggests that even highly resistant rootstocks may be susceptible under some circumstances. (CALIF. AGR., July/Aug. 1996)
In a effort often typical of the federal government, a compilation of regulations (Major Existing EPA Laws and Programs that Could Affect Producers of Agricultural Commodities) that affect farmers is being distributed. A good, noble idea. The guidebook will require immediate updating, however, because it does not include the FQPA or the amendments to the Safe Drinking Water Act. I will not criticize too loudly; I think the quick passage of the FQPA caught a lot of people by surprise. The regulatory guidebook is a good idea; I just hope we don't wind up more confused because of the necessary revisions come too slowly.
The government is asking for comments on a newly released Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). See the Federal Register (10-11-96).
This program is budgetted for $200 million of cost share funds to farmers and ranchers to improve environmental problems. Half of the funds are targetted to livestock related problems. The other half is to reduce other agricultural hazards to the environment such as pesticides, fertilizer, etc.
You can review EQPIP at this Net address.
Comment by November 25, 1996 to the address listed in the announcement.
On October 7, 1996, spokespersons representing more than 300 consumer, health, trade and agricultural organizations from 48 countries announced the launch of a world wide boycott of genetically engineered soy and corn produced in the U.S.
Monsanto's glyphosate-tolerant soybeans and Ciba-Geigy's Bt corn will be commercially harvested this season for the first time. Organizations participating in the campaign will urge consumers to boycott targeted products containing soy and
corn including Green Giant Harvest Burgers, Nestle Crunch, Similac Infant Formula, McDonald's french fries, Kraft Salad Dressings, Fleischmann's Margarine, Fritos, Karo Corn Syrup, Quaker Oats Corn Meal and Coca Cola. Organizers of the boycott cite increasing scientific concern over environmental and health risks associated with genetically engineered soybeans and corn.
Although the European Union voted earlier this year to allow importation of genetically engineered soybeans, about 1/3 of the EU is now reporting that they will not accept 'Roundup Ready' soybeans, citing health and environmental concerns. Europe represent about 40% of the U.S. soybean market.
In a related story, Greenpeace prevented the harvest of Roundup Ready soybeans in Iowa. They painted a huge 'X' on the field and marked it 'Biohazard'. Critics maintain that the gene in the soybeans could be transferred to weeds and that the soybean (tolerant to the herbicide Roundup) encourages the increasing use of pesticides. (Foundation on Economic Trends press release, October 7, 1996; Greenpeace press release, October 10, 1996; International Herald Tribune, October 9, 1996; "EU, U.S. continue grain subsidy, biotech talks," Reuters, October 9, 1996.
IN THE COURTROOM
AgrEvo and EPA are battling because EPA plans to fine AgrEvo $120,000 for tardy reporting of adverse effects. Under 6(a)(2), registrants are required to report any adverse effects from their products within 'a reasonable time'. The EPA contends that an adverse effect was reported to AgrEvo in 1992 and that AgrEvo did not report the incident in 'a reasonable time'. Among other points, the company argues that the reported effects are not covered by 6(a)(2) because the incident is not supported by an expert; the reported effects are well-known to EPA; and the potential effects are presented on the product labels. AgrEvo also objected to the 'reasonable time' interpretation. (Pesticide & Tox. Chem. News 9-25-96)
NOW THEY KNOW HOW WE FEEL
Environmentalists are upset because they feel that a NBC news report did not present the 'whole story' of pesticide risks and benefits. The news broadcast did not present pesticides as a health plague, and the Environmental Working Group claims that the report was 'riddled with factual and interpretive errors'. I remember clearly that similar statements were made by agriculture after the 'Alar broadcast'. I hope the result will be that both agriculture and environmentalists realize that there are TWO sides to the pesticide issue. Both sides must be presented if intelligent decisions are to be made.
Peter Sparber, a Washington lobbyist, felt that many well-meaning people are mislead by media hype surrounding environmental crises. He sent out a letter to a mailing list of people who have contributed to actions to ban pesticides. Sparber's letter called attention to the threat of 'dihydrogen oxide', contending that 'our lakes, rivers, and oceans are known to contain vast quantities of dihydrogen oxide'. Additionally, burns, falls, and 4,100 deaths were contributed to 'dihydrogen oxide'. A number of people responded indignantly. "For the sake of others' lives, please stop the production of dihydrogen oxide. Why [are you] poisoning the planet? How in God's name can you live with yourselves?" Another name for 'dihydrogen oxide' is plain old water. Thanks to Peanuts (May 1996) via Agric. Chem. Assoc. of Ga.
Registrants have asked that the following pesticide registrations be canceled. Cancellations become effective in 90 days. Existing stocks can be distributed for 1 year. Stocks in the possession of end-users may used according to the label.
Whitmire Flys-Off Dairy Aerosol Insecticide
Green Light Liquid Flowable Sevin
Sergeant's Flea and Tick Powder
Sergeant's Pump Cat Flea & Tick Spray
Hartz mountain Dog Flea Powder
Zoecon RF-209 Cockkroach Growth Regulator
Zoecon RF-253 Fogger
Zoecon RF-254 Aerosol
Zoecon RF-270 Emulsifiable Concentrate
Pest Control Products Two Metered Insecticicde
Pest Control Products Flying Insect Killer
Pest Control Products Dairy Aeorosol Insecticide
Pest Control Products Aerosol Dairy Insecticide
Industrial Aeorsol 4.0-0.5
Industrial Aerosol Insect Killer
Chem Spray Baygon Wasp Spray
Misty Denfence Residual Insecticide
Unicorn Spray for Cats and Dogs
Unicorn Flea and Tick Spray
Unicorn Pet Spray
Super K-Gro Systemic Grass and Weed Killer Concentrate
Ready To Use Systemic Grass and Weed Killer
Durham's Sevin 5% Dust
Chase A-Way Insect Repelling Wristband
The following products have voluntary deletions of some uses. The deletions are effective Dec. 24, 1996. Existing stocks may be sold for 18 months. End-users may continue to use on on-hand product according to the label. (FR 9-25-96)
Product: deleted uses
Methoxychlor 25% Insecticide: mosquito control, live stock, and agric. premises
Kill-Ko 10% Sevin Dust: tobacco
D.Z.N. Lawn & Garden Insect Control: almonds & walnuts (except CA) figs, caneberries (except CA, OR, WA), dried beans & peas, filberts, celery, pecans, apples, pears, grapefruit, lemons, oranges.
D.Z.N. Diazinon 50W:almonds & walnuts (except CA), caneberries (except CA, OR, WA), figs, filberts, citrus, olives, pecans. dried beand and peas (inc. soybeans), celery watercress, alfalfa, clover, trefoil, field corn (except seed treatment), cotton, cowpeas, lespedeza, peanutes, sorghum, tobacco, Bermudagrass, pasture grass & grass forage, rangeland.
D.Z.N. Diazinon AG500:almonds & walnuts (except CA), caneberries (except CA, OR, WA), figs, filberts, citrus, olives, pecans. dried beand and peas (inc. soybeans), celery watercress, alfalfa, clover, trefoil, field corn (except seed treatment), cotton, guar, cowpeas, lespedeza, peanutes, sorghum, tobacco, Bermudagrass, pasture grass & grass forage, rangeland.
D.Z.N. Diazinon: dried beans & peas (incl. soybeans), field corn, peanuts, sorghum, tobacco alfalfo, clover, cowpeas, lespedeaz, lawns.
D.Z.N. Diazinon MG-87%: almonds & walnuts (except CA), asparagus, bananas (import tolerance only), caneberries (except CA, OR, WA), figs, filberts, citrus, clover, pecans. dried beans and peas (inc. soybeans), celery watercress, alfalfa, clover, trefoil, field corn (except seed treatment), cotton, guar, cowpeas, lespedeza, peanutes, sorghum, tobacco, Bermudagrass, grass forage, watercress (HI only).
D.Z.N. 6000 Lawn & Garden Insect Control: dried peas & beans.
Triforine Technical: greenhouse uses.
Vigoro Sevin 5% Dust: dogs and cats uses
Prentox Cube Powder: terrestrial food crops, terrestrial non-food, greenhouse (veg. and ornamentals), infoor residential, domestic, outdoor (household & ornamental), commercial/industrial, livestock.
Prentox Cube Resins: terrestrial food crops, terrestrial non-food, greenhouse (veg. and ornamentals), infoor residential, domestic, outdoor (household & ornamental), commercial/industrial, livestock.
5% Sevin Dust: pet animals
Cryolite 93 Insecticide: apples, peaches, pears, mustard greens, turnips, radishes, cranberries, strawbverries.
Facefly Bomb: dairy & beef cattle.
There is some confusion surrounding Ciba's decision to phase out some residential and consumer products containing fenoxycarb. It will be available for use on turf and non-agric. land, airports, roadsides, school grounds, golf courses, parks, picnic grounds, sports fields, other rec. areas, ornamental gardens, cemetaries, other landscaped areas, in & around container and field-grown ornamental and nonbearing nursery stock and on sod farms.
PLOWING THE INTERNET
APHIS Home Page: progam information and proposed rules.
National Biological Control Institute: pest management info., implementation, etc.
Farmer to Farmer: biological controls used for common pests (from CA).
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.
Your input in this newsletter is encouraged.
If you wish to be added to the mailing list, report errors, or present your viewpoints in the GPMN, contact us at 706-542-3687 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Paul Guillebeau, Assistant Professor & Extension Entomologist