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

Your source for pest management and pesticide news

October 1999/Volume 22, No. 10

REDS ALERT

By the end of September, EPA expects to finish several Re-registration Eligibility Documents

HEALTH AND THE ENVIRONMENT

Do you know what to do with pesticides, fertilizers, and other farm chemicals when a natural disaster strikes?
You will find Spanish and English versions of EPA pesticide safety programs
The Columbian government has been using herbicides to kill drug crops in response to pressure to stop production of illegal drugs
According to recent U.S. Geological Survey reports, concentrations of individual pesticides in samples from wells and as annual averages in streams were almost always lower than current U.S. Environmental Protection Agency drinking-water standards
'Clean Water Action Plan: The First Year, 1999' is available from USDA
Blue Gold: The Global Water Crisis and the Commodification of the World's Water Supply is the actual name of a real book

BIOTECHNOLOGY

In Great Britain, 50 percent of the public identifies genetically modified (GM) foods as the #1 food safety issue.
Companies are also hearing the public outcry; Monsanto has decided not to commercialize "Terminator" technology
If you think that all biotechnology is evil, you shouldd read this article
The Edmonds Instutute has some interesting information about biotechnology
You can find articles on insect, herbicide and virus resistance
If you have taken the time to educate yourself and you think genetic engineering is a bad idea, here is a book for you

FROM THE COURTROOM

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is seeking $90,000 from Sunrider International of Torrance, California, for selling an unregistered pesticide
A grower in Hawaii is facing up to five years in prison for using fenamiphos (Nemacur) illegally and lying about it

FOOD QUALITY PROTECTION ACT

The EPA has posted the revised risk assessment for ethoprop, fenamiphos, terbufos, and phorate on the OPP web site
Preliminary risk assessments are also available for coumaphos and fenitrothion
The IR-4 program facilitates pesticide registrations for minor crops
The EPA and USDA plan to hold a stakeholder's briefing on three public health pesticides -- fenthion, naled and temephos -- in Orlando, Florida, on October 31, 1999

SHOW ME THE MONEY

According to the Rural Advancement Foundation International (RAFI), five companies account for 60 percent of the global pesticide market

EPA NEWS

The Office of Pesticide Programs is seeking public comment on a proposed rule regarding the collection fees for establishing and reassessing pesticide tolerances and exemptions
The forestry industry is taking some hard pesticide knocks


REDs Alert

By the end of September, EPA expects to finish several Re-Registration Eligibility Documents (REDs) that will largely determine the future uses of pebulate, folpet, captan, lamprecide, niclosamide, EPTC, TPTH, bendiocarb, formetanate, sulfotepp, profenofos and bensulide. The REDs are available at http://www.epa.gov/pesticides

These documents describe the risk assessments and options for risk mitigation if risks were determined to exceed the safety standard.

The re-registration and FQPA machines are running fast and furiously right now. Everyone who depends on pesticides should be alert and ready to take quick action. Anything can happen, and things can happen very quickly. I encourage every commodity and industry to develop a concise summary of the primary pests you face, your key pest controls, and the critical pesticides. You can find examples of these crop profiles at http://ipmwww.ncsu.edu:8150/opmppiap/

Health and the Environment

Do you know what to do with pesticides, fertilizers and other farm chemicals when a natural disaster strikes? The disastrous impacts of hurricanes, tornadoes and flooding can cause both dollar loss and environmental pollution with respect to agricultural chemicals. Fertilizers, pesticides, solvents, fuels, etc., can be physically lost, contaminated themselves, or pollute the surrounding environment and areas downstream.

With these tips from Clemson University (thanks, Bob Bellinger), you can be prepared

Be aware of weather predictions.
Be prepared. Do not wait until a disaster is imminent.
Maintain a current inventory of your pesticides and other chemicals. An inventory will be useful for insurance claims and chemical clean-ups. Include the product name, the active ingredient and the container size. Receipts from your chemical purchases will provide some or all of the information. In the event of a large storm system, email, fax or mail a copy of the inventory to a friend or associate outside the affected area.
Review your insurance. Does it cover your chemical inventory or the damage your chemicals could cause? Find out now. Your insurance agent will be very busy during and after an emergency.
If severe weather is threatening, delay chemical applications and purchase/delivery of additional chemicals.
Secure all chemicals, including fertilizers, pesticides, solvents, fuels, etc. Close and secure container lids and move containers and application equipment to the most secure location. Do not store pesticides or fuels with food/feed or animals. Place containers that could be damaged by water into secure steel or plastic drums. Raise chemicals from the floor. Protect product labels/labeling, is possible. Lock doors, windows and other points of access to chemical storage areas. Board up windows when necessary. Do not leave chemicals in vehicles or in application equipment.
Review the Material Safety Date Sheets for your chemicals. Store MSDS in a secure location. Provide a copy of your MSDS and chemical inventory to local emergency service providers.
Secure your personal protective equipment. You may need it after the storm to clean up pesticides or other chemicals.
Store pesticides in sturdy, secure buildings. You may need to take additional precautions (e.g., tying down storage sheds or tanks) before an impending storm.
All chemical storage areas should be clearly marked.
Make a list of emergency phone numbers. You can find pesticide emergency numbers in the Georgia Pest Control Handbook.
Consult your chemical dealer and insurance agent for additional suggestions.
Make a written plan or steps to take before and during a weather emergency.
We hope you will never need this publication, but Florida has a bulletin to help you mop up after a storn: Storm-Damaged Agrichemical Facilities is available at http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/scripts/htmlgen.exe?DOCUMENT_PI007

You will find Spanish and English versions of EPA pesticide safety programs for farm workers, certified applicators, and health care providers at this new web site: http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/safety/

The site offers specific information on applicator certification and training requirements and EPA's Worker Protection Standard, including pesticide safety training, notification of pesticide applications, use of personal protective equipment, and emergency medical assistance. The site also provides information on the Pesticides and National Strategies for Health Care Provicers, an EPA-led initiative aimed at helping health care providers become trained in diagnosing and preventing pesticide related illnesses.

The Columbian government has been using herbicides to kill drug crops in response to pressure to stop production of illegal drugs. Unfortunately, the herbicide of choice was glyphosate (Roundup is a common product in the United States), which kills a wide range of vegetation. There are reports of crops and pastures being destroyed by the indiscriminate application of glyphosate. Many people also report that they or their animals were sickened. Ironically, the unintentional destruction of legal crops may turn growers to illegal ones. (PANUPS, 9-2-99)

According to a recent U.S. Geological Survey report, concentrations of individual pesticides in samples from wells and as annual averages in streams were almost always lower than current U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) drinking-water standards and guidelines. However, more than one-half of the streams sampled had concentrations of at least one pesticide that exceeded a guideline for protection of aquatic life. The report, The Quality of Our Nation's Waters, looks at water quality in 20 of the largest and more important river basins in the United States. Researchers found 83 pesticides and breakdown products in water and 32 pesticides in fish or streambed sediment.

Streams in areas with significant agricultural or urban development almost always contain complex mixtures of nutrients and pesticides, according to a report released by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). According to USGS, the potential risk to people and to aquatic life can only be partially addressed based on available standards and guidelines. The health picture is made more complex by the lack of standards or guidelines for many pesticides and their breakdown products, or metabolites. Currently, EPA has established standards and guidelines for only 46 of the 83 pesticides and breakdown products measured in this study. Of the thousands of possible pesticide breakdown products, few have been looked for in streams or groundwater. Additionally, existing standards do not take into account exposure to mixtures of chemicals or seasonal pulse concentrations.

Both urban and agricultural pesticide users can share the blame. Streams and shallow ground water in agricultural areas had the highest concentrations of atrazine, metolachlor, alachlor and cyanazine. Some of the highest concentrations of diazinon, carbaryl and malathion, however, were found in urban streams. Nearly every urban stream in the study had concentrations of insecticides that exceed guidelines for protection of aquatic life. Think about that fact the next time you are tempted to pour leftover pesticide down the drain or into the sewer.

The Quality of Our Nation's Waters -- Nutrients and Pesticides, USGS Circular 1225, is available as a PDF file on the USGS web site: http://water.usgs.gov/pubs/circ/circ1225/ or in printed form (single copies free) from Branch of Information Service, P.O. Box 25286, Denver, CO 80225; or fax your request to 303-202-4693. Please specify USGS report C-1225. (PANUPS, 9-15-99)

Clean Water Action Plan: The First Year, 1999 is available from USDA. The report from USDA, EPA and others presents progress made in the first year of the Clean Water Action Plan. It discusses watersheds, citizens' right to know, runoff, wetlands, public health and "watershed success stories." The free report is 20 pages. If you want a copy, contact Douglas Wilson, USDA-NRCS, Conservation Communications Staff, Room 0054-South Building, P.O. Box 2890, Washington, DC 20013-2890; fax 202-720-6009. Or hit the web site: http://www.cleanwater.gov/

Blue Gold: The Global Water Crisis and the Commodification of the World's Water Supply is the actual name of a real book (1999 by Maude Barlow). The title actually means using water as a commodity, but I thought the obvious pun made a statement about the way we use and abuse our finite water supply.

Biotechnology

In Great Britain, 50 percent of the public identifies genetically modified (GM) foods as the #1 food safety issue. Nearly 1/5 of survey respondents said they would never eat or feed their families GM foods. Prince Charles and Paul McCartney (both reknowned food safety experts) have spoken out against GM foods.

The Britich hysteria may be fueled in part by the unfortunate experience with mad-cow disease. Although mad-cow disease and GM foods are unrelated, the public may have reached two conclusions from the mad-cow experience: (1) The government is not protecting the public adequately from food-borne threats; (2) The mad-cow episode proves what can happen if you apply technology without thoroughly assessing the potential risks. It does not matter if these conclusions are not true; they shape public opinion and drive public buying habits.

So why to we (over in the enlightened United States) care what Europeans think? According to the Deputy Secretary of the Treasury, the GM issue is currently the greatest threat to U.S. foreign trade. Nearly 100 percent of U.S. exported food could be genetically modified in five years. If Europe will not buy GM foods, that market will be closed to U.S. farmers. The European market represents about 40 percent of U.S. soybean exports. Clearly, U.S. agriculture cannot afford to lose the European market.

The USDA recently announced its first long-term study of GM foods and the environment. Additionally, there is renewed discussion of labeling GM foods in the United States. Consumers in Europe already demand GM labeling, and they often assume that U.S. food products are GM unless they are clearly labeled as GM-free. The U.S. Secretary of Agriculture stated the problem clearly: "With all that biotechnology has to offer, it is nothing if it's not accepted by consumers." (Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 9-26-99)

Companies are also hearing the public outcry; Monsanto has decided not to commercialize 'Terminator' technology. One of the biggest concerns associated with developing new plants is that growers will simply save their seed from year to year. The farmers would only need to buy the seed one time, and the company would receive a very small return on the investment necessary to develop new crop lines. The Terminator technology allows companies to genetically modify plants so the plants do not produce viable seeds.

The public outcry has focused on three points. Farmers in developing countries often lack the resources to buy new seed every year. Saving seed allows them to use their scarce cash for other items. Second, there is concern about the Terminator gene 'jumping' from genetically engineered plants into other plants. The possibility seems small, but the potential consequences seem very frightening. Finally, many people are concerned that the Terminator would give Monsanto too much power over world agriculture.

Monsanto will acquire the technology in a merger with another company. However, Monsanto has decided that too much controversy surrounds the Terminator technology. Part of Monsanto's motivation is to improve its public image. The decision not to use the Terminator technology will demonstrate that Monsanto does listen to and act upon public concerns. (National Public Radio broadcast, 10-5-99, "Morning Edition")

If you think all biotechnology is evil, you should read this article. Vitamin A deficiency affects about 400 million people worldwide, leaving them at risk of infections and blindness. Additionally, iron deficiency, common in people with rice-based diets, afflicts more than two-thirds of the world's population. Women consuming such diets are particularly at risk from anemia and complications during childbirth. If you had a magic wish, would you help those people?

At the 16th International Botanical Congress in St. Louis, scientists presented a high tech, golden-colored rice that had been genetically engineered to contain beta-carotene, the precursor to vitamin A, and a healthy dose of iron. This rice should be available in the fields of developing countries within 5 years if it is not entangled in regulatory red tape. Keep in mind that some countries have completely stopped the flow of genetically modified foods. This type of shortsighted hysteria could delay improved nutrition for the billions of people for whom rice is a staple.

Any new technology has risks, and biotechnology is no different. Keep in mind, however, that biotechnology is an extremely broad field. We must not label the entire field "evil" and close our eyes to the tremendous relief that biotechnology can bring to some human suffering. (American Council on Science and Health, http://www.acsh.org, 9-7-99)

The Edmonds Institute has some interesting information about biotechnology and its regulation, including A Brief History of Biotechnology Risk Debates and Policies in the United States. http://www.edmonds-institute.org/

You can find articles on insect, herbicide and virus resistance, other genetically engineered traits, industry mergers and integration, environmental impacts, consumer choice and more at Ag-Biotech Infonet. http://www.biotech-info.net/

The site includes links to professional, academic, corporate, government, consumer and environmental groups' sites as well as links to relevant archives and journals.

If you have taken the time to educate yourself and you think genetic engineering is a bad idea, here is a book for you. An Activist's Handbook on Genetically Modified Organisms and theWTO provides interpretation of World Trade Organization (WTO) rules that may be used to challenge national labeling requirements for genetically modified organisms (GMOs). It suggests ways GMO labeling systems can be protected from interference from international trade rules. This 25-page book is free. If you are a radical without a cause, maybe you should contact Consumer's Choice Council, 2000 P Street NW, Suite 308, Washington, DC 20036-6923; phone 202-785-1950; fax 202-452-9640; email consumer@ibm.net; website http://www.consumerscouncil.org

From the Courtroom

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is seeking $90,000 from Sunrider International of Torrance, California, for selling an unregistered pesticide -- SunSmile Fruit and Vegetable Rinse -- and making unproven claims about its effectiveness. The company had claimed the product rinses away bacteria, fungus and parasites.

If any company claims their product will control any pest (including bacteria and parasites), the product is a pesticide and must be registered with EPA. the Food and Drug Administration regulates products that kill bacteria/parasites on people or animals. The EPA will not register a pesticide until it has been tested to show that it will not pose an unreasonable risk when used according to the directions. The agency also makes sure that pesticide labels provide consumers with the information they need to use the products safely. Look for the EPA registration number before you buy any product that claims to control pests. (EPA Press Release, 9-30-99)

A grower in Hawaii is facing up to 5 years in prison for using fenamiphos (Nemacur) illegally and lying about it. Kap Dong Kim of Hilo admitted to using fenamiphos on his ginger root crop (fenamiphos is not registered for ginger root). Additionally, Kim had a worker use fenamiphos without the proper protective equipment. The worker was poisoned and hospitalized. Finally, Kim lied about the whole incident when questioned by investigating officials. (EPA Press Advisory, 9-23-99)

Food Quality Protection Act

The EPA has posted the revised risk assessment for ethoprop, fenamiphos, terbufos and phorate on the OPP web site: http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/op/status.htm. The public comment period ends November 1, 1999. If you are concerned about any of these pesticides, you should take a look at the risk assessments and submit your comments or ideas.

When I was asked to review these documents by the USDA Ofice of Pest Management, two thoughts occurred to me. My opinion will not change anything, and these analyses are probably too complicated for me to understand. I discovered I was wrong. At a recent Southern Region meeting, the USDA assured me that the comments are important. In the case of phorate, I drew attention to the new importance to help peanut growers control tomato spotted wilt virus. In every assessment, I discovered mistakes that could substantially change the risks. Many of you are more intelligent than I and have different areas of expertise. Please take the time to review the assessments for pesticides that are important for your field.

Preliminary risk assessments are also available for coumaphos and fenitrothion. If you choose to review these documents, keep in mind that the risk estimates are preliminary.

All of the assessments listed above can be found at the EPA home page: http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/op/. For additional information, contact Karen Angulo at 703-308-8004.

The IR-4 program facilitates pesticide registrations for minor crops. As pesticide uses and registrations are canceled because of FQPA, their function becomes ever more important. If you want to know what IR-4 is doing, visit their updated web site: http://www.cook.rutgers.edu/~ir4. The site contains information about the status of current IR-4 research projects involving pesticides and biopesticides on food crops as well as ornamentals. Other information includes EPA submissions, new clearances, cumulative clearances, new pesticide chemistries, and an electronic version of the Pesticide Clearance Request form.

The EPA and USDA plan to hold a stakeholder's briefing on three public health pesticides -- fenthion, naled and temephos -- in Orlando, Florida, on October 13, 1999. More details on this briefing can be found on the American Mosquito Control Association web page at http://www.mosquito.org/

Show Me the Money

According to the Rural Advancement Foundation International (RAFI), five companies account for 60 percent of the global pesticide market, 23 percent of the commercial seed market, and virtually all of the genetically modified (GM) seed market. Some people fear that AstaZeneca, DuPont, Monsanto, Novartis and Aventis control too mucy.

If you will remember, some of our earlier newsletters pointed out that chemical companies were absorbing seed companies because they recognized the potential of genetic engineering. None of these five companies appeared on the list of leading seed corporations as recently as 5 years ago. Three of the top five companies did not even exist. Zeneca and Astra merged to form AstraZeneca; Rhone Poulenc and Hoechst became Aventis; Ciba Geigy and Sandoz became Novartis; and DuPont swallowed Pioneer Hi-Bred earlier this year.

Top 10 Seed Companies
1998 Seed Sales (U.S.) Millions
Top 10 Agchem Companies
1998 Pesticide Sales (U.S.) Millions
DuPont (USA) $1,835+ Aventis (Germany) $4,676
Monsanto (USA) $1,800* Novartis (Switzerland) $4,152
Novartis (Switzerland) $1,000 Monsanto (USA) $4,032
Groupe Limagrain (France) $733 DuPont (USA) $3,156
Savia S.A. de C.V. (Mexico) $428 AstraZeneca (UK and Neth.) $2,897
AstraZeneca (UK and Neth.) $412 Bayer (Germany) $2,273
KWS AG (Germany) $370 American Home Products $2,194
AgriBiotech, Inc. (USA) $370 Dow (USA) $2,132
Sakata (Japan) $349* BASF (Germany) $1,945
Takii (Japan) $300* Makhteshim-Agan (Israel) $801
* (estimate)

Source: Rural Advancement Foundation International (RAFI) News Release, September 3, 1999. (PANUPS, 9-8-99)

EPA News

The Office of Pesticide Programs is seeking public comment on a proposed rule regarding the collection of fees for establishing and re-assessing pesticide tolerances and exemptions. Your comments must be received by November 8, 1999. If your business registers pesticide products, you need to be aware of this proposed rule. The fees you pay could increase dramatically. A copy of the proposed rule, Tolerance Processing Fees, is available at the EPA web site: http://www.epa.gov/fedrgstr

The forestry industry is taking some hard pesticide knocks; chlorpyrifos, dimethoate and lindane may no longer be available. The following article includes excerpts from informatin I received from John Taylor of the U.S. Forest Service.

Chlorpyrifos (Dursban) is no longer registered for use in forest ecosystems. The registration for forestry sites was actually eliminated approximately 6 years ago, because the EPA required several hundred thousand dollars of additional data to maintain the continued registration for forestry. Dow withdrew the registration rather than pay the cost of obtaining the missing data. Dow was also faced with adverse publicity for maintaining registration for a pesticide that could be applied to forests. As a result, forestry will have little or no imput into the EPA evaluation of chlorpyrifos.

Be aware that some chlorpyrifos labels permit the use of chlorpyrifos in "plantations." Be sure that you understand how your state regulatory authority defines "plantations" and "forests" before you use or recommend chlorpyrifos for a forestry type use. Similarly, there is at least one label (Dursban TNP, EPA reg no. 34704-66-65783) with a listing for "tree pests" that describes the use of the product to control Southern Pine Beetle and other beetles. The registrant indicates that this wording could be used to justify treatment of individual trees in a forest. Again, check with your state regulators. They have the enforcement authority.

Foresters have two options for access to chlorpyrifos to control bark beetles or other pests: (1) Pursue a Section 24c label (State and Local Needs) for chlorpyrios. The Forest Service or other entity could serve as the registrant, but the company would have to cooperate. (2) Wait until there is a pest emergency and apply for a Section 18 (emergency exemption) from EPA. This petition will depend on EPA's interpretation of the emergency and whether other options are available. Lindane was registered for bark beetle control for many years and still is, but not a single company is presently selling lindane with a label for forestry use although the registration is still active. Most uses of lindane are being phased out, and the product will be discontinued within the next few years.

Additionally, Cheminova has proposed dropping forestry registrations in order to reduce risks. Otherwise, the company would have to pay to produce the additional data defining human exposure and risks. Also, keep in mind that the product or use site may still be canceled even if additional data are generated.


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 other 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 Management Handbook, other extension publications or appropriate specialists for this information.

Your input in this newsletter is encouraged.

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Or write us:

Department of Entomology
University of Georgia
Athens, GA 30602
Email: 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, Assistant Professor & Extension Entomologist