U.S. EPA Releases Proposed Interim Registration Decisions for Neonics

On January 30, 2020, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) released proposed interim registration decisions for neonicotinoids.  These insecticides have been under registration review and undergoing various ecological risk assessments since 2008 (imidacloprid) and 2012 (clothianidin and thiamethoxam).  U.S. EPA has now proposed re-registering all three, albeit with some new label language and limitations on use. The decisions are labeled “interim,” because the agency is still working on some studies for neonicotinoid’s overall registration reviews, namely endangered species risk assessments done in coordination with U.S. Fish and Wildlife and endocrine screenings.

Human health risks of concern were identified for several registered agricultural, seed treatment and liquid/foliar citrus handgun spray application use scenarios. For citrus, U.S. EPA is proposing to mitigate the risk by adding requirements for Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) such as gloves for the liquid/foliar handgun application use on citrus.

The agency has also proposed increasing the tolerances for residues of imidacloprid on citrus to harmonize with Canada and Codex MRLs.

In selecting appropriate mitigation, U.S. EPA considered both the risks and benefits of imidacloprid use. Due to the potential impact on growers’ ability to address certain critical pest issues, the agency did not propose risk mitigation on several uses, including citrus and grapes.  For citrus, U.S. EPA recognized that neonicotinoids are a key element in programs to control the ACP, an invasive pest that transmits HLB.  CCM and CCQC provided U.S. EPA with the information for its benefits analysis for this decision.  We continue to work closely with U.S. EPA in order to keep neonicotinoids available for the suppression of HLB.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact Lori Apodaca, Director of Regulatory Affairs at lori@www.cacitrusmutual.com or (559) 592-3790.

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