Bayer Refuses EPA Request to Cancel Insecticide for Farmers

BayerCropScienceCrop Science, a division of Bayer, has refused an EPA request to cancel the uses of flubendiamide — an insecticide sold under the trade name Belt and approved for more than 200 crops — in the United States.

Bayer suggested EPAs evaluation overstated the risk the product poses to the environment. The company plans to seek a review of the product’s registration in an administrative law hearing.

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The EPA expressed concern flubendiamide could harm benthic organisms that live in the sediment of waters near agricultural fields, despite no evidence of harm in more than seven years of commercial use, Bayer said.

“We are disappointed the EPA places so much trust on computer modeling and predictive capabilities when real-world monitoring shows no evidence of concern after seven years of safe use,” said Dr. Peter Coody, Bayer’s Vice President of Environmental Safety.

“This would be a significant loss for growers of pistachios,” said Richard Matoian, executive director of American Pistachio Growers. “The loss of this chemistry would make it more difficult than ever to control pests like the navel orange worm and the peach twig borer which are now significantly impacting pistachio production in California. What’s ironic and unfortunate is this would force tree nut growers to resort to older, less effective, but more potentially disruptive chemistries to manage these same pests. Growers need more innovative tools to help them manage destructive pests to produce healthy and abundant crops, not less.”

While under review, farmers and retailers can continue to buy, sell and use the product in their operations.

Read more about Bayer’s flubendiamide.