U.S. EPA, Manufacturers Agree to Cancel Methomyl Use on Some Crops

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the manufacturers of the insecticide methomyl have agreed to cancel the use of methomyl on barley, oat and rye, limit its use on wheat to Idaho, Oregon and Washington, and reduce the application rates and the number of applications for some crops by 20% to 50%.

These actions are in response to EPA’s evaluation of data showing risk from methomyl in drinking water. EPA said it is taking this action to protect human health and the environment.


“We expect to release the human health and ecological risk assessments for methomyl for public comment in early 2016. Additional mitigation measures may be identified as EPA continues its evaluation of this pesticide,” the Agency said in a statement.

EPA is taking steps to make sure that the new use restrictions appear on all methomyl product labels beginning in late 2014. This will ensure timely implementation of changes to the number of applications and maximum seasonal rate for several crops. Specifically, the mitigation measures include:

  • cancelling the use of methomyl on barley, oat, and rye and limiting its use on wheat to Idaho, Oregon, and Washington;
  • reducing the number of applications for celery, head lettuce, and peppers by 20% and reducing the seasonal maximum rate by 12% to 20%;
  • adding label language for corn to change the timing of applications so that only two applications can occur prior to tassel push at the 1-2 leaf stage and to disallow applications on bare soil; and
  • reducing the number of applications to leaf lettuce, field corn, popcorn, and seed corn by 25% to 50%.