Changing U.S. Regulatory Environment: Q&A with RegWest

epaFCI: What are the most important updates and changes in U.S. pesticide regulations that manufacturers need to know?

As of Jan. 21, 2014, unregistered pesticide products intended solely for export being shipped between EPA-registered establishments operated by the same producer must be labeled according to the new requirements. These regulations apply to any pesticide product or pesticide device that is exported from the United States for any reason, including research purposes. One of the most notable changes is that the labeling text must appear in English, the predominant or official language of the final destination and the predominant or official language of the importing country. See the article “Labeling of Pesticide Products & Devices for Export” for more information at regwest.com.

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Also of note are the “Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals” (GHS) requirements. The United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) adopted GHS regulations pertaining to Safety Data Sheets (SDSs). This is of special concern to pesticide manufacturers because U.S. federal regulation prohibits SDSs from conflicting with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) accepted language for registered products. Pesticide Registration Notice (PR Notice) 2012-1 addresses this concern. If conflicting information (in signal word, precautionary language, etc.) between the accepted labeling and the SDS arises, the registrant/manufacturer must place the EPA-accepted language in Section 15 “Regulatory Information” of the SDS. This will resolve the conflict and alleviate “misbranding” in the eyes of the EPA.

 

FCI: Neonicotinoids have gotten a lot of attention due the bee population decline in the United States. Do you foresee any federal regulatory action?

Since the bee killings of 2013 the EPA has issued new guidance regarding the language to be used on all neonicotinoids registered for outdoor uses. The hope is to enhance awareness of the effects of overspray and spray-drift on the pollinator population. The neonicotinoids imidacloprid, clothianidin, thiamethoxam, dinotefuran, acetamiprid and thiacloprid are currently in registration review. The state of Oregon has asked the EPA to pull all of these insecticides from the market until the reviews can be completed and a decision made. The EPA is not likely to grant Oregon’s request.

 

FCI: The Worker Protection Standard (WPS)  sat dormant for over 20 years. Are there any changes coming to these regulations?

On Feb. 20, 2014, EPA announced proposed changes to the WPS. EPA has requested public comment on the proposed changes which include: annual mandatory trainings to inform farm workers about protections afforded to them under the law, expanded mandatory posting of no-entry signs, age restriction to keep children from handling pesticides and many more. Please see the article “Proposed Changes to the Worker Protection Standard” at regwest.com for more information including the docket number and comment deadlines.