- WEB EXCLUSIVE
- PE COFFEEHAUS
The agency encouraged growers to switch from carbofuran to safer pesticides or other environmentally preferable pest control strategies. Carbofuran should not be applied to any food crops after Dec. 31, 2009. According to the agency, use of carbofuran after this date could result in adulterated food products, which would be subject to enforcement by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
"The evidence is clear that carbofuran does not meet today's rigorous food-safety standards," said Steve Owens, assistant administrator for EPA's Office of Prevention, Pesticides and Toxic Substances. "EPA has carefully evaluated the scientific issues and has provided more than 500 days of public comment on this decision. It is now important to move forward with the needed public health protections, especially for children."
Short-term health effects include headache, sweating, nausea, diarrhea, chest pains, blurred vision, anxiety and general muscular weakness, the agency said.
During the objection period, the chemical company FMC Corp., which manufactures carbofuran, and three grower associations submitted objections to the agency's tolerance revocations and requested an administrative hearing. The agency cut them off, concluding that the regulatory standard for holding an evidentiary hearing had not been met. The EPA's explanation about why a hearing was not warranted, and the reasons for denying the objections, are available on the Web (see link below) and will be published this week in a Federal Register notice.
EPA's May 2009 action to revoke carbofuran tolerances was the culmination of a regulatory process that began in 2006 when the agency published its risk assessments for carbofuran and determined, in August 2006, that no uses were eligible for re-registration. While FMC has voluntarily canceled 22 carbofuran uses, the elimination of these uses was not sufficient to allow the agency to make a finding that combined dietary exposures to carbofuran from food and water are safe, the agency said. The process to cancel the remaining carbofuran registrations is under way and will address unacceptable risks to farmworkers during pesticide application and to birds in and around treated fields.