EPA, manufacturers agree to limit methomyl insecticide uses

By Agri-Pulse staff

© Copyright Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc.



WASHINGTON, Jan. 29, 2015 - The Environmental Protection Agency and the manufacturers of methomyl have agreed to cancel some uses of the insecticide and limit its application on certain crops to reduce risks to drinking water.

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EPA says it found drinking water risks during a periodic evaluation of methomyl, a carbamate insecticide used to control foliage and soil-borne insect pests on various food and feed crops since 1968. The agency negotiated with the manufacturers to voluntarily cancel certain uses, including on barley, oats and rye.

While Florida and California are the areas of greatest concern for risks from methomyl in drinking water, EPA said several other measures will be implemented nationwide. They include: limiting its use on wheat in Idaho, Oregon, and Washington; reducing the number of applications to corn, celery, and head and leaf lettuce; and reducing the number of applications and the seasonal maximum application rate for peppers.

First registered 1968 and then reregistered in 1998, methomyl is restricted and must only be used by certified and trained applicators and has no residential uses. The only non-agriculture use of methomyl is in fly bait.

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The next step in the registration review process is the release of the methomyl draft risk assessment in 2016.

In November 2014, EPA asked for public comments on the requests to voluntarily cancel the uses of methomyl on barley, oat and rye, but the agency said it didn't' receive any comments.

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