More than 80 farm groups have asked the Environmental Protection Agency to continue to allow use of chlorpyrifos.
The American Farm Bureau Federation, Cherry Marketing Institute, American Sugarbeet Growers Association, American Soybean Association and others filed formal objections to the Aug. 30 decision to revoke tolerances for the insecticide, use of which has been linked to neurological damage in children and infants. By law, EPA must respond to the objections.
The groups said chlorpyrifos “has more than 50 registered agricultural uses on numerous crops, many of which are high-benefit uses to protect against economically significant pests.” EPA’s own risk assessments “show some uses meet the legal standard” under the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act.
Michigan cherry producers will be hit hard, the groups said, because they “currently have no other effective control options besides chlorpyrifos for American Plum Borers and Peachtree Borers.” Sugarbeet growers also will be harmed: “Chlorpyrifos is the most effective product available” to treat emerged sugarbeet root maggots, they said.
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Soybean growers may have to apply two products to control two-spotted spider mites and soybean aphid populations that have developed resistance to other insecticides, such as pyrethroids, the objectors said. Chlorpyrifos “is the only option that will control both pests.”
EPA’s ”rule revokes tolerances on crop uses where many growers have few or no pest management alternatives, leaving them exposed to hundreds of millions of dollars in irreparable crop damage,” the letter said.
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