After Bayer CropScience and Nichino America refused to voluntarily pull their insecticides containing flubendiamide off the market, the EPA has moved to ban sales of the commercial pest control products.
Flubendiamide is used on more than 200 crops, including soybeans, almonds, tobacco, peanuts, cotton, lettuce, alfalfa, tomatoes, watermelon and bell peppers, with some crops having as many as six applications per year.
The EPA says the chemical poses a risk to aquatic invertebrates and it persistent in the environment. Studies show flubendiamide breaks down into a more highly toxic material that is harmful to species that are an important part of aquatic food chains, especially for fish.
Because of this, the EPA concluded that continued use of the product would result in unreasonable adverse effects on the environment.
Last month the agency asked the two manufacturers to voluntarily pull their flubendiamide products off the market. Bayer said it would seek a review of the product’s registration in an administrative law hearing.
Flubendiamide is the active ingredient in Bayer’s Belt pesticide. Bayer says the EPA’s methodology is flawed and says water monitoring studies have shown residues of flubendiamide and its metabolite are well within safe levels established for aquatic invertebrates.
“We are disappointed the EPA places so much trust on computer modeling and predictive capabilities when real-world monitoring shows no evidence of concern after seven years of safe use,” said Dr. Peter Coody, Bayer vice president of environmental safety.