EPA released proposed interim registration decisions for several neonicotinoid chemicals on Thursday, Jan. 30.
Three of them, clothianidin (such as Poncho from Bayer), imidacloprid (such as Gaucho from Bayer), and thiamethoxam (such as Cruiser from Syngenta), are commonly used as seed treatment insecticides to control a variety of soil and foliar insect pests in field crops such as corn, cotton, sorghum, sugar beets and soybeans.
This class of insecticides has faced global scrutiny for several years for the role they may play in declining pollinator health, which has put pressure on EPA’s routine re-registration review of these three active ingredients.
These three insecticides have been under registration review and undergoing various ecological risk assessments since 2008 (imidacloprid) and 2012 (clothianidin and thiamethoxam). Now the agency has proposed re-registering all three, albeit with some new label language and limitations on use. The decisions are labeled “interim,” because the agency is still working on some studies for neonicotinoid’s overall registration reviews, namely endangered species risk assessments done in coordination with U.S. Fish and Wildlife and endocrine screenings.
Minimizing Risks: Proposed Tightening
In its joint review of clothianidin and thiamethoxam, EPA identified some areas of concern, including risks to pollinators, aquatic invertebrates and human handlers, and is proposing the following mitigation measures:
- Canceling clothianidin uses for bulb vegetables.
- Restricting certain thiamethoxam applications in livestock operations.
- Adding new Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) requirements.
- Reducing maximum application rates or restricting applications during pre-bloom and/or bloom in some crops, including cotton.
- Requiring new label language on the proper disposal of treated seed.
- Requiring new label language recommending use by professional applicators only.
- Applying targeted rate reductions for higher risk uses.
- Requiring additional spray drift and runoff reduction label language for foliar applications.
- Adding resistance management language to labels
In its review of imidacloprid, EPA also identified similar ecological and human risks and is proposing the following mitigation measures:
- Cancelling residential spray applications to turf, on-farm seed treatment of canola, millet and wheat, and use on bulb vegetables.
- Adding new PPE requirements.
- Reducing maximum application rates or restricting applications during pre-bloom and/or bloom for certain crops, including cotton.
- Requiring new label language encouraging use by professional applicators only for residential ornamental applications.
- Requiring additional spray drift and runoff reduction label language.
Once the proposed interim registration decisions are posted on the Federal Register, EPA will accept public comments for 60 days.
See EPA’s notice of the decisions, as well as links to comment on each active ingredient here: https://www.epa.gov/….
Read the proposed interim registration decisions here: https://www.epa.gov/….
- Emily Unglesbee can be reached at Emily.firstname.lastname@example.org
- Follow her on Twitter @Emily_Unglesbee