Dow will adopt new US limits on chlorpyrifos pesticides

11 September 2009 21:33  [Source: ICIS news]

WASHINGTON (ICIS news)--Dow AgroSciences said on Friday that it will adopt further use and labelling restrictions for its chlorpyrifos pesticides used in the US northwest, although it believes the new limits are more strict than necessary.

Dow said it believes the existing labelling and use-restrictions on its chlorpyrifos pesticides in California, Idaho, Oregon and Washington are already sufficient to protect salmon fisheries in Pacific Ocean waters off the west coast, but that it will accept the additional limits.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said earlier on Friday that it planned to impose the additional limitations on the use of three organophosphate pesticides, including chlorpyrifos, diazinon and malathion, to protect endangered salmon and steelhead fisheries in the Pacific.

Dow is the principal producer of chlorpyrifos pesticides in the US market. Diazinon and malathion pesticides are manufactured for the US market by Cheminova and Makhteshim Agan of North America.

The additional limitations will include broader pesticide buffer zones, restrictions on use based on wind speed, soil moisture and other weather conditions, and expanded reporting on fish mortality incidents.

The EPA said it has asked the manufacturers to voluntarily adopt the new limitations in time for the 2010 US growing season. But the agency noted that it was prepared to pursue regulatory action if the companies declined to voluntarily comply.

The EPA decision was made in cooperation with the US National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) as a result of discussions that were initiated in 2002, according to the EPA.

Dow said the restrictions announced on Friday by the EPA are more modified and science-based than those first sought by the fisheries service, which the company said would have caused severe disruption to western agriculture.

Dow said its chlorpyrifos pesticides are used on more than 50 crops in the northwest, including cotton, rice, fruits, vegetables, seeds and nuts.

The company said that the new EPA restrictions will have an impact on the use and sales of its chlorpyrifos pesticides in the affected states but that it was too early to determine how large the effect might be.

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By: Joe Kamalick
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