Farm Progress

Legal proceedings must end before a decision on availability of chlorpyrifos is made.

November 27, 2018

1 Min Read
PEST CONTROL: Chlorpyrifos should be available to control pests in fruits and vegetables in 2019, including key pests like the cabbage maggot.

Chlorpyrifos — sold under the trade name Lorsban — should be legal to use in fruits and vegetables for 2019. This insecticide is the main, or only, option for controlling pests in crops such as apples, asparagus, cabbage, cherries, transplanted onions, peaches, radishes, rutabagas and turnips.

Growers have expressed concern given a recent ruling by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals that, if it stands, will require the Environmental Protection Agency to begin a Federal Insecticide Fungicide Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) process to revoke all label uses of this product.

According to USDA and the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, chlorpyrifos will remain available to use until legal proceedings are finished. This is expected to take time, especially since EPA has asked for a rehearing of the case before all judges of the 9th Circuit.

Entomologist Dave Epstein, with the Office of Pest Management Policy at the USDA Agricultural Research Service, says, “The 9th Circuit Court has not yet responded and has given no indication when it will. I see no scenario where Lorsban will not be available for use in 2019, as any cancellation would have to undergo a FIFRA review, and that takes time.”

A contact at MDARD also notes that “even if the 9th Circuit decides not to rehear the case, it’s anticipated that the [Trump] administration will file an appeal with the Supreme Court. I don’t anticipate that this issue will be settled for some time and even if it is, I believe there will be a phase-out process rather than an [immediate] ban.”

Growers can keep updated at EPA’s chlorpyrifos website.

Source: MSU Extension

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