Dow AgroSciences to Work Diligently to Support Renewed U.S. EPA Sulfoxaflor Registrations
Friday, 13 November, 2015 15:45:00
On Thursday, November 12, EPA issued a cancellation order for sulfoxaflor-containing products in response to a September 10th Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling “vacating” product registrations. The following is Dow AgroSciences’ comment on that action.
As a result of the extensive data currently available on sulfoxaflor, Dow AgroSciences expects the pollinator protection concerns expressed in a recent Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision (September 10) to be readily and thoroughly addressed by EPA through further review of scientific data, supporting pressing grower needs for protection against destructive crop pests with renewed U.S. registrations of sulfoxaflor-containing products.
Four full years of widespread U.S. product use – with additional use in Canada, Australia and other nations – have demonstrated excellent sulfoxaflor performance worldwide with no noted adverse effects on pollinators.
Registrations outside the U.S. of sulfoxaflor-containing products should not be impacted by this decision. U.S. tolerances for sulfoxaflor are similarly unaffected.
As part of its recent action, EPA has issued an existing stocks provision allowing growers to use sulfoxaflor-containing products they have in hand consistent with directions on the pre-existing product label. Dow AgroSciences is, however, disappointed with EPA’s existing stocks provision which effectively removes a critical tool from the American grower by not allowing existing inventories of sulfoxaflor-containing products to be sold and distributed to end-users while EPA considers its next steps.
Dow AgroSciences remains confident in the benefits offered by this new class of insecticides and will work diligently with EPA and States to achieve new registrations for these important products to support the American grower.
Dow AgroSciences notes that contrary to misrepresentations circulated by pesticide opponents, sulfoxaflor is a sulfoximine-class insecticide, not a neonicotinoid, a distinction clearly established by the Insecticide Resistance Action Committee (IRAC) and published in the open scientific literature.
The EPA notice of the cancellation of Transform that we posted today says, "Use of existing stocks by end users is permitted provided such use is consistent in all respects with the previously-approved labeling for the product." But this does not mean Transform is labeled for use on sorghum, because it is not. We were using Transform in 2015 under a Section 18 emergency use exemption, and that expired on October 31st of this year. So sorghum is no longer a labeled use. Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension personnel have drafted a new Section 18 request for Transform and it was submitted to TDA today. However, it is EPA and not TDA that approves Section 18 requests, and there is no way to guess whether EPA will approve our Texas request. Outside of sorghum, if the 2015 Section 3 Federal label lists uses on other crops then existing on farm stocks of Transform can still be used for these purposes.
On November 12, EPA issued the following statement about Transform, one of two available insecticides effective in controlling sugarcane aphid. "Cancellation Order Issued for Sulfoxaflor
On November 12, 2015, EPA issued a cancellation order for all previously registered Sulfoxaflor products. This cancellation order is in response to the September 10, 2015, order of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals finding that EPA improperly approved the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act registrations of the pesticide sulfoxaflor; the court’s order became effective on November 12. Pursuant to EPA’s cancellation order, and beginning November 12, 2015, distribution or sale by the registrant of cancelled sulfoxaflor products is prohibited, unless such distribution or sale is for the purpose of disposal or export. Also, stocks of cancelled products held by persons other than the registrant may not be commercially distributed in the United States, but instead may be distributed only to facilitate return to the manufacturer or for proper disposal or lawful export. Use of existing stocks by end users is permitted provided such use is consistent in all respects with the previously-approved labeling for the product. The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act tolerances, also known as maximum pesticide residue levels for sulfoxaflor are not affected by either the court's decision or EPA’s cancellation order, so crops that have been properly treated with sulfoxaflor or that may be treated with existing stocks as described in the final cancellation order can still be sold legally." The full cancellation order is here.
We are not attorneys, but a layman's reading of the EPA text would suggest that Transform now at distributor warehouses cannot be moved except if it is being returned to the manufacturer or for disposal or for export. This interpretation, if correct, would mean that product paid for but not picked up can not now be transported to the farm. HOWEVER, TRANSFORM THAT IS ALREADY ON FARM CANNOT BE USED ON SORGHUM IN 2016 BECAUSE THE SECTION 18 EMERGENCY USE PERMIT HAS EXPIRED. (SEE ARTICLE ABOVE.)Dow AgroSciences has issued a statement on the cancellation of Transform, but we do not as yet have a copy.