U.S. EPA denies activist petition and retains all Chlorpyrifos tolerances

On Oct. 30, 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a proposal to revoke U.S. food tolerances for the insecticide chlorpyrifos. This proposal was an outcome of a 9th Circuit Court of Appeals decision ordering EPA to respond to allegations about chlorpyrifos in a 2007 petition from the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and Pesticide Action Network North America (PANNA), even before the agency had finished its formal health and safety evaluations of the product underway in registration review.

On Nov. 17, 2016, the EPA released a Notice of Data Availability (NODA) with accompanying assessments to notify the public of the data that the agency may use to support its proposed decision to revoke all chlorpyrifos tolerances. Both of these releases by EPA offered the opportunity for public comment and many comments were submitted in support of retaining chlorpyrifos tolerances from universities, stakeholders, growers and customers in the ensuing comment periods. Dow AgroSciences also submitted a comprehensive response to both EPA releases.

On March 29, 2017, the U.S. EPA announced that it would not proceed forward at this time with any restrictions for chlorpyrifos or changes to U.S. tolerances. In addition, EPA has notified the courts that it is denying the NGO petition in full. Instead, EPA announced that it will focus its attention on updating and revising its human health assessment for chlorpyrifos under the standard procedures of the Registration Review process scheduled for completion Oct. 1, 2022, in order to support future decision-making.

Dow AgroSciences believes the science and established legal and regulatory standards and processes support the EPA decision to deny the activist petition and retain all chlorpyrifos tolerances. Dow AgroSciences remains confident that authorized uses of chlorpyrifos products offer wide margins of protection for human health and safety. This is the right decision for farmers who, in about 100 countries, rely on the effectiveness of chlorpyrifos to protect more than 50 crops from damaging insect pests, some of which can only be effectively controlled with chlorpyrifos. Dow AgroSciences will continue to cooperate with EPA under the established Registration Review process in its scientific review of this important crop protection solution.

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Phil Jost
Dow AgroSciences
U.S. Insecticides Marketing Leader