A Chemical and Food Safety Alert
Northwest Horticultural Council
New EPA Proposal to Prohibit Application of
Specific Pesticides During Bloom
June 3, 2015
Background: The Obama Administration has made it a priority to promote the health of honey bees and other pollinators in a series of regulatory, research, and operational initiatives.
Current Situation: On May 28 the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed mandatory pesticide label restrictions to protect pollinating insects on crops in which bees are present under contract. These restrictions would prohibit the application of certain acutely toxic pesticides (basically insecticides) during bloom. A list of those materials used in Pacific Northwest tree fruit production and affected by the regulation can be found in Table 1 below. Currently, none of these materials are recommended for use during bloom by regional land grant university pest management specialists, based on a review of the Washington State University Crop Protection Guide for Tree Fruits in Washington (EB0419). This action does not appear to apply to pesticide applications made in the presence of rat-tail or secondary bloom in apple and/or pear orchards once the bees have been removed.
This proposed action is similar to the August 2013 label change announced for three neonicotinoid insecticides (imidacloprid, clothianidin and thiamethoxamin) used by our industry. This new proposed labeling restriction will not supersede any existing label language that is more limiting.
Also, the EPA is seeking details of the pollination service contracts between growers and beekeepers to determine if the proposed restrictions are necessary in all situations. For example, in the language of the previous neonicotinoid label restrictions, growers were allowed to provide 48-hour notification to beekeepers to remove bees if treatment with a neonic was necessary. That exception was removed in the current, more inclusive, proposal. The EPA wants to know if pollination contracts create the opportunity for adequate communication between growers and beekeepers to mitigate risk to bees which could allow possible relaxation of the proposed rule.
Since this rule proposes changes to the product label, it will go into effect once the rule is finalized, communicated to registrants, and the restrictions are included in future label language. NHC staff is seeking guidance from its Science Advisory Committee and other members of our industry in determining if there are specific issues that should be raised with EPA regarding this rule.
Table 1. Acutely Toxic Active Ingredients Used in Tree Fruit Production Identified in the Proposed Rule Prohibiting Applications during Bloom.
|Abamectin (AgriMek)||Diuron (Karmex)||Phosmet (Imidan)|
|Acetamiprid (Assail)||Emamectin Benzoate (Proclaim)||Pyridaben (Pyramite, Nexter)|
|Bifenazate (Acramite)||Endosulfan (Thiodan)||Spinetoram (Delegate)|
|carbaryl (Sevin)||Imidacloprid (Provado)||Spinosad (Success, Entrust)|
|Chlorpyrifos (Lorsban)||Indoxacarb (Avaunt)||Sulfoxaflor (Closer)|
|Clothianidin (Belay, Clutch)||lambda-cyhalothrin (Warrior)||Thiamethoxam (Actara)|
|Cyantraniliprole (Exirel)||Malathion (Malathion)||Zeta-cypermethrin (Mustang Maxx)|
|Diazinon (Diazinon)||Oxamyl (Vydate)|
|Dimethoate (Dimethoate)||Permethrin (Ambush)|
Contact: If you have any questions, please contact the Northwest Horticultural Council at 509-453-3193.