EPA Revokes All Carbofuran Tolerances

EPA Revokes All Carbofuran Tolerances

June 26, 2009

From the Nebraska Department of Agriculture:

Using and Disposing of Furadan

On May 11, 2009, the EPA announced they were formally revoking all food tolerances for the insecticide carbofuran, trade name Furadan, effective December 31, 2009. Furadan has been registered and used in Nebraska for more than 30 years, and currently has a label that allows for applications to corn, soybeans, alfalfa, potatoes, and rangeland/pastures. While EPA has not cancelled the actual label for the product, it will do so sometime in 2010.

The fact that they revoked the food tolerances means that after 2009, if any food commodity is found to contain any residue of carbofuran, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) would have authority to condemn and order destruction of that commodity, and EPA would have authority to take enforcement action against the applicator of the Furadan, if they could determine where the residue came from. It is critical for all applicators who currently have Furadan to understand:

  • There is no recall program for unused Furadan after 2009.
  • NDA no longer sponsors a waste pesticide collection program, so any inventory found after December 31, 2009, will be ordered disposed at the expense of the owner.
Landowners and applicators with Furadan are asked to use the product according to label directions before December 31, 2009, and contact a licensed waste disposal contractor for any remaining product. NDEQ lists contractors qualified to transport this type of waste at their Waste Pesticide Collection and Disposal Program Web site.

If there are questions, contact NDA at (402) 471-2394.

Summer 2009 Pesticide and Noxious Weed Newsletter
Nebraska Department of Agriculture

EPA has revoked all carbofuran tolerances — residue limits in food. Carbofuran is an N-methyl carbamate insecticide and nematicide that has been registered by FMC Corporation under the product name Furadan to control pests in soil and on leaves in a variety of field, fruit, and vegetable crops. No residential uses are registered.

The complete Federal Register notice is available at http://www.epa.gov/fedrgstr/EPA-PEST/2009/May/Day-15/p11396.htm

EPA has concluded that dietary, worker, and ecological risks are unacceptable for all uses of carbofuran. All products containing carbofuran generally cause unreasonable adverse effects on humans and the environment and do not meet safety standards, and therefore are ineligible for reregistration.

Following a public comment period, EPA granted a request from the registrant, FMC Corporation, for voluntary cancellation of certain uses of and products containing flowable and granular carbofuran effective March 18, 2009. All federally registered uses of carbofuran have been canceled except four food crop uses (field corn, potatoes, pumpkins and sunflowers) and two non-food crop uses (pine seedlings and spinach grown for seed). Existing stocks of the canceled products may be used until they are depleted, until December 31, 2009, the effective date for revocation of the associated food tolerances.

Carbofuran tolerances for all commodities will be revoked effective December 31, 2009. This means that no food crops in the U.S. will be allowed to have residues of carbofuran after December 31, unless it can be shown that the crop was treated before that date. EPA is working with the Food and Drug Administration to ensure that food treated before the effective date of the tolerance revocations can continue to be sold and distributed.

EPA is encouraging growers to switch to safer pesticides or other environmentally preferable pest control strategies. The Agency has set the effective date in December because we believe this is the quickest time frame in which the decision can be practically implemented, and to ensure that growers have been provided with a reasonable amount of time to allow them to develop appropriate pest management strategies.

Robert Wright
Extension Entomologist