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Reregistration of Pyrethroids Under Attack

Pesticide BoxWhen a pesticide is approved by the Environmental Protection Agency, it receives a registration for 15 years. After 15 years it must be approved again. Even though I use pesticides, I do not have a problem with this process. After 15 years of use it is a good idea to look at new research to see if there are any unforeseen environmental concerns with its use. The Pyrethroids are now in the reregistration process.

Pyrethroids are a widely used class of insecticides applied on about 120 crops. In particular it is used in corn to control corn root worms. The EPA released their environmental risk assessment on Pyrethroids. They found that the class of insecticides are toxic to water-dwelling insects. This is not a surprise, but the EPA, under pressure from environmental groups, may use this as a reason not to reregister Pyrethroids.

The Pyrethroid working group concedes it is toxic to water-dwelling insects. However, what is the risk? The label requires setbacks, vegetative buffer strips and drift considerations. Pyrethroids are not water soluble. That means they stay in the soil. If they did come in contact with water they would not stay in suspension exposing water insects. The Pyrethroids would bind to the sediment in the bottom of the body of water.

The public comment period is open through July 7. You can go to the EPA website and write a statement supporting the reregistration of the Pyrethroid class of insecticides. If you use insecticides on your corn, you might want to take a few minutes and write a comment. Of course extreme environmental groups opposed to all insecticides will be writing comments!

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