Yesterday, Bayer announced they will accept the decision of EPA’s Environmental Appeals Board (EAB) and not dispute the cancellation of flubendiamide, or Belt, in the United States.
In August, the EAB issued its final ruling on Bayer’s appeal of EPA’s notice to cancel Belt, upholding an earlier EPA Administrative Law Judge decision to cancel Belt without a hearing to challenge EPA’s decision. Though the EAB supported EPA’s decision prohibiting further distribution of Belt by Bayer CropScience, LP and Nichino America, Inc., the EAB decided that products held by dealers and distributors could be further sold and distributed.
Bayer and Western Growers had hoped that the process to contest EPA’s decision would focus on science. Unfortunately, it did not and the final ruling instead was based on process and procedural arguments. Although the registration is cancelled, growers can continue to use and purchase existing stocks of Belt while they last. However, growers will lose future access to this valuable product that even EPA had concluded posed no risk of concern to humans (either through diet or worker exposure), fish, mammals, crustaceans, mollusks, beneficial insects, pollinators, or plants.
This is another example of EPA avoiding the procedural requirements of the cancellation process, and of stakeholder concerns with EPA’s implementation of the law. Western Growers is engaged in ongoing industry discussions regarding how we might help bring balance to EPA processes.
To learn more about Bayer’s decision, read Bayer Announces Decision on Next Steps for Flubendiamide Cancellation. For more information, please contact Hank Giclas at (949) 885-2205 or Ben Sacher at (202) 296-0191.
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