A monthly report on pesticides and related environmental issues

Animated spider

Issue No. 138, August 1997

Open Forum:
In an attempt to promote free and open discussion of issues, The Agrichemical and Environmental News encourages letters and articles with differing views. To include an article, contact: Dr. Catherine Daniels, Food and Environmental Quality Laboratory, 100 Sprout Road, Richland, WA 99352-1671, ph: 509-372-7495, fax: 509-372-7491,
E-mail: cdaniels@tricity.wsu.edu


Note: Based on instructions from WSU CAHE administration, information in this newsletter not originating from WSU contains a headline in the same color as the word "Note" at the beginning of this paragraph. This is to help ensure that readers can readily identify material obtained from a source outside WSU.


In This Issue

News and Notes  The Significance of 47
Officially Unofficial EPA Activitities to Manage Pesticide Resistance
Pesticide Container Collection Pesticide-estrogen Link in Doubt After Report Retracted
Dual Conferences Planned For October Pesticide Disposal Events
Available Reports PNN Update
WSDA Now on the Web State Issues
Conference to Offer Information on FQPA, Other Pesticide Issues Federal Issues
WSU, WSCPR Plan Exposition on State Pest Management Tolerance Information
Technical Assistance Inspections Available  


Note: The animated spider graphic appearing at this site is used with permission. Copyright and use information may be obtained at http://www.inscot.demon.co.uk


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News and Notes

Note: The AENews is accessible from the World Wide Web via http://picol.cahe.wsu.edu
Enter this address carefully, paying close attention to punctuation and spacing (no spaces between parts of the address). Some readers may experience difficulties accessing the site. These are believed to be related to the Internet and to on-line services, not the web site. If you are having a problem accessing the web page, please inform Dr. Catherine Daniels (ph: 509-372-7495, fax: 509-372-7491, E-mail: cdaniels@tricity.wsu.edu


AENews Mailing list to be updated

Postcards to request continued receipt of the newsletter will be sent in September to all Agrichemical and Environmental News subscribers. To remain on the mailing list, readers must fill out these postcards and return them by October 15.

IR-4 budget update

The U.S. House of Representatives recently authorized a Fiscal Year 1998 budget of $8.99 million (in contrast to a subcommittee recommendation of $9.99 million) for Interregional Research Project No. 4 (IR-4). On July 22, the U.S. Senate authorized $7.41 million for IR-4. The 1997 Project authorization is $5.71 million. 

Although IR-4 is grateful for any budget increase after four years of level funding, it is clear that the Food Quality Protection Act (FQPA) will have a major impact not only on minor crop registrations but on the IR-4 minor use program as well. A Minor Crop/FQPA Tolerance Reassessment Phase I list of registrations considered to be "at risk" is available from IR-4. A quick glance at the 1,000 plus minor use registrations subject to tolerance reevaluation clearly suggests the magnitude of the workload that will confront IR-4 during the next several years. 

The IR-4 response to FQPA is replacement of "at risk" minor crop registrations with reduced risk chemistry, where practical, or research on risk mitigation tactics for existing pesticides, where necessary. Meeting the demands of this increased research and registration effort on the part of IR-4 will entail program-wide increased costs.

IR-4 to prioritize 1998 projects

The IR-4 prioritization meeting for 1998 projects is in mid-October. If you are interested in having an IR-4 Project in 1998, you should contact your state IR-4 representative. In Washington, call Alan Schreiber as soon as possible at 509-372-7324.

Conferences planned

Two important conferences are scheduled for October 22 and 23. See pages 2, 3 and 4 for more information on the PNW Pesticide Issues Conference and the Washington Pest Management Exposition.


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Dual conferences planned for October

The WSU Pesticide Education Program, WSU Food and Environmental Quality Lab, and the Washington State Commission on Pesticide Registration are teaming up to present back-to-back, day-long conferences on pesticide and pest management issues important to Washington. The conferences are scheduled for October 22 and 23 at the Yakima DoubleTree Inn (1507 N. 1st). 

The first conference, the Pacific Northwest Pesticide Issues Conference, will focus on the single biggest pesticide issue facing the Pacific Northwest - the Food Quality Protection Act. The first conference should highlight the need for the second, a conference the next day that will focus on improving interactions between the major stakeholders involved in Washington pest management and finding solutions to current and emerging unmet pest control needs.

By the end of the first day, attendees will have an in-depth understanding about the four-letter acronym everyone keeps talking about. Carol Ramsay, WSU Extension Pesticide Education Coordinator, has assembled a group of eight speakers with a very good understanding of the issues generated by FQPA. One goal of this conference is that commodity groups will be informed about which of "their chemicals" may be at risk due to FQPA.

By the end of the second day, attendees will either have met or will know how to contact every major agricultural chemical company with products registered in Washington, every state research or extension specialist, and every commodity group in Washington. Conference sponsors hope to provide a forum that will allow interactions between regulators, agrichemical, extension and research specialists, and those who may form future commodity groups. While agricultural chemical companies will be invited, companies providing non-chemical pest management solutions will also be in attendance.


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WSDA now on the Web

The Internet home page for the Washington State Department of Agriculture was brought on-line July 23, 1997. This home page, still under construction, includes press releases, information about WSDA programs, and a contact list for the agency. During the next few months, the various programs with WSDA will be adding information unique to their areas of service. 

To see the web site, point your browser to http://www.wa.gov/agr under Home Page Washington. Try it out and stay tuned as the department expands the information and links on this web site. 

To suggest information that the pesticide program should consider adding, contact Steve Foss, Pesticide Information and Resource Specialist Washington State Department of Agriculture, Registration and Services Branch at sfoss@agr.wa.gov; Phone: 306-902-2049; Fax: 360-902-2093.


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Conference to offer information on FQPA, other pesticide issues

The Washington State University Pesticide Education Program is sponsoring a day-long conference on pesticide issues to be held October 22, 1997, at the DoubleTree Inn in Yakima. This conference, the 2nd PNW Pesticide Issues Conference, is targeted toward consultants, agrichemical industry representatives, grower associations, pest management associations, environmental organizations, educators, and regulators. Information presented at the conference will include updates on the Food Quality Protection Act and its impacts on Pacific Northwest agricultural production. 

Registration is $45 per person. Lunch and beverages are included. Registrations are due by October 10. Onsite registrations are welcome if space is available. Further information about the conference and registration may be obtained from the Washington State University Pesticide Education Program, P.O. Box 646382, Pullman, WA 99164-6382; phone: 509-335-9204 or 335-9222; fax: 509-335-1009; E-mail: trokal@wsu.edu

Room reservations may be obtained by calling the Yakima DoubleTree Inn (1507 N. 1st) at 1-509-248-7850. Single rooms are $45.09. Double rooms are $55.09. Room rates are guaranteed, if reserved by October 1. Persons with a disability requiring special accommodation while participating in this conference may call Lynda Troka at 509-335-9204. If accommodation is not requested in advance, there can be no guaranteed availability of accommodation on site.


2nd Pacific Northwest Pesticide Issues Conference Agenda

7:30 & 8:00 Registration & Welcome Carol Ramsay Washington State Univ.
8:15-9:00 How the Food Quality Protection Act Came to Be and Its Benefits Chuck Benbrook Private Consultant
9:00-9:40 The "Risk Cup": How FQPA Calculates Risk -- A Panel on Risk Assessment Richard Fenske Univ. of Washington
9:40- 9:55 Break    
9:55-11:45 "The Risk Cup" Panel continued Mike Willett

Ray McAllister

Jeff Jenkins

NW Horticultural Council

Dir. Regulatory Affairs, American Crop Protection Assoc., Washington, D.C.

Oregon State University

11:45-1:00 Lunch    
1:00-1:45 FQPA - Common Mechanism of Action: What Will Science Support? Allan Felsot WSU - Food & Environ.
Quality Lab (FEQL)
1:45-2:45 Update on the Status of FQPA Jake MacKenzie EPA - Off. Pesticide Prog.
2:45-3:00 Break    
3:00-4:00 FQPA - Impacts on Agricultural Production in the Pacific Northwest Alan Schreiber

Mike Willett


NW Horticultural Council

4:00 Adjourn    


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WSU, WSCPR plan exposition on state pest management

The Washington State Commission on Pesticide Registration and Washington State University are jointly sponsoring the 1997 Washington Pest Management Exposition scheduled for October 23, 1997, at the Yakima DoubleTree Inn (1507 N. 1st). The conference is scheduled for the day following the 1997 Pacific Northwest Pesticide Issues Conference sponsored by WSU. 

In the two years the WSCPR has been in existence, commissioners have learned that, while tremendous pest control expertise is available in Washington, no forum exists for the free exchange of information between various groups involved in pest management. There is plenty of information exchange within particular commodity groups, such as potatoes, apples or raspberries, but that exchange seems to be lacking between commodity groups, between eastern and western Washington, and sometimes between agricultural chemical companies and many of the smaller commodity groups. 

The purpose of the October 23 exposition is to provide a forum that will include

  1. commodity group interaction with university extension and research specialists,
  2. an opportunity for university specialists and commodity groups to learn about the latest developments in pest management solutions available in the private sector,
  3. release of new information by WSDA on Section 18 guidelines and related registration information, and
  4. the opportunity for companies involved in pest management to learn about unmet pest control needs in Washington. 

The exposition is aimed toward commodity groups, agricultural chemical companies and other firms involved in pest management, state and county extension and research specialists, and other organizations and individuals with an interest in Washington state pest management. 

Due to space and logistical constraints, attendance is restricted to 150 individuals. Attendance will be further restricted to ensure an appropriate balance of various groups among these 150 participants. While organizers have yet to finalize the number of individuals from each group, they hope to have a roughly equal number of representatives from universities, private sector pest management companies, commodity groups, and government. 

Anyone wishing to attend the exposition should send an RSVP to Catherine Daniels at 100 Sprout Road, Richland, WA. Phone: 509-372-7495. E-mail: cdaniels@tricity.wsu.edu. For more information on the Washington Pest Management Exhibition, contact Alan Schreiber at 509-372-7324. E-mail: aschreib@tricity.wsu.edu.


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Technical assistance inspections available 

The Washington State Legislature in 1995 passed an act relating to regulatory reform that directs state agencies to establish technical assistance (TA) programs. According to the law, the Legislature recognizes that a cooperative partnership between agencies and regulated parties that emphasizes education and assistance before the imposition of penalties will achieve greater compliance with laws and rules. It also recognizes that most individuals and businesses subject to regulation will attempt to comply with the law, particularly if they are given sufficient information. 

Technical Assistance Program Established
The WSDA Pesticide Management Division has established a program that provides TA inspections for all activities regulated by the division under state authority. TA inspections will include: information on the laws, rules, and compliance methods and technologies applicable to the agencies' programs; information on methods to avoid compliance problems; and information on the program's mission, goals and objectives.

Inspections are Voluntary
TA visits will be either requested or voluntarily accepted. If an inspector visits you for a routine inspection, it will be declared as such at the beginning of the inspection. You must voluntarily accept before the inspection is conducted.

During a TA inspection or within a reasonable time thereafter, the inspector will inform the owner or operator of the facility of any violations of law or rules as follows: 

If you would like to request a TA inspection, please contact the Pesticide Management Division office nearest to your location. If you have questions about the program, please contact Bill Ritter, manager of the Technical Assistance program, at: 

Bill Ritter
WSDA Pesticide
Management Division
PO Box 42589
Olympia, WA 98504-2589


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Available Reports


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Plastic pesticide container collection
dates, requirements

  1. Must be multiple rinsed, so that no residues remain.
  2. Must be clean and dry inside and out, with no apparent odor.
  3. Hard plastic lids and slip-on lids must be removed.
  4. Glue-on labels may remain.
  5. The majority of the foil seal must be removed from the spout. A small amount of foil remaining on the container rims is acceptable.
  6. Half pint, pint, quart, one and two-and-a half-gallon containers will be accepted whole.
  7. Five-gallon containers will be accepted whole, if the lids and bails are removed.
  8. Special arrangements must be made for 30-gallon and 55-gallon containers, by calling (509) 457-3850 prior to the collection.

**Containers that do not meet the above specifications cannot be accepted.**


Washington Pest Consultants Association
Container Collection Dates

Please put these dates on your calendars and help notify pesticide users of the program, so that containers do not become a waste issue. Taking time to clean and recycle these reusable products can save money and prove that the industry is responsible in its use of pesticides.

Date Site Sponsor (contact) Phone
4 (8 a.m.-noon) NW Wholesale, Chelan NW Wholesale (Herb Teas) (509) 662-2141
5 (8 a.m.-noon) Wenatchee Tree Fruit Station Farm Bureau (Dale Goldy) (509) 884-0711
10 (8 a.m.-noon) Western Farm Service, Bruce Western Farm Service (Tony Eglet)
Simplot Soil Builders (Rich Jaeger)
Wolfkill Feed & Fertilizer (Brook MacGillvray)
Cenex Supply (Gene Johnston)
(509) 488-5227
(509) 488-2132

(509) 488-3338
(509) 488-5261
24 (8 a.m.-noon) Dept. of Transportation, Ellensburg Kittitas Co. Solid Waste (Suzzane Tarr)
Cooperative Extension (Tom Hoffman)
509) 962-7698
(509) 962-7507
21 (8 a.m.-11 a.m.) Western Farm Service, Waterville Western Farm Service (John Massey) (509)-838-5007
21 (1 p.m.-4 p.m.) Western Farm Service, Coulee City Western Farm Service (John Massey) (509)-838-5007
22 (8 a.m.-11 a.m.) Western Farm Service, Davenport Western Farm Service (John Massey) (509)-838-5007
22 (1 p.m.-4 p.m.) Western Farm Service, Reardan Western Farm Service (John Massey) (509)-838-5007
23 (8 a.m.-noon) Western Farm Service, Rosalia Western Farm Service (John Massey) (509)-838-5007
30 (9 a.m.-2 p.m.) Snipes Mtn. Transfer Station

Cardboard Accepted

Yakima County (Mark Nedrow) (509)-574-2457
31 (8:30 a.m.-2 p.m.) Terrace Heights Landfill

Cardboard Accepted

Yakima County (Mark Nedrow) (509)-574-2457


For more information about plastic pesticide container collection, contact:

Steve George, WPCA Recycling Coordinator,
31 High Valley View St. Yakima, WA 98901
(509) 457-3850 or point your
World Wide Web browser to

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The significance of 47

...Alan Schreiber

One of the most controversial issues related to pesticide use in the western United States is the extent to which farmworkers (and others) are acutely poisoned by pesticides. Particularly in Washington, pesticide use in the tree fruit industry is "ground zero" for this controversy. 

Washington has one of the best systems for reporting and investigating pesticide poisonings in the country. I reviewed just-released 1995 data, to see if I could ascertain the extent of state farmworker poisonings in the fruit industry. The question of whether farmworkers are routinely exposed to unsafe levels of pesticides could not be answered to my satisfaction, but my findings were both interesting and surprising. 

But first, some background on my sources of information. Three Washington state agencies investigate reports of pesticide incidents. If you are like me at first hearing of this seemingly duplicated effort, it sounds like overkill. However, the three agencies - the departments of Agriculture (WSDA), Health (DOH), and Labor and Industries (L&I) - have separate legislative mandates for investigating pesticide incidents. For example, WSDA investigates incidents to determine whether pesticide regulations/laws have been violated. DOH investigates all incidents involving suspected pesticide exposure to humans. 

Several years ago, the Legislature established the Pesticide Incident and Tracking Panel (PIRT), which is composed of a wide array of interest groups, to ensure that the agencies coordinated, streamlined and cooperated on pesticide investigations. The agencies do well in all three areas. Each year the state agencies pool their respective information and produce an annual pesticide incident report. One or more of the three agencies investigate every incident reported; this makes the PIRT report the best set of information on state pesticide incidents. 

In 1995 the three agencies investigated 648 incidents allegedly involving pesticides. These included agricultural and non-agricultural, occupational and non-occupational incidents. A large number of these were classified as unrelated, unlikely or unknown, in regards to whether pesticides were involved. For example, of the 503 cases investigated by DOH, 38 were considered definitely related to pesticide exposure, 46 were considered probable, 132 were considered possible, 134 were considered unlikely, 48 were unknown, 77 were unrelated, and 28 were asymptomatic. Of the 503 cases, 201 were related to agriculture. Of the agriculturally related incidents, 90 were definitely, probably or possibly related to pesticides. 

A review of definite, probable or possible exposures to agricultural pesticides points out a trend of a disproportionate number of incidents involving Hispanics. Individuals identified as Hispanic constitute 73% of the agricultural pesticide incidents (definitely, probably and possibly related to pesticide exposure), but are involved in only 5% of non-agricultural incidents.

Ethnicity/Race Distribution of Cases Definitely, Probably or Possibly Related to Pesticide Exposures*



Caucasian (non-Hispanic)



Caucasion (Hispanic)






Native American



African American









In 1995 there were 90 agricultural, occupational incidents definitely, probably or possibly linked to pesticides. The greatest number of incidents (47) occurred in the fruit category; most of these incidents involved pesticides applied to tree fruit. The 47 incidents definitely, probably or possibly related to pesticides used in fruits can be further sorted by job activity, although there is some ambiguity in the assignment of job category. 

The wide array of job activities related to agricultural pesticide exposure and the relatively small number of incidents in any job activity suggest that making changes to significantly reduce the number of exposures will not be simple. 

In all 47 incidents, the individuals involved sought medical attention; 12 individuals visited a physician's office, 30 went to the emergency room, and five went to a walk-in clinic. Of all pesticide incidents (ag and non-ag) reported in Washington during 1995, only three individuals were hospitalized due to pesticide exposure. Two of these incidents were intentional ingestions. 

The Department of Labor and Industries Insurance Services Division, Claims Administration Program processes worker claims resulting from on-the-job injuries and illnesses. In 1995 there were approximately 2,239,727 full-time employees in Washington state industries. Of these employees, 244,092 (11%) filed claims. Two hundred forty-five (0.1%) of these claims were identified by L&I as possibly related to pesticide exposure, and 111 (0.05%) were classified as definitely, probably or possibly related to pesticide exposure. Approximately one-half of the claims came from the fruit industry. Forty percent of all claims were rejected. Medical benefits were paid for 55% of all claims.

Job Activity as Related to Ag Pesticide Exposure*

Job Activity

Relationship to Exposure

Definite/Probable Possible




Farm work/other












































Washington has about 210,000 acres of tree fruit, 40,000 acres of grapes, and perhaps 10,000 acres of other fruit, mostly berries. Production of high quality, cosmetically appealing fruit is currently based on the use of large amounts of acutely toxic insecticides and other pesticides.

The state of Washington estimates that perhaps as many as 50,000 seasonal workers are employed in the state fruit industry during the peak period of the growing season. Additionally, large numbers of other individuals involved in fruit production make the total number of individuals potentially exposed to pesticides much greater. If everyone exposed to pesticides in the fruit industry were a farmworker (several of the 47 individuals were not), it would mean that 1 in 1,063 farmworkers involved in fruit production sought medical attention (none requiring hospitalization) due to pesticide exposure.

The analysis presented here is an oversimplification of the real situation, but it does provide an interesting perspective.

*1997 Department of Health PIRT Report

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EPA activities to manage pesticide resistance

...Sharlene R. Matten

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the United States Government. 

The Pesticide Resistance Management Workgroup of the Office of Pesticide Programs (PRMW) was created, in part, to examine the role of the Environmental Protection Agency in resistant pest management and to provide policy options to regulate pesticides to reduce selection for resistance. In 1995 the author and another researcher reviewed these activities for Resistant Pest Management.

 The EPA has no official policy on pesticide resistance management or a standard of data requirements for pesticide resistance management, although some regulatory decisions have included the effects of pesticide resistance. The EPA has addressed pesticide resistance issues under the following sections of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA): Section 18 (emergency exemption decisions), Section 6 (special review decisions based on unreasonable human health and/or environmental risks), and Section 3 (registration decisions). This article updates the activities of EPA in pesticide resistance management. Three topics are discussed: (1) cooperation with Canada on a voluntary initiative on pesticide labeling for pest resistance management, (2) Section 18 policy revisions and resistance management, and (3) public hearings on resistance management considerations for plant-pesticides. 

Cooperation With Canada on a Voluntary Initiative on Pesticide Labeling For Pest Resistance Management

In December 1996, Canada's Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) proposed guidelines on pesticide labeling for pest resistance management. This was a voluntary initiative. Pest resistance management was based primarily on rotating pesticides with different modes of action.

The EPA believes that Canada's proposed guidelines on labeling pesticides for pest resistance management offer the U.S. an opportunity for a cooperative, international approach to pest resistance management. In principle, the EPA supports such an approach. Like Canada's PMRA, the EPA supports the development of sustainable pest management systems based on the incorporation of sound environmental strategies. Pest resistance management in conjunction with alternative pest management strategies and integrated pest management programs can make significant contributions toward reducing pesticide risks to humans and the environment. The EPA will continue to work with the PMRA on this initiative to label pesticides for pest resistance management in Canada and the United States.

Section 18 Policy Revisions and Resistance Management 

Pest resistance management has become a key issue in emergency exemptions as described in Section 18 of FIFRA. These exemptions are issued on a state or regional basis. They allow a pesticide to be applied to a crop or in a situation not stated on the pesticide label, or to apply a pesticide not yet registered by the EPA. More than 30% of all emergency exemption requests in the last five years were associated with control failures due to pest resistance to the alternative registered pesticides. Frequently, the EPA is urged to issue emergency exemptions for two or more pesticides with different modes of action in response to existing resistant pest problems or when a pest has a long history of resistance development. These exemptions seek to prevent pest resistance to pesticides before they are even registered. However, under Section 18 guidelines, EPA can only grant an emergency exemption based on resistance when 1) pest resistance to the registered alternative(s) has already developed, 2) a pest control emergency exists, 3) the currently registered pesticides are ineffective, and 4) a significant economic loss is expected. 

In November of 1996, a stakeholder meeting was held in Washington D.C. to consider revisions to the Section 18 regulations. Revisions under consideration included these emergency exemptions based on pest resistance management. At the meeting, the EPA decided to revise its Section 18 policy to allow emergency exemptions for two or more requested pesticides (with different modes of action) for resistance management based on strict criteria.

Public Hearings on Resistance Management Considerations for Plant-Pesticides 

Recent attention has focused on the potential development of resistance to the endotoxins of Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) genetically engineered into plants (Bt transgenic plants). The EPA calls these pesticides "plant-pesticides". There are other plant-pesticides that do not involve the insertion of Bt endotoxins. However, pesticidal proteins in Bt plant-pesticides (like the CryI d-endotoxins) are also widely used in a variety of Bt foliar sprays applied to many crops. Thus, pest resistance to Bt plant-pesticides could also affect the efficacy of the Bt foliar sprays.

Since May 1995, EPA has conditionally registered several Bt plant-pesticides. There are several different Bt-corn registrations held by different companies. For all of these Bt plant-pesticides, resistance management was a serious consideration to EPA. Registrants developed resistance management plans, which the EPA evaluated. Long-term resistance management plans based on target pest biology and behavior, refugia, dose deployment adequacy, monitoring and reporting were conditional for Bt-corn and Bt-cotton registration. 

A subpanel from the OPP Science Advisory Panel (SAP) reviewed the pesticide resistance management plan for Bt-potato in March 1995. No additional requirements concerning resistance management were necessary for the Bt-potato registration. SAP recommended that monitoring for resistance and dialogue with EPA continue and that the registrant update the resistance management plan as additional information became available. The SAP subpanel recommended that seven elements, identified by the EPA, be considered while updating the resistance management plan. These elements were: (1) knowledge of pest biology and ecology, (2) appropriate gene deployment strategy, (3) appropriate refugia (primarily from insecticides), (4) monitoring and reporting incidents of pesticide resistance development, (5) employment of IPM, (6) communication and educational strategies on product use and (7) development of alternative modes of action. 

Today, questions continue to arise about the adequacy of these resistance management plans for Bt-potato, Bt-corn, and Bt-cotton. This past summer, Bt-cotton failures (Bollgard cotton) associated with cotton bollworm resistance were reported. Evidence collected by industry, academia, and government agencies (EPA and USDA) show that these reports were unsubstantiated. High bollworm infestations, rather than resistance, led some growers to spray insecticides on their fields planted in Bollgard cotton. Nevertheless, EPA did hold two public hearings (Washington, D.C., March 1997 and College Station, Texas, May 1997) to reevaluate the registration requirements for resistance management, particularly for Bt plant-pesticides. If necessary, SAP members will meet in the fall of 1997 to evaluate specific data needs for updating the long-term resistance management strategies for Bt-corn and Bt-cotton.


It is good public policy to manage pesticide use to minimize the development of pesticide resistance. Effective pesticide resistance management can reduce the total burden on the environment and reduce overall human and ecological exposure to pesticides. Effective pesticide resistance management will prolong the availability and effectiveness of pesticides and provide growers access to a wider selection of pest control tools to manage pest populations. 

The EPA supports the efforts of registrants, academia, crop consultants, USDA researchers and extension agents, and pesticide users to promote pesticide resistance management through development of pesticide resistance management plans, appropriate pesticide labeling, and education programs. The EPA will not allow this focus on pesticide resistance management to overly burden the regulated community, jeopardize the registration of reduced risk pesticides, or exclude conventional pesticides that contribute to the overall concept of integrated pest management. The EPA continues to evaluate and refine the role of pest resistance management in pesticide regulatory decisions. 

This article was taken from "Pesticide Resistance Management Activities by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency." Sharlene R. Matten. Resistant Pest Management Newsletter. Vol. 9, No. 1. Michigan State University. East Lansing, MI.

Dr. Sharlene Matten is a biologist for the U.S. EPA, Office of Pesticide Programs and leader of the Pesticide Resistance Management Workgroup Environmental Fate and Effects Division (7507C)
401 M. St. S.W.
Washington D.C. 20460
E-mail: [matten.sharlene@epamail.epa.gov]

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Officially Unofficial

...Alan Schreiber

"Officially Unofficial" is a regular feature that may include information considered inappropriate by some.

Alan Schreiber

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Pesticide-estrogen link in doubt after report retracted

Research that exploded like an environmental bombshell last year has turned out to be a dud.

Tulane University researchers announced in June 1996 that they had found evidence that small amounts of some ordinary pesticides are relatively harmless when used alone, but might cause a devastating rise in estrogen hormones when mixed together.

The widely publicized report alarmed environmentalists, affected federal and state legislation, and set off a frantic round of research in other labs.

In July a senior Tulane researcher withdrew the paper, saying there might have been a mistake. In mid-August the university announced "an internal inquiry into the circumstances" of the episode. John A. McLachlan, senior author of the paper, was forbidden to talk to reporters, a Tulane spokesman said.

The study pushed an environmental hot button: how certain chemicals might "turn on" the estrogen gene, elevate levels of the hormone, and cause cancer or male birth defects in humans and animals.

Chemicals that do this have been called endocrine disruptors, but the reality of this effect remains controversial.

Evidence in several studies and books has claimed that pesticides in the environment trigger damaging increases in estrogen levels, causing breast cancer in women and diminished sperm counts in men.

One study said a pesticide spill in a Florida lake shrank the penises of male alligators and increased their estrogen levels to near that of female alligators. A Columbia River Basin study found that young otters exposed to environmental pesticides had penises and testicles half the normal size.

Some U.S. and European scientists are skeptical that the small amounts of pesticides in the environment can cause such problems. A new breast cancer study contradicted a finding that linked the disease to higher levels of environmental chemicals.

The McLachlan paper seemed to solve the uncertainty by suggesting there was a synergistic effect from the chemicals: One pesticide was harmless, but two together increased the damage by more than a thousandfold.

The study, published in the June 7, 1996, issue of Science, found that mixtures of weak estrogens including two pesticides, dieldren and toxaphene, could be as much as 1,600 times more powerful in combination. Editors at the magazine considered the report so important that they emphasized it with a news story.

News reports of the study made headlines nationwide and in Europe.

Some experts called it a "red flag" and feared dire effects.

Dr. Lynn Goldman, chief of the Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Prevention, Pesticides and Toxic Substances, called the findings "astonishing" and ordered new studies.

The chemical industry and college campuses mobilized crash research. Scientists dropped other work and started testing pesticide mixtures. In legislative halls in Washington and elsewhere, the research shaped environmental debates and created, said one lobbyist, "a real sense of urgency."

Eventually, fears amplified by the study caused Congress to put estrogen-research requirements into the Safe Water Act and the Food Quality Protection Act passed last year. The issue also affected legislation in New York state, and the EPA is forming a committee to formulate regulations on the issue.

The concern and fear that arose so quickly died quietly in July, virtually unheralded.

McLachlan, in a July 25 letter in Science, withdrew the paper, saying his lab could not reproduce the original results. Other labs had also found no evidence of synergism. Four U.S. laboratories published a technical comment in the January 17 issue of Science and a full study report in Endocrinology in April that stated they could not reproduce the Tulane University results.

"It seems evident that there must have been a fundamental flaw in the design of our original experiment," McLachlan wrote. He explored several hypotheses that might have explained the results from his laboratory, but none explained why the synergistic results could not be replicated.

Science published McLachlan's letter without comment or announcement.

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Pesticide disposal events scheduled

The WSDA Waste Pesticide Program has received funding for the next two years. The following regional events are planned. Call (360)-902-2050 for more information or to sign up for an event.
Site Location Event Date Sign Up By This Date
Fall of 1997    
Pullman October 1 September 5, 1997
Chehalis October 23 September 10, 1997
Pasco October 29 & 30 September 15, 1997
Spring of 1998    
Walla Walla March 25 February 23, 1998
Yakima April 15 & 16 March 10, 1998
Kettle Falls May 5 March 30, 1998
Davenport May 7 March 30, 1998
Mount Vernon May 20 April 17, 1998
Stevenson June 9 May 1, 1998
Vancouver June 11 May 1, 1998

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PNN Update

The information contained here is not to be construed as a substitute for obtaining and reading product labels. Always read the label before applying a pesticide.

The Pesticide Notification Network is operated by the Washington State University Pesticide Information Center for the Washington State Commission on Pesticide Registration. The PNN system is designed to distribute pesticide registration and label change information to groups representing Washington's pesticide users. The information below (with the exception of the tolerance data) is a summary of what has been distributed on the PNN within the past month.

Upcoming PNN Services: In the month of August, the PNN will begin distributing information about new federal pesticide registrations and will also begin sending notifications regarding significant label changes. 

The Pesticide Information Center (PIC) operates the Pesticide Information Center On-Line (PICOL) web page. This provides a label database, status on registrations, and information on related issues. PICOL can be accessed on the Internet at http://picol.cahe.wsu.edu. The PIC office phone number is (509) 372-7492.

State Issues

New Registrations

Section 24(c) Registrations

Section 24(c) Cancellations


Section 24(c) Revisions

WSDA issued a revision to WA-970028 previously issued for the use of Zeneca's Ambush on hybrid poplar trees grown for pulp production. The revision adds information from the Section 3 label about hazards to fish and invertebrates to the Section 24(c) label and clarifies that the registration only applies to plantation-grown poplar trees.

Section 18 Crisis Exemptions

Federal Issues

Manufacturers' Product Cancellations


Manufacturers' Use Deletions


Experimental Use Permits

Reregistration Notifications

The USEPA has announced its schedule for reassessing tolerances for pesticide residues in or on raw and processed foods, as required by the Food Quality Protection Act (FQPA). Under this new law (enacted 8/3/96), the USEPA is required to reassess all existing tolerances and exemptions from tolerances (almost 10,000) for both active and inert ingredients.

In reassessing tolerances, the USEPA must consider the aggregate exposure to the pesticide, cumulative effects from other pesticides with a common mode of toxicity, whether there is an increased susceptibility from exposure to the pesticide to infants and children, and whether the pesticide produces an effect in humans similar to an effect produced by a naturally occurring estrogen or other endocrine effects.

In its review of these tolerances and exemptions, the USEPA must meet the following time table: 33 percent of applicable tolerances and exemptions must be reviewed by August 1999, 66 percent by August 2002, and 100 percent by August 2006. FQPA also requires that the USEPA publish by 8/3/9 a schedule of its reassessment of these tolerances and exemptions. The notice described here satisfies that requirement.

The list is too voluminous for publication here, but it can be reviewed by consulting the Federal Register (62:42019-42030, 8/14/97) or EPA's web site at www.epa.gov. A copy may be requested from Jeff Morris at EPA, Special Review Branch, Phone: 703-308-8029, Fax: 703-308-8041, E-mail: morris.jeffrey@epamail.epa.gov or the USDA National Agricultural Pesticide Impact Assessment Program at 301-504-8846, Fax: 301-504-8063, or E-mail: ksmith@arsusda.gov. Additional materials on tolerance reassessment may also be found on EPA's web site. In all, there are a total of 469 pesticides or EPA classified high-hazard inert ingredients with food use tolerances scheduled for reassessment. Also, an additional 823 inert ingredient exemptions will be dealt with toward the end of the reassessment of tolerances.

The list has been broken into three groups: In general, tolerances and exemptions for Group 1 pesticides will be subject to reassessment first, followed by Groups 2 and 3. This grouping reflects the overall scheduling priorities for tolerance reassessment, although these three groups may not correspond directly with the three FQPA deadlines mentioned above. Group 1 is made up of chemicals in pesticide products that appear to pose the highest risk. It includes the organophosphate, carbamate, and organochlorine classes, and probable and some possible human carcinogens. Also included are EPA classified high-hazard inert ingredients, any pesticides that exceed their reference dose, and any tolerance that is being proposed for revocation. Group 2 is comprised of possible human carcinogens not included in Group 1, all remaining pesticides subject to reregistration, and others based on scheduling considerations. Group 3 contains biological pesticides, those inert ingredients not dealt with in Group 1, and those post-1984 pesticides with tolerances or exemptions not yet reassessed under FQPA.

The USEPA welcomes responses to this schedule from interested parties and the general public. Although it became effective on publication in the Federal Register, this list may change as conditions warrant. The USEPA intends to provide periodic updates of its progress on tolerance reassessment. Currently, the agency is especially interested in: (1) if respondents believe there are pesticides that should appear on the list but are omitted from it, or (2) if respondents believe there are pesticides that should be dropped from the list. Written comments to this notice, containing the docket control number OPP-300523, should be sent to both Jeff Morris and the Public Information Branch of EPA.

For additional information:

Mr. Jeff Morris
EPA, Special Review Branch
Phone 703-308-8029
Fax 703-308-8041

Send comments to Jeff Morris and:
Public Information Branch (7506C)
EPA, Office of Pesticide Programs
401 M Street, SW
Washington, DC 20460


Tolerance Information

The following tolerances were granted by EPA since the last report (July 1997). These data do not mean that labels have been registered for these uses. These pesticides must not be used until labels are registered with EPA or a state department of agriculture.


A = adjuvant  FA = feed additive  I = insecticide 
D = desiccant  FM = fumigant  IN = inert 
D/H = desiccant, herbicide  G = growth regulator  N = nematicide 
F = fungicide  H = herbicide  P = pheromone 
R=rodenticide  V = vertebrate repellent   


Chemical Petitioner Tolerance (ppm) Commodity (raw)


Myclobutanil EPA 1.0(a) peppers (bell and non-bell)
2.5(a) peppermint & spearmint


Fomesafen EPA 0.05(b) Beans, snap


Azoxystrobin Zeneca 0.50 Bananas
1.00 Grapes
0.80 Peaches
0.01 Peanuts
0.03 Peanut Oil
0.01 Pecans
0.20 Tomatoes
0.60 Tomato paste


Imidacloprid EPA 1.0(c) Citrus fruits crop group
5.0(c) Dried citrus pulp


Fenpropathrin EPA 15(c) Currants


Vinclozolin BASF 2.0(d) Beans, succulent
5.0(e) Belgian endive, tops
1.0(e) Cucumbers
6.0(e) Grapes
42(e) Grape, pomace, dry (as a result of application to grapes)
10(e) Kiwifruit
10(e) Lettuce, head and leaf
1.0(e) Onions (dry bulb)
3.0(e) Peppers (bell)
75(e) Prunes
30(e) Raisins (as a result of application to grapes)
10(e) Raspberries
25(e) Stone fruits
10(e) Strawberries
3.0(e) Tomatoes


Dimethomorph EPA 1(f) Tomatoes
6(f) Tomato paste
2(f) Tomato puree


Sodium salt of acifluorfen and its metabolites EPA 0.1(c) Cowpea, lima beans, southern peas


a =

Time limited tolerance expires July 1, 1998

b =

Time limited tolerance expires June 30, 1998

c =

Time limited tolerance expires December 31, 1998

d =

Time limited tolerance expires October 1, 1999

e =

Expiration/Revocation date listed as "none"

f =

Time limited tolerance expires May 15, 1999


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Contributors to the Agrichemical and Environmental News:

Alan Schreiber, Allan Felsot, Catherine Daniels, Mark Antone, Eric Bechtel, Jane Thomas

Contributions, comments and subscription inquiries may be directed to: Dr. Catherine Daniels, Food and Environmental Quality Laboratory, Washington State University, 2710 University Drive, Richland, WA 99352-1671, ph: 509-372-7495, fax: 509-372-7491, E-mail: cdaniels@tricity.wsu.edu


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