A monthly report on pesticides and related environmental issues

Issue No. 133, March 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, 2710 University Drive, 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. Th is is to help ensure that readers can readily identify material obtained from a source outside WSU.

In This Issue

News and Notes

The Making of a Pesticide

Officially Unofficial

Hastings Testifies Regarding Prosser Agricultural Research

FQPA Update

Alert, a New Insecticide, Soon to Have U.S. Registrations

Greenpeace Calls for Halt of Genetically Altered Foods

1997 Washington Requests For Sect. 18 Emergency Exemptions

Genetically Changed Foods Get Favorable U.S. Reception

Pesticide Notification Network to Track Pesticide Availability

Minor Crop Definition (FQPA)

Let the Buyer Beware Solicitation for Products

Chlorpyrifos and Diazinon in Ornamentals and Sod Production

Federal Issues

EPA Releases Interim Report About Endocrine Disrupters

 State Issues

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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

Pesticide facts

There are 620 pesticidal compounds registered with EPA. These active ingredients are formulated into about 20,000 registered products, of which about half, or 9,300, are used on food or feed crops. Approximately 1 billion pounds of conventional pestici des are applied in the United States annually. An additional 3 billion pounds of wood preservatives, chlorine and disinfectants (all considered pesticides) are applied annually. There are about 1.3 million certified pesticide applicators in the United Sta tes, and 2.5 million farmworkers are trained in the use of pesticides. Sales of conventional pesticides add up to about $9 billion annually.

Floriculturists to get methiocarb

Gowan Company now supplies Mesurol 75% Wettable Powder (methiocarb) to the floriculture industry for control of western flower thrips. Gowan's recommendations for this use fall under the provisions of FIFRA Section 2(ee). Further information may be obtained by contacting Gowan Company or Frank Gasperini at 412-934-1685.

BASF gets Sandoz herbicides

When Sandoz and Ciba merged to form Novartis, the Federal Trade Commission forced Novartis to sell the Sandoz line of herbicides. The herbicides were placed on the market as a package, and several companies bid on the line. BASF was apparently the top bidder. Moving from Sandoz to BASF are the following products: Banvel, Banvel SGF, Frontier, Weedmaster, Clarity, Guardsman (atrazine+Frontier), and Marksman (Banvel+atrazine). Included in the deal was the Sandoz manufacturing plant in Beaumont, Texas. Sa les of these herbicides are expected to double BASF sales volume in the United States.

Ag funding predictions grim

Source: USDA

During hearings in early March, both House Agricultural Appropriations Chair Joe Skeen (R-NM) and Senate Agricultural Appropriations Chair Thad Chochran (R-MS) cautioned USDA Secretary Glickman that he would not receive his requested $13.2 billion FY98 budget. According to Congressman Skeen, this outlook is the result of additional costs for the Women, Infants and Children Program; accounting losses from food stamp savings that are now being claimed by other committees; and the conversion of crop i nsurance subsidies from mandatory to discretionary spending. Senator Cochran noted that funding at or below FY97 levels was the best that could be expected.

Agricultural safety course offered

Pacific Northwest farm safety and health will be the focus of a two-day course offered in May by the University of Washington Northwest Center for Occupational Health and Safety and the Pacific Northwest Agricultural Safety and Health Center.&nb sp;

Course participants are to learn about national strategies for prevention of illness and injury in agriculture, current health and safety policy issues in the Pacific Northwest, health effects of pesticides used in agriculture, current studies of pesti cide-exposed workers and their families, and the role of ergonomics and stress in agricultural health and safety. Professional credit will be available for nurses, industrial hygienists, safety professionals, and other groups upon request. Physicians may apply this course toward Category 2 CME credit. 

Tuition for the course, to be held at the Providence Yakima Medical Center at 110 South 9th Avenue in Yakima, Wash., is $159. This includes course manuals, handouts, continental breakfasts, and beverage breaks. Advance registration and payment are requ ired. Registration forms and more information may be obtained from Northwest Center for Occupational Health and Safety, University of Washington, 4225 Roosevelt Way NE, #100, Seattle, WA 98105-6099. Phone: 206-543-1069. E-mail:ce@u.washington.edu.

New products expected for apples

EPA expects to have several pesticides registered on apples within the next year. A new plant growth regulator, Retain, will be registered by late March or early April. Pyridaben, a miticide that will be a partial replacement for Omite (propargite), is expected to be registered in April or May. Agri-Mek (avermectin) is scheduled to be registered by May or June. Confirm (tebufenozide) is scheduled to be registered in nine to 12 months. Registration of Success (spinosad), an insecticide effective against leafroller and leaf miner, is expected before the end of the growing season in 1997.

Association names Apple Man of Year

The U.S. Apple Association named Wally Ewart as the Apple Man of the Year at its annual meeting in Orlando in February. Dr. Ewart, a former teacher, business leader and research chemist with a Ph.D. from Yale University, has been active in the Alar and E. coli food safety issues. He has been with the Northwest Horticultural Council for 10 years and currently serves as vice president of the council. He is based in Yakima, Wash.

FMC wants deletion of carbofuran uses

FMC has requested that EPA delete the use of the pesticide flowable carbofuran (Furadan 4F) on grapes and strawberries. Unless this request is withdrawn, EPA will delete these uses by May 14, 1996. EPA has had a historical concern with the use of carbo furan on these sites due to concerns about avian toxicity. Other requested cancellations include Thiodan 50 WP Insecticide for alfalfa grown for forage, barley, oats, rye, wheat, seed peas and sugarbeets; Methyl Parathion 2 Thiodan on potatoes; and a numb er of other Thiodan products registered by Riverdale Chemical Company and FMC. These cancellations are expected to be effective August 12.

EPA interim logic based on "risk cup"

EPA's FQPA decision-making logic is based on the concept that the total level of acceptable risk to a pesticide is represented by the pesticide's Reference Dose (RfD). This is the level of exposure to a specific pesticide that a person could rec eive every day over a 70-year period without significant risk of a long-term or chronic non-cancer health effect. The analogy of a "risk cup" is being used to describe aggregate exposure estimates. The full cup represents the total RfD; each use of the pe sticide contributes a specific amount of exposure that adds a finite amount of risk to the cup. As long as the cup is not full, meaning that the combined total of all estimated sources of exposure to the pesticide has not reached 100% of the RfD, EPA can consider registering additional uses and setting new tolerances. If it is shown that the risk cup is full, no new uses could be approved until the risk level is lowered. This can be done by the registrant providing new data that more accurately represent the risk or by implementing risk mitigation measures. While this explanation is focused on chronic non-cancer risk, the agency will apply similar logic to assessing acute risk and cancer risk.

The important issue for making interim decisions that take aggregate exposure into account is how much of the "risk cup" should be set aside or reserved for sources of possible exposure for which the agency has limited or no actual data. Unless actual exposure data are available for these non-dietary pathways, the size of the "reserve" portion will be based on various characteristics of the pesticide, such as toxicity, mobility and persistence in soils, and use pattern. It has been decided that, in gen eral, between 5% and 20% of the risk cup will be set aside for non-dietary exposures. The remainder of the risk cup will be left for dietary risk, for which reliable data are available.

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Officially Unofficial

...Alan Schreiber

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


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Available Reports

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FQPA update

...Alan Schreiber

The request was granted in 1996 after development of a risk mitigation plan to prevent excessive worker exposure. Since the Section 18 was granted in 1996, FQPA passed and changed the Section 18 process. The risk cup for ethoprop is now considered by E PA to be "overflowing". Additionally, multiple breakdown products of the chemical have recently been considered by EPA to be more toxic than previously thought, adding to the risk associated with the chemical.

Under a literal interpretation of FQPA, there can be no new uses of the chemical, but registrations for this chemical must be reduced to the point where the risk cup is not overflowing. Hop industry representatives argued that the way ethoprop was used resulted in no detectable residues in hops and that, therefore, the compound could not increase dietary exposure or risk.

Considerable debate occurred regarding whether the Section 18 should be granted; EPA's Office of General Counsel led the argument against granting the exemption. Ultimately, Oregon received permission from EPA for the use of ethoprop on hops.

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Greenpeace calls for halt
of genetically altered food products

This is from a January 29, 1997, Greenpeace news release
found on the Greenpeace World Wide Web page at

In a series of actions across Europe on January 28, Greenpeace targeted multinational food manufacturers as part of its campaign to stop the introduction of genetically altered food products into supermarkets.

Hundreds of Greenpeace activists blockaded the entrances and, using climbers, unfurled banners on the national offices of Unilever, Danone and Nestle in Belgium, Italy, Germany, Austria, Finland, France, Spain, the Czech Republic, and Switzerland. The banners read: "Sell us the real things: no GE food".

In Brussels, at the national headquarters of food processing multinational Unilever, Greenpeace activists built a wall of five tons of natural soybeans in 200 bags at the entrance to the building and unfurled a banner on the "soybean wall" that read: " No genetic experiment with our food."

Greenpeace spokesperson Michelle Sheather said the actions would continue until the major food processing companies guaranteed that they would not use genetically altered soybeans in their food products and refused to accept the mixing of altered soybe ans with natural beans by their suppliers. "These companies have the power to guarantee the public real, unaltered food by demanding the natural crops are separated from the genetically altered ones," said Ms. Sheather. "Opinion polls have shown the peopl e of Europe do not want to eat genetically altered food products, and Unilever, Danone and Nestle must ensure their products do not contain it. We will be mounting a concerted campaign to inform the public which key brands not to buy if these companies at tempt to force genetically altered food on their customers."

The Greenpeace action follows the European Parliament's failure to introduce labeling regulations for genetically altered food products.

The European Commission has approved genetically altered soybeans and corn. Soybeans are used in 60% of processed food products sold in supermarkets, including bread, chocolate, pasta and ice cream. Monsanto is promoting a soybean that has been genetic ally engineered to be resistant to the company's herbicide, Roundup. The genetically altered soybeans were imported into Europe for the first time this year from the United States. The European Commission also recently approved the importation of Ciba Gei gy's genetically altered corn. This was despite concerns from member states such as the United Kingdom regarding the dangers of transferring antibiotic resistance to farm animals fed with corn into which a gene to produce a natural insecticide and another which makes the plant resistant to a type of antibiotics have been inserted.

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Genetically changed foods
get favorable U.S. reception

...Wolfgang Samo

Excerpt from "Pesticides and Agriculture: Industry Perspective" by Novartis' Wolfgang Samo, February 24, 1997, during the Tufts University International Conference on Regulatory Issues in Crop Production and their Implications for the Food Supp ly.

Genetically enhanced products, if we look at their benefits and risks, are overall superior to conventional ones. Otherwise, nobody would buy them.

We label the seeds we sell to farmers. If we believe in the right to choose for our customers, we cannot reasonably argue against labels facilitating this choice. Going down the food chain, the labeling issue becomes very complex, and it should be thou ght out thoroughly among all parties concerned - including consumers - which options are reasonable, feasible and affordable.

To address public concerns appropriately, we must know what they are. This is why I have commissioned a U.S. market research company to survey American adults' opinions of the bioengineering of food and related issues. I wanted an overview on the publi c's opinion on some of the key issues we are discussing at this conference; we will make available the full report at a later stage.

Here are the key results of this survey:

In general, to me as a European, these results were far more favorable to bioengineering than I had anticipated, even in the United States. I imagine that the European guests in this room share the surprise. It is axiomatic in the field of public opini on that ignorance breeds skepticism and negativity. This survey shows that greater familiarity with bioengineering in the United States leads to a higher acceptance in this country compared to Europe, where too little has been done in terms of informing p eople.

I learn from this, and I might be overemphasizing the European point of view, that we, the industry, have to more forcefully engage in the public debate concerning pesticides. I invite you, the regulators, to not only put up a challenging and predictab le framework but also to raise your voices in order to inform the public about the facts.

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Definition of minor crop (FQPA)

...Alan Schreiber

Under the FQPA, a minor (use) crop is defined in one of two ways: 1) It is produced on fewer than 300,000 acres or 2) It is a major crop (a crop grown on more than 300,000 acres) for which the pesticide use pattern is so limited that revenues from the expected sales will be less than the cost of registering the pesticide AND A) There are insufficient efficacious alternatives for the use, B) Alternatives pose greater risks, C) The minor use is significant in managing pest resistance, or D) The minor use plays a significant part in integrated pest management.

The first definition means that all but 26 of the 600 plus crops produced in the United States are minor crops. EPA will consider every crop in the United States to be a minor crop, except for almond, apple, barley, canola, carrot, corn (field and swee t), cotton, grapes, hay (alfalfa and other), lettuce, oats, oranges, peanuts, pecans, popcorn, rice, rye, snapbean, sorghum, soybean, sugarcane, sugarbeets, tobacco, tomatoes, sunflower, and wheat.

EPA has a liberal definition of what constitutes a minor use on a major crop. According to EPA, if the incremental cost of registering the pesticide for a site is greater or equal to the gross revenue for a year of sales on that specific site it will q ualify as a minor use. For example, if it will cost $400,000 to register a pesticide on a crop such as wheat, and the estimated sales of the pesticide for one year are $400,000 or less, the use pattern would be considered a minor use and qualify for a wid e array of regulatory assistance (and support from the IR-4 program).

WSCPR Project Status





WSCPR award


Project cost







alfalfa seed






stone fruit












clover seed



































17, 000











































veg seed






veg seed






veg seed






veg seed






beet/Sw. chard seed
























dry bean/azuki
























WSU=Washington State University, pvt.=private, UI=University of Idaho

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Chlorpyrifos and diazinon
in ornamentals and sod production

Information for this article came from "Chlorpyrifos and Diazinon in Ornamentals and Sod Production". USDA NAPIAP. June 1995. This is a summary of the major findings of "The Biological and Economic Assessment of Chlorpyrifos and Diazinon in Ornamentals and Sod Production". Oetting, R. D. and J. R. Allison. Technical Bulletin Number 1837, Extension Service, USDA. June 1995.

 "The Biological and Economic Assessment of Chlorpyrifos and Diazinon in Ornamentals and Sod Production", a 1995 USDA Extension bulletin, estimated chlorpyrifos and diazinon usage in the ornamentals and sod industries as well as the economic i mpact to these industries if registrations for these chemicals were lost.

Chlorpyrifos, a broad-spectrum insecticide and acaracide marketed under several trade names, is most commonly known as Dursban for ornamentals and sod production. Diazinon is a broad-spectrum insecticide and acaracide registered for controlling many pe sts in greenhouse and nursery production of ornamentals but is no longer registered for sod farms. The most common trade names are Diazinon and Knox Out.

Based on a grower survey, about 273,000 pounds active ingredient (a.i.) of chlorpyrifos are used in the industries. Six percent is used in greenhouses, 16% is used in nurseries, and 77% is used in sod production. About 32,000 pounds a.i. of diazinon ar e used - 60% in nursery and 40% in greenhouse operations.

Chemical alternatives exist in all categories and vary from equivalent to less economically efficient. Often, chlorpyrifos and diazinon are important, together with other chemicals and practices, in an overall pest management program.

Total estimated cost of losing chlorpyrifos use in the ornamentals and sod industries would be $4.9 million. The analysis estimated a $5.4 million cost increase that is offset by a $500,000 crop quality gain from use of alternatives. Loss of diazinon i s expected to result in a net projected economic loss of $33,000.

In greenhouse production, several insecticides are similar in efficacy for control of major pests. Chlorpyrifos and diazinon are cheaper per application. However, the crop quality loss difference between these two pesticides and alternatives projects a very modest net gain from the loss of chlorpyrifos and diazinon.

A major domestic use of chlorpyrifos is for soil-borne pests (primarily imported fire ants) in the Southeast to meet quarantine requirements for shipment from the fire ant zone. Changes in fire ant-free certification may have removed 80% of this use, r educing the projected cost of losing chlorpyrifos.

The projected increase in cost for the nursery industry, adjusted for the reduced chlorpyrifos usage, would be $1.5 million if chlorpyrifos were to be discontinued. The net projected loss for the nursery industry if diazinon were unavailable would be l ess ($47,000). This cost difference is constantly changing as new materials are approved for meeting quarantine requirements and changes occur in insecticide usage.

Although insecticides were used less frequently in sod production than in the production of ornamentals, chlorpyrifos is a major use chemical for insect control. The net projected loss for the sod industry resulting from chlorpyrifos removal would be $ 3.5 million.

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EPA releases interim report
about endocrine disrupters

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on March 13 released an interim review of existing scientific research on endocrine disrupters-certain chemicals and other environmental agents suspected of disrupting the hormonal or endocrine systems of humans and animals. The report concludes that these chemicals can adversely affect animals and wildlife and that, despite limited data on the effects on humans, the potential risks, especially to young children, warrant further research.

Titled the "Special Report on Environmental Endocrine Disruption: An Effects Assessment and Analysis," the interim assessment includes a review of nearly 300 peer-reviewed studies that examine the effects of a number of chemicals on the endocrine syste ms of humans, laboratory animals and wildlife. The report was prepared by a technical panel of EPA scientists assembled by the agency's Risk Assessment Forum.

"The studies we reviewed demonstrate that exposure to certain endocrine-disrupting chemicals can lead to disturbing health effects in animals, including cancer, sterility, and developmental problems, among others," said Dr. Robert Huggett, EPA Assistan t Administrator for the Office of Research and Development.

"The findings contained in our assessment send a strong signal for more research on the effects of endocrine disrupting chemicals, particularly into their possible effects on humans, where we currently do not have enough information to conclusively det ermine the potential risks of existing exposures," said Dr. Huggett. "At EPA we have already begun to prioritize our research efforts so as to build on our knowledge of these effects and improve our understanding of potential implications for our children and our future."

Under the 1996 Food Quality and Protection Act and the newly amended Safe Drinking Water Act, EPA has recently established an advisory committee with representatives from industry and other major stakeholders to develop a cooperative screening and test ing program. This will be designed to identify chemicals that can disrupt the endocrine system and determine the risk they may pose to human health and the environment. The agency and its scientists also are developing a national research strategy to help establish priorities within the Office of Research and Development, provide a framework for regulatory programs within EPA, and coordinate efforts among other Federal agencies through the President's Office of Science and Technology Policy. Based on this draft strategy, EPA's research and development laboratories, and other offices and programs, are working on various aspects of endocrine disrupters.

Additionally, in an effort to tap scientific expertise outside the agency, the Office of Research and Development plans to award a series of competitive research grants on endocrine disruption to academic and not-for-profit institutions during fiscal y ear 1997. The agency also is funding a more extensive effort by the National Academy of Sciences to examine the scientific literature on endocrine-related chemicals in the environment and publish that review later this year.

The first part of EPA's interim assessment provides a general discussion on the endocrine system and how chemical or other potential "endocrine disrupters" may alter the normal function of hormones in humans and animals. Subsequent chapters summarize t he findings of studies that examine the link between endocrine-disrupting chemicals and a range of health effects, including cancer, harm to male and female reproductive systems, and thyroid damage.

While these effects have been seen in numerous animal studies, the report notes that, with few exceptions, evidence of these kinds of effects in humans is limited. Exceptions mentioned in the report include incidents of occupational exposure and exposu re of pregnant women to the drug DES (diethylstilbestrol).

Specifically, the report highlights the need for more information on the intensity, frequency and duration of human exposure to chemicals that have been demonstrated to disrupt the endocrine systems of animals. The report notes the need for more resear ch on the effects of chemical mixtures with endocrine-disrupting potential, and it calls for a strengthening of specific cause-and-effect data. In the wildlife studies reviewed, the report concludes that it should be determined whether the adverse effects seen in animals at various sites are confined to isolated areas or are representative of more widespread conditions.

Other recommendations and data gaps identified in the report address the need for chemical screening guidelines and for more exploration into the potential effects of endocrine disrupters in sensitive populations, including children. Also included in t he report is an interim position from EPA's Science Policy Council that states that the agency will use evidence of endocrine disruption to prioritize testing needs. This will improve EPA's ability to reduce risks and may lead to regulatory action.

To obtain a hardcopy of EPA's interim assessment, reporters can contact Denise Kearns at 202-260-4376. The public can order the report from EPA's Office of Research and Development at 513-569-7562.

The assessment also is available on the Internet at http://www.epa.gov/ORD/whatsnew.htm.

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The making of a pesticide

...Alan Schreiber

Pesticide users generally do not think about pesticides in terms of production: who made a pesticide and how it was made. Users should know that, just as milk does not originate from Safeway, a pesticide does not really come from Wilbur-Ellis. Instead, base manufacturers make pesticides.

I recently had the opportunity to tour one of the major pesticide manufacturing facilities in the United States. The tour provided me with a new perspective on where pesticides come from.

This facility makes two insecticides and five herbicides for global sales and distribution. All seven products are major pesticides commonly used around the world. Additionally, a new manufacturing plant is being built for a new insecticide. The size a nd cost of the entire set of operations was phenomenal.

Two facts should provide some indication of the cost of producing pesticides. Company representatives said the cost of the manufacturing facility for the new insecticide was "well over $50 million." My guess is that the cost is between $65 million and $80 million.

To make the seven active ingredients requires four different manufacturing facilities. A fifth plant will be required for the new insecticide. The entire operation is supported by 650 people, but only 200 are directly involved in the manufacturing of the pesticides. All other personnel are support staff. The plants have four crews, each of which works a 12-hour shift. There are two 12-hour shifts per day. This means that at any one time, only 50 people run the four plants and produce the seven chemicals.

Raw products, such as sulfuric acid, hydrogen, ammonia, acetonitrile, etc., come in by tractor-trailer, railroad and barge. These simple products enter one end of a plant that is a veritable maze of pipes, tanks, heaters, coolers, and glass-lined react ors. Out the other end comes a complex molecule. Such manufactured products are either sent to a formulation facility on site or shipped to other formulating plants. Often, technical grade material (nearly pure product) to be used in other countries is sh ipped to formulating plants in Europe and other locations closer to the users or to locations where formulation may be more economically favorable.

Millions of pounds of active ingredient and formulated product leave the facility. The ultimate value of that material (after all formulation is completed) is more than $1 billion.

An electrical engineer conducted the tour. It is his job to ensure that the new plant is completed on time. He said the plant would be done and producing material by May 31, 1998. There is no doubt that he and the entire company are not just hoping a new plant will start then; this billion-dollar-a-year company is committed to having the new insecticide in production on that day.

The tour gave me a new appreciation of what goes into putting a pesticide in the hands of a user. I think that when Pat the Grower opens a container of Compound X, she does not consider that a $70 million plant made the material and that it required a $20 million formulation plant, a $35 million research and development program, and a $4 million sales force to produce that particular active ingredient. Do not forget that the company must recoup these costs and make a profit within seven years or so aft er the first registration, before the product goes off patent. While patents provide protection for 17 years, the first registration for a product often does not occur until after 10 years have passed. It is no wonder that pesticide prices are higher than users say they should be.

Following are some other interesting facts from the visit:

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Hastings testifies regarding
Prosser agricultural research

Congressman Doc Hastings delivered this statement before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies on March 19, 1997. Hastings is the U.S. representative for C ongressional District 4 in central Washington

Mr. Chairman, thank you for allowing me to address the committee before we begin consideration of the Department of Agriculture's fiscal year 1998 funding levels.

I come before the committee to raise a very important issue for the farmers of my district. In previous years, this committee has reaffirmed its position on agricultural research and funded the high priority programs that currently exist across the cou ntry. However, the president, in his recent budget request to Congress, has made what I believe to be a tremendous mistake with regards to the Agricultural Research Service. The president included in his budget request the elimination of funding for a key agricultural research facility located in Prosser, Wash. I am strongly opposed to this proposal and would urge the committee to fully fund the Prosser research facility during FY98.

The president's budget would eliminate $1.3 million for the Irrigated Agriculture Research and Extension Center, Agricultural Research Service (ARS) facility in Prosser. Abandoning established, successful research is simply unjustified in light of the fact that the president has requested an increase of $10 million for the ARS budget.

The centrally located ARS facility in Prosser is designed to serve the needs of the irrigated acreage in the Pacific Northwest. The capabilities of the ARS team have been complemented by a long and productive partnership with the Washington State Unive rsity (WSU) at Prosser. This cooperative effort is one the strengths of the Prosser Center. As a result, the proposal to eliminate four scientists and relocate four other scientists to remaining ARS facilities will also adversely affect the ability of WSU scientists to address the complex problems facing modern production of high-value irrigated crops.

The two programs that would be relocated represent 44% of the total ARS budget at Prosser. Transferring these projects to other ARS facilities will not result in savings for the USDA, in part because it must absorb the cost of relocating the scientists . In addition, the facilities that these projects are to be transferred to (Aberdeen, Idaho and Pullman, Washington) are currently unequipped to accommodate additional research projects.

Irrigated high-value crops are the lifeblood of our economy in central Washington. Most irrigated crops in Washington are not subsidized directly, making jointly-funded research essential to their continued competitiveness in national and international markets with high quality standards. The Prosser ARS research facility has proven that it is qualified to undertake the challenge of developing site-specific prescriptions that balance the needs of the growers, processors, consumers, and the environment. Again I urge the committee not to follow the president's request to terminate this critical funding.

Thank you for your consideration of my request, and I look forward to working with the committee to improve and advance agricultural research in the United States. 

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Alert, a new insecticide,
soon to have U.S. registrations

Chlorfenapyr, a new insecticide-miticide, is the sole member of a new class of insecticides expected to have its first registration in the United States on cotton in 1997. Since 1995, several states have been grated specific exemptions for the use of t his active ingredient on cotton for the control of beet armyworm and resistant tobacco budworm. U.S. registrations on cole crops, potatoes and citrus are expected during the 1998 growing season.

The insecticide is already being widely used throughout the rest of the world. The insecticide was first registered in Zambia and is now used in 15 countries on crops such as apples, pears, citrus, coffee, cotton, vegetables, soybean, tobacco, and ornamen tals. Registrations are expected this year in Brazil and Argentina.

The compound is effective against thrips, lepidopterous pests, certain beetles, and most mite species. The compound is expected to have major use in the United States on potatoes, vegetables and fruits, ornamentals, citrus, and cotton. Current global r egistrations for chlorfenapyr include Chile, South Africa, Israel, Taiwan, Japan, Thailand, Kazakhstan, Turkey, Kenya, Uzbekistan, Kirghizia, Vietnam, Korea, Zambia, and People's Republic of China.

1997 Washington Requests for
Sect. 18 Emergency Exemptions





Canada Thistle




Pear Psylla

Prowl 3.3 EC Herbicide







Fire Blight

Beacon Herbicide


Bluegrass Seed


Goal 2XL



Broadleaf Weed

Tattoo C, Acrobat MZ, Curzate



Late Blight

Lorsban 4E



Currant Borer




Stripe Rust





Maxim T


Potato Seed





Ascochyta Blight




Stripe Rust





Zinc Phosphide

Zinc Phosphide

Timothy Hay

Meadow Vole

Capture 2 EC







Powdery Mildew


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Pesticide Notification Network
to track availability of pesticides

...Jane Thomas

Jane Thomas is the coordinator for the Pesticide Notification Network operating out of the Pesticide Information Center at Washington State University -- Tri-Cities.
Thomas may be contacted at 509-372-7493.

On May 16, 1995, passage of House Bill 1009 created the Washington State Commission on Pesticide Registration (WSCPR). It also assigned the WSCPR responsibility for providing a program to track the availability of effective pesticides for minor cro ps, minor uses, and emergency uses in the state. On March 20, 1996, the WSCPR approved a proposal from the Washington State University (WSU) Food and Environmental Quality Laboratory to establish a Pesticide Notification Network (PNN) to provide such trac king capabilities.

The FEQL Pesticide Information Center (PIC) at WSU's Tri-Cities campus will operate the PNN. Jane Thomas, a new PIC staff member, has been assigned responsibility for the network.

The objective of the PNN is to disseminate pesticide registration and label change information to pesticide users throughout Washington. The system will notify state pesticide users of new registrations (including 24c registrations, Section 18 e xemptions, as well as Section 3 registrations), EPA reregistrations and cancellations of pesticide active ingredients, and significant label changes.

The goal of the PNN is to disseminate clear, concise, and useful information in a timely manner to appropriate pesticide users. The target for timely dissemination is a one to two day turn around from receipt of information at the PIC office to its distribution by the PNN. The system will reach appropriate pesticide users by tracking and distributing information based on pesticide usage location. In most cases this location is a crop; however, some usage sites are descriptive (e.g., dairy buildi ng, greenhouse). A list of 274 crops and sites has been established for PNN use.

Ideally, the PNN would inform every pesticide user any time a registration or label change occurred for a product he or she was using. However, because it is impossible to individually contact every state pesticide user, the PNN is establishing primary contacts for each pesticide usage site. Individuals and organizations acting as primary contacts have agreed to forward information they receive from the PNN to the pesticide users with whom they have contact.

Often, establishing a primary contact point is straightforward, as with hop growers. The PNN will reach all Washington hop growers by notifying Ann George of the Washington Hop Commission. A contrasting example is Washington's pea seed industry. Becaus e this industry is not organized under the auspices of an association or commission, each company that contracts pea seed acreage in Washington has been contacted; each has agreed to pass along PNN information to its growers. In this case, PNN notificatio ns will be sent to each of 11 companies. To date, primary contacts have been established for 160 of 274 identified pesticide usage sites. Additional contacts will be established as the system begins operating.

Along with sending PNN notifications to primary contacts, the PNN sends notifications "for information only" to interested parties. Currently, most of these contacts are WSU extension staff members. A total of 1,546 contacts have been established so fa r for the 274 pesticide usage sites. This means there may be one or more primary contacts for one crop and many people wishing to receive an "information only" PNN notification. Of the 1,546 contacts, 1,326 are identified as information only contacts.

The PNN database will track a variety of information. The type of document triggering notification will be recorded. These documents might include reregistration notifications, Section 24(c) Special Local Needs registrations, Section 18 exemptions, new Section 3 registrations, label changes, or some other type of regulatory information. Under the heading of regulatory information will fall such items as applicable pesticide regulatory changes under WSDA or EPA discussion.

The database will also record specific pesticide information such as product name, pesticide type, and the common name of the active ingredients. Thus, the system will be able to report all notifications sent out relating to herbicides or sort out all notifications relating to a specific active ingredient.

Notifications will be sent via E-mail, FAX, or U.S. Mail. The U.S. Mail will be used only for those contacts lacking either E-mail or FAX services.

Usually, PNN notification will consist of a single page with the message being a single sentence or a short paragraph. This is in keeping with both the PNN's "clear and concise" goal and industry wishes. One exception may be in the case of Section 18 e xemptions and Section 24(c) registrations. Here, a complete copy of the exemption or registration may be attached to the notification. This is being considered because of the requirement that applicators have the document in hand during an application.

Pesticide Notification Network operations will be phased in. Initially, the system will distribute Section 18 exemptions and Section 24(c) registrations. New Section 3 registrations will follow; however, the order of adding remaining functions to the s ystem has not yet been decided.

While the notification system is intended to reach all pesticide users in Washington, some limitations exist: The PNN will only distribute information about commercial pesticide products. Products registered solely for homeowner use are not included in the PNN system. Repellents, algicides and disinfectants are not carried in the system. It has also been determined that the term "significant label change" excludes changes to application rates, additions or deletions of pests, and changes to personal pr otective gear instructions. This information, therefore, will not be included in PNN notifications. While these decisions have been made, several key policy issues have yet to be decided. WSCPR commissioners will address the scope of the PNN distribution at their March 13 meeting. It is unclear if the PNN will distribute information to public entities or if it will be limited to providing information to private business.

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Let the buyer beware solicitation for products

...Gary Buckner, WSDA

Every year around this time the Washington State Department of Agriculture receives several telephone calls regarding people selling agricultural chemicals over the phone. Although this is an uncommon practice for chemical companies, it is used by some out-of-state companies, usually located in New York or Florida.

The general questions that growers ask us include the following:

The answer is that it depends on the product. In the past we have found some products that are not registered in the state; these would therefore be illegal. However, we investigated one case this year where the grower had actually purchased the produc t and discovered the following:

The product contained only 1.22% active ingredient and was sold at a cost of $284.85 per case (four one gallon containers), or about $71.21 per gallon. The label instructions say to mix one gallon of the product in 10 gallons of water and to apply at r ates of 400 to 2,400 gallons per acre, depending on the site and the weed to be controlled. This translates to a cost of $2,848.40 to $17,090.40 per acre.

The grower also contacted the state attorney general's office and was told that all it could do was to write a letter to the company and ask if it would refund the grower's money if he returned the product. The moral of the story is "Buyer beware".

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Federal Issues


The following tolerances were granted by EPA since the last report (February 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


V = vertebrate repellent









(F) Carboxin


0.2 (a)

Onion seed

(H) Glufosinate


0.05 (b)


0.05 (b)

Poultry, fat & meat

0.10 (b)

Poultry, mbyp

25 (b)

Aspirated grain fractions

0.4 (b)

Corn, field, forage

0.2 (b)

Corn, field, grain

6 (b)

Corn, field, stover

5 (b)

Soybean, hulls

2 (b)


(I) Bifenthrin


0.1 (c)


0.05 (c)


(R) Zinc phosphide


0.1 (d)

Alfalfa; forage, hay
Clover; forage, hay,
Timothy; forage, hay, seed


EPA established a time-limited tolerance for combined residues of benoxacor when used as an inert ingredient (safener) in pesticide formulations containing metolachlor in or on raw agricultural commodities for which tolerances have been established for metolachlor. This regulation is being issued in response to a petition for the establishment of a tolerance for residues of benoxacor requested by Ciba Geigy. This regulation expires on February 14, 1998.


(a) Time limited tolerance expires January 17, 1998

(b) Time limited tolerance expires January 13, 1999

(c) Time limited tolerance expires January 31, 1998

(d) Time limited tolerance expires April 15, 1998 


Emergency Exemptions (Section 18)

A crisis exemption for Prowl 3.3EC on mint for control of kochia and redroot pigweed has been issued on mint and amended to allow the crop site to include mint grown on circles under center pivot irrigation.

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State Issues

Special Local Needs (Section 24c)

The Washington State Department of Agriculture has granted label registration to the following pesticide uses under the provision of Section 24(c) amended FIFRA.


The Following Washington Special Local Needs (SLN) registration(s) have been voluntarily canceled by the registering company, Novartis Crop Protection, Inc.

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Contributors to the Agrichemical and Environmental News:

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

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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