Issue Date: February 18, 2008
FMC Defends Carbofuran
FMC Corp., manufacturer of the controversial agricultural pesticide carbofuran, and some farm-state members of Congress are urging EPA to reconsider its decision to cancel all uses of the chemical. In January, EPA said it intends to cancel all carbofuran registrations because products containing the pesticide pose "significant risks" to human health and wildlife but provide "minimal, if any, benefit to growers." Earlier this month, an EPA advisory panel reviewed the science supporting the agency's risk/benefit assessment. The panel is expected to issue its findings in March. FMC, which manufactures and sells carbofuran under the brand name Furadan, maintains that EPA has exaggerated the risks of the pesticide and ignored the best available science. FMC is asking EPA to allow continued use of carbofuran on five crops—cotton, corn, potatoes, melons, and sunflowers—but to cancel its other currently approved uses. Lawmakers from agricultural states have also urged EPA to take into account the needs of farmers who say there are no cost-effective substitutes available for carbofuran for some critical uses. If EPA continues to pursue a ban on carbofuran after the advisory board issues its findings, FMC plans to request a hearing before an administrative law judge, where the benefits and risks of the chemical will be fully addressed.
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