Issue Date: January 5, 2009
Manufacturer Drops Carbofuran Uses
FMC Corp., the sole manufacturer of carbofuran in the U.S., has voluntarily requested that EPA cancel 22 crop uses of the neurotoxic pesticide. The move comes just months after EPA announced that it would ban residues of carbofuran on all foods sold in the U.S. (C&EN, Aug. 4, 2008, page 10). The voluntary cancellation leaves six remaining uses of carbofuran on four food crops—corn, potatoes, pumpkins, and sunflowers—and two nonfood crops—pine seedlings and spinach grown for seed. Because of considerable health risks associated with carbofuran, EPA still plans to ban residues of the pesticide in all food, including imported products. The agency is expected to eventually eliminate all uses of carbofuran once it finalizes the ban on food residues. By tackling the residues first, EPA can eliminate the pesticide from the market sooner. FMC says that no viable alternative pesticides are available for the remaining six carbofuran uses.
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