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Industry Challenges Carbofuran Rule

by Britt E. Erickson
November 30, 2009 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 87, Issue 48

FMC Corp. and a coalition of agricultural groups filed a petition on Nov. 18 in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit asking the court to expedite a review of EPA’s final rule banning carbofuran residues on all foods sold in the U.S. The groups are also requesting that the court postpone or stay the rule pending review. The rule is scheduled to go into effect on Dec. 31. The petition claims that EPA violated federal law by denying FMC’s request for an administrative hearing to prove the safety of the neurotoxic pesticide. FMC is the sole manufacturer of carbofuran in the U.S. The petition contends that grower groups and farmers “are likely to suffer significant irreparable crop losses.” Economic analyses estimate that removing carbofuran from the market could annually cost $84 million to $253 million from the loss of carbofuran on corn, $13 million to $22 million from its loss on sunflowers, and $56 million to $190 million from its loss on potatoes, according to the petition. The groups assert that there will be no harm to the public from granting a stay because carbofuran is not expected to be used again in the U.S. before April 2010.


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