Bayer CropScience has agreed to voluntarily remove its pesticide aldicarb from the market after EPA determined that the N-methyl carbamate insecticide “no longer meets the agency’s rigorous food safety standards and may pose unacceptable dietary risks, especially to infants and young children.”
Under the agreement, farmers can use aldicarb, sold under the trade name Temik, on citrus and potatoes until the end of 2011 and on cotton, dry beans, peanuts, soybeans, sugar beets, and sweet potatoes until Aug. 31, 2018. Bayer CropScience plans to stop marketing aldicarb worldwide by 2014.
Aldicarb has been under scrutiny by EPA for decades because products of the pesticide’s degradation can contaminate groundwater. Exposure to high levels of the pesticide can cause sweating, nausea, dizziness, blurred vision, and gastrointestinal problems. EPA’s most recent dietary risk assessment concluded that exposure to aldicarb from drinking water and food can exceed safe levels for infants and children.
Bayer CropScience is cooperating with EPA, even though the company does not fully agree with EPA’s risk assessment approach. “For nearly 40 years, Temik has provided farmers with unsurpassed control of destructive pests, without compromising human health or environmental safety,” Bayer CropScience President and CEO William Buckner said in a statement. “We recognize the loss of this tool to growers and will seek innovative solutions to fill this void.”