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Environment

EPA Limits Use Of Methomyl Insecticide

by Britt E. Erickson
February 9, 2015 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 93, ISSUE 6

EPA and manufacturers of the carbamate pesticide methomyl have agreed to cancel use of the chemical on certain crops, including barley, oats, and rye. EPA and the companies have also agreed to reduce the amount of methomyl used on wheat, corn, celery, lettuce, and peppers. The voluntary agreement aims to lower the risk of contaminating drinking water with the highly toxic insecticide. Although Florida and California are at the greatest risk from methomyl in drinking water, the measures will be implemented across the U.S., according to EPA. By persuading companies to voluntarily cancel certain uses of methomyl, risks from the insecticide can be eliminated faster than if EPA required such cancellations, the agency says. EPA and the manufacturers have also agreed to stop selling some fly bait products that contain methomyl and to clarify approved uses of the chemical on fly bait labels. That agreement arose because of concerns that methomyl in fly bait products can kill wildlife. EPA expects to release a draft risk assessment of the chemical next year.

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