Category Archives: lions

Furadan 5G, Furadan 4F & Furadan 5G 4F in Kenya

It has been over a year since FMC began repurchasing stocks of Furadan (carbofuran) from Kenya and the whole of East African region. We appreciate the gesture of goodwill to wildlife conservation in EA by the withdrawal of this chemical that through gross abuse had turned its toxic potency meant to counter insect (and nematode) pests to other unsuspecting biodiversity, notably big cats (especially lions) and birds; vulrures and wetland birds visiting rice irrigation schemes (the case of Bunyala Rice irrigation Scheme) being particularly the most vulnerable. What is more, the effects to human health particularly the ignorant communities in Kenya & Uganda that devour intoxicated bird meat procured through Furadan poisoning still remains a mystery but the halted supply of the pesticide should control the situation. Indeed juanco sps is to be thanked for actualizing the buy-back of the product on the ground which they once distributed.

Notably, we no longer see the explicit display of Furadan on the shelves in our Kenyan agrovets an indicator of a job-the buy back-well done. We are strongly hopeful this move promotes human livelihood & wildlife conservation.

There is however concern over an unending trend of twists and turns of the mystery about Furadan, simply comprehended as the deadly pesticide poison. Are the lethal doses modestly precise? must it be used for crop farming?is the notion about secondary poisoning by carbofuran valid?is it true its absence will result in reduced crop yields (at least in Kenya)?has its supply in EA by FMC been frozen for real? OR has it just been replaced by a slightly altered formulation?

We know that FMC authorized a buy back in Kenya of  Furadan ® 5G, however in the news section on FMC’s web page,Furadan ® 5G & Furadan ® 4F are both used to refer to the product that they initiated a buy back for in East Africa during 2009.

Furadan 5G (also displayed as Furadan 5G 4F)

Furadan 5G (also displayed as Furadan 5G 4F)

Based on my simple experimentation,Furadan ® 5G  formulation is not readily water soluble (the solvent that is directly exclusively used in  farming). Furadan ® 4F is an aqueous suspension containing 480g of active ingredient per litre, designed to be diluted with water according to Pesticide Formulations & Applications Systems. Apparently juanco are displaying Furadan ® 5G 4F as one of the insecticides they are distributing and under the product information (subsection Furadan® 4F) the product is described as a highly soluble formulation for use exclusively in drip and micro irrigation systems. Certainly this is not the product that we understand  was being repurchased by FMC.

Based on the US product registration, the status of Furadan ® 5G nematicide-insecticide is indicated as canceled. Furadan® 4F nematicide/insecticide status is still active. Further, I cannot seem to find additional information on Furadan ® 5G 4F (using this precise brand name) other than on juanco’s website. It appears this is a ‘hybrid’ -if there is such combination- of a canceled (Furadan ® 5G) and active (Furadan® 4F) products as per the Pesticide Action Network (PAN)pesticide database.

And there are still cases of bird poisoning in western Kenya with alleged source of Furadan 5G from across the border in Uganda.

Poisoned Openbills in Western kenya during 2010

Poisoned Openbills in Western kenya during 2010

The poison used by the poacher to kill the Openbills claimed to be Furadan from Uganda

The poison used by the poacher to kill the Openbills claimed to be Furadan from Uganda

Actually in a currently running project on assessment of the impact of poisoning on Kenyan lions funded by the National Geographic Society, there are reported cases of Furadan being obtained from Tanzania to poison lions.

This is the status quo & this post is well meant to refresh a call to commitment in tackling the problem of Furadan, a pesticide turned poison  for the goodwill of safeguarding human livelihood and protecting wildlife.

Vultures poisoned in the Masai Mara

Dear Friends,
It’ is another sad day for wildlife in Kenya. We have just heard that at least vultures were poisoned after consuming a wildebeest carcass laced with a pinkish-purple powder in the periphery of Siana Conservancy adjacent to the Masai Mara National Reserve.This could be Furadan or Marshal (a carbosulfate) – both are produced by FMC.
It is not clear why the local community would lace a wildebeest.
The information has been sent to us by Munir Virani from Will Cowell, Leleshwa Camp, Paul Kirui, Sammy Nkoitoi and Lesaimon Sankai. We thank then  for all their help. Enoch from WildlifeDirect is on the scene as well as Kenya Wildlife Service who have taken samples.

We will post updates as information becomes available

Bayer stops producing Aldicarb – FMC should do same with Carbofuran

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 17, 2010

Bayer Agrees to Terminate All Uses of Aldicarb

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Bayer CropScience, the manufacturer, have reached an agreement to end use of the pesticide aldicarb in the United States. A new risk assessment conducted by EPA based on recently submitted toxicity data indicates that aldicarb, an 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.

To address the most significant risks, Bayer has agreed first to end aldicarb use on citrus and potatoes and will adopt risk mitigation measures for other uses to protect groundwater resources. New measures to protect shallow drinking water wells in vulnerable areas of the southeastern U.S. coastal plain and lower application rates will be immediately added to product labels for use on cotton, soybeans, and peanuts.

The company will voluntarily phase out production of aldicarb by December 31, 2014. All remaining aldicarb uses will end no later than August 2018. Additionally, EPA plans to revoke the tolerances (legal pesticide residues allowed in food) associated with these commodities. EPA did this to ensure we have the safest food supply possible.

Based upon current toxicological studies, aldicarb at levels higher than those typically found in food has the potential to cause various effects such as sweating, nausea, dizziness and blurred vision, abdominal pain, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Aldicarb is registered for use as a systemic insecticide and nematicide on agricultural crops, and is formulated and marketed solely as a granular pesticide under the trade name Temik. During the phase-out, the pesticide will continue to be registered for use on cotton, dry beans, peanuts, soybeans, sugar beets, and sweet potatoes. Aldicarb products are not intended for sale to homeowners or for use in residential settings. A restricted use pesticide, aldicarb may be applied only by trained, certified pesticide applicators.

The memorandum of agreement and the agency’s updated dietary risk assessment and supporting materials will be available in the aldicarb reregistration docket, EPA-HQ-OPP-2005-0163, and in the aldicarb Special Review docket, EPA-HQ-OPP-2006-0197, at regulations.gov.

The U.S. has a safe and abundant food supply, and children and others should continue to eat a variety of foods, as recommended by the federal government and nutritional experts.

More information: http://www.epa.gov/oppsrrd1/REDs/factsheets/aldicarb_fs.html

To view the dockets: http://www.regulations.gov

Poisoning threatens vultures in Tanzania, S.A., Namibia, Botswana

We have reported the tragic effects of pesticide poisoning on predators and vultures in Kenya wildlife and through our work we have come to learn that the problem is ocurring across Africa.  Vultures in particular are at risk across the continent.

In Kenya, Tanzania, Namibia, South Africa and Botswana, pesticides containing carbofuran are being used to wipe out vultures. In a single poisoning incident tens of vultures can be killed.  Given that vultures are late maturing animals, that lay only 2 eggs every 4 years, the impact can be catastrophic to local populations.

Vultures in Selous Park Tanzania

Vultures poisoned near lake Tagalala in Selous Park Tanzania November 2009

Scientists in Tanzania report that this is the 3rd known incident in the Selous, and there were at least another two in Ruaha in the past 2 years and plus another recent one in Maswa.

In Botswana vultures are targeted by poachers who want to get rid of them because they attract the authorities to their kills. Farmers also lace meat to target hyenas and this often results in vulture kills as well.  So it is no surprise that researchers warn that the vulture is an endangered species and may be extinct in the next half century unless governments make efforts to save it.

In South Africa our colleague Tim Snow of the Endangered Wildlife Trust informs us that Temik which contains Aldicarb, another carbamate based pesticide, is used for targeting vultures and leopards for Muti – traditional healers. It is believed that those who consume the brain of a vulture will gain it’s eyesight and be able to see into the future. The problem is also threatening South African vultures. The use of muti is expected to increase with the 2010 World Cup Football matches in South Africa, because gamblers will try to predict who will win. In this case, vulture brains are the muti. The brains are smoked in the belief that the vultures’ acute vision will be passed to the smoker, giving them foresight.

Namibia: We have just received a report from the Animal Rehabilitation Research and Education Center in Namibia. They confirm that Furadan is also misused against predators there. In northern Namibia poison is used for lions and leopards. In southern Namibia the black-backed jackal is the target species for poison. Many non-target species also die including birds of prey, mostly vultures but also eagles and migrant kites. 

Breaking Ground on Furadan Ban Talks

On Tuesday, 13 April 2010, WildlifeDirect and the WWF will be joining a battery of government officials at the Ministry of Agriculture to discuss the effect of carbofuran (Furadan) use on wildlife. This meeting has been called by the Agriculture Secretary following WildlifeDirect’s campaign to raise awareness about – and demanding action for – poisoning of lions, birds of prey and other wildlife by deliberate and unintended misuse of this lethal pesticide.

Bones - what will be left by Furadan

Bones - what will be left by Furadan

Though the Agriculture Secretary is acting in reaction to the Prime Ministers hard questions to the Ministry of Agriculture regarding their inaction on the issue of wildlife poisoning, it is still a welcome gesture that they are now willing to discuss this weighty matter. WildlifeDirect had written to the Prime Minister as a last resort after Ministry officials and the bosses at the Pest Control Products Board failed to respond decisively to reports of wildlife poisoning that we supplied.

Tomorrow’s meeting comes in a time when FMC is going to court in a last ditch to try and rescue Furadan in the parent country, the USA. FMC, through their lawyers, will be defending their appeal to stop a US-wide ban on the product. Should their appeal fail, then it will be a victory for wildlife at the very source of the lion-killer pesticide. Elsewhere, FMC has affirmed that even though they are defending their product in the mother country, they have no intention of re-introducing it back to Kenya (and East Africa), where they have withdrawn it from the market.

Even as this is going on, the wrath of this indiscriminate killer has been felt in Scotland where the number of birds of prey diying of pesticide poisoning is on the rise. A report by Severin Carrell, Scotland correspondent for the Guardian UK, has revealed that up to 27 birds of prey were poisoned in 2009. The report says that this is one of the worst years for wildlife crime in the country.

“The majority of poisonings carried out across Scotland use Carbofuran, an illegal pesticide in the UK which is also potentially dangerous to humans. It is thought that old stocks of the chemical, which was banned in Britain in 2001, are still being used.” Says another report published at the end of March in the Edinburgh Evening News.

And in Botswana, 40 white-backed vultures were killed in one poisoning incident in Lesoma (a village in North-West District of Botswana) on the week that started on 8 March. In a report appearing in one of Botswana’s leading online paper, MmegiOnline, the poisoning follows another incident in January where 15 white-backed vultures were found dead at Tito village cattle-post after they were poisoned. And in November last yeat, according to the same article in MmegiOnline, “50 globally threatened vultures were poisoned in the Xudum Concession in the fringes of the Okavango. In the incident white-backed and hooded vultures, together with yellow-billed kites, were found dead at two giraffe carcases that had been laced with poison.”

It is incidents like this that motivate us at WildlifeDirect and the Stop Wildlife Poisoning Committee to keep fighting for the ban of this dangerous pesticide here in Kenya as an example to other African and non-African states so that the whole world can be rid of this pestilence.

We will inform you of the outcome of our meeting with the Kenya government officials.

Carbofuran hearings in USA and Kenya

According to internet sources, “FMC and three national growers groups filed a petition in November 2009 with the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals challenging EPA’s action to deny an Administrative Hearing. In December 2009, the court denied a request for a stay, granted our request for expedited review, and granted the request of CLA and others to file amicus briefs. Both the EPA and FMC filed briefs and the court heard oral arguments this past Monday, March 22. As is generally the case, the judges did not decide from the bench, and instead will issue their ruling by written opinion. While there is no fixed deadline for publication, we expect a decision within two to five months.”

And, Salem-news.com reports that “Opening arguments were heard in an appeal starting yesterday in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia that will decide the fate of carbofuran, one of the most toxic pesticides to birds. American Bird Conservancy (ABC) – the nation’s leading bird conservation organization – hopes the judge’s gavel will sound the death knell for this chemical in the United States, which is thought to have caused the deaths of tens of millions of birds since its use began in 1965.

Carbofuran, which is produced by FMC Corp, is an insecticide used to kill pests on corn, soy beans, cotton, potatoes, and other crops. It has already been much restricted, with the most dangerous, granular formulation that was estimated by the EPA to have killed up to three million birds per year (though other estimates suggest up to 90 million birds were killed), banned in 1994 and restricted uses only to the liquid formulation, which is also highly toxic. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) began the process of cancelling all uses in 2006. In an unprecedented move, FMC fought the cancellation, necessitating a protracted Agency hearing process and court battle leading to today’s final appeal”

Well things are hotting up here in Kenya too.

In response to our complaints and reports, the Ministry of Agriculture has created a task force to address the problem of Furadan and our first meeting is tomorrow. At that meeting will be government departments as well as industry and NGO participants. We are hoping  to impress on the stakeholders, the need for a precautionary approach when dealing with pesticides in this country. To date the Ministry of Agriculture and the Pest Control Products Board have been stating that Furadan is a “safe pesticide” and that the “benefits outweigh the harm”.

We do not know what this judgement is based on as we are not aware of any research that proves thisn, or any regular monitoring of howt eh pesticide is being distributed, used, whether proper use is enforced, or monitoring of residues on food crops, impacts on health or environmental.

Based on our own work we know that the labeled instructions are hardly ever implemented due to lack of safety materials (gloves, overalls, boots, face masks, air filters), most farmers do not store this or any pesticide under lock and key, and the pesticides are used in water ways, in irrigation schemes and for elimination of vermin all of which is against the instructions on the label. When people are harmed by this pesticide they do not report to the PCPB  or national Poison board. According to one agrovet and a victim we spoke to, there is no guidance for treatment of pesticide poisoning, they simply advise users to drink water or milk, and eat raw eggs as a remedy.

Though FMC and our government agencies have not exactly been sympathetic about the impacts  of carbofuran on wildlife, I keep reminding our friends that we should not feel so helpless. Our Pesticide control laws are on our side. The Pesticide Control Act allows for the Minister for Agriculture to ban any registered pesticide if new information becomes available; The EPA revocation of carbofuran tolerances in USA constitutes new information and this is something they cannot deny. No country in Africa can afford a Silent Spring, Kenya can be proud to lead the way on saying no to becoming a pesticide dumping ground for pesticides banned in the west.

As Richard Leakey says “If Furadan is not safe enough for use in America, then it’s not safe enough for us to use in Africa”

The problem of pesticide poisoning of predators is not unique to Kenya. All across Africa pesticides are being used as an easy and effective way of killing. A case in point is the recent tragic poisoning of 40 critically endangered vultures in Botswana. Though the pesticide has not been identified, it is extremely potent and took only minute to kill the birds. The tragedy is that these  birds were killed on the edge of the Okovango Swamp. They were the casualty in an attempt to kill lions and hyenas. Despite the heavy  penalties in Botswana the poisoning of wildlife using pesticides is driving vultures to extinction.

Although FMC have removed Fruadan from teh shelves in Kenya,  we are asking our government for a complete ban on Carbofuran to prevent other producers from distributing it, and to make the message crystal clear. We want Agrovets that are storing this and other  unapproved products to know that it is illegal and to enable enforcement officers to take action. To date the Governmetn of Kenya has been mum on the hazards posed by Furadan and carbofuran based pesticides.

So, wherever you are, please keep us in your thoughts and send positive vibrations tomorrow. We will presenting new evidence of the lion deaths near Amboseli as well as the preliminary findings of Martins research in the irrigation schemes.

Keep supporting us, we are confident that we can make progress on this deadly pesticide.

Keep reading this blog for updates

Court rules against FMC on Carbofuran ban

Dear Friends,

We have just heard from the Defenders of Wildlife that the DC Circuit yesterday rejected a request by FMC Corporation, the manufacturer of carbofuran, and several U.S. users of carbofuran, for a stay of EPA’s decision to revoke food tolerances of the deadly pesticide. FMC and some organizations were trying to prevent the Environmental Protection Agency from implementing their decision at the end of this year.

This court ruling means that the EPA’s decision to revoke all tolerances of carbofuran will take effect after December 31, 2009.

However it does not affect exports of Furadan – one of the the primary causes of death of lions in Africa.

Poisoned lions

The Defenders of Wildlife are running their own campaign to ban Carbofuran.

10 more lions poisoned in Masai Mara

WildlifeDirect has been raising the alarm about cattle in Kenya’s parks for some time know – cattle grazing in the park will lead to conflict with lions and this has an inevitable outcome. CAttle will die and then lions will be killed  in retaliation.  We warned of diseases when cattle started dying in the parks, and Dino wrote about it in his blog dudu diaries here.  The authorities ignored our comments and concerns about the cattle invasion when we warned that an Anthrax outbreak would affect cattle, wildlife and people.  I even went on radio about it and finally it seems, people woke up and began to listen.

In a recent article in the Daily Nation, the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) admitted that

A total of 10 lions have been killed by herders who have lost their cattle to the large cats. In one case, farmers poisoned a carcass and it left for the lions. It killed not just a lion, but also 300 vultures that ate the carcasses of the cow and the lion”.

No doubt these ten lions were from one pride and were poisoned. The loss of 300 vultures suggests that the poisoning was widespread – this could not have been just one incident.We will try to get details on what actually happened and determine if carbofuran was to blame.

The head of the Species Program, Mr Omondi,  warned herders that they should expect to lose some of their animals if they choose to break the law and let them graze in protected areas.

The problem of livestock in game reserves which WildlifeDirect raised on Kiss FM Radio as well as through our blogs is so serious that it has consumed the greatest budget line for KWS during recent months.

The KWS says that the greatest challenge it faces is that in Reserves like the Maasai Mara, the management authority, the Narok County Council, turns a blind eye to the herders. Sadly the same is true of KWS who have for years allowed grazers into parks during annual dry seasons.To date we do not know of a single herder that has been prosecuted for illegal grazing, or of poisoning lions, vultures, hyenas or other animals.

This story reveals just how difficult it is for KWS to control the situation and protect Kenya’s lions.  Lions live mainly in areas that are not under KWS control. Many protected areas are poorly managed. There is nothing stopping herders from entering parks and reserves – even if one is caught, there are no penalties. Moreover, there are no incentives for communities to protec t lions and other wildlife outside of the protected areas. When  livestock are killed, the KWS is supposed to compensate owners, but this is a lengthy and controversial if not poorly managed process. Add tho this the easy access to pesticides like deadly carbofuran and any pastoralist can solve the problem of predation in an instant. Just a few granules of the purple killer will deal with an entire pride plus any other stragglers or plike hyenas.

Cancellation process for carbofuran in USA and Canada

Despite all the evidence raised by WildlifeDirect and partners on the impact of Carbofuran on wildlife (lions, birds, fish, insects), the Kenya Pest Control Products Board has not been supportive and indeed states that there is no evidence that the product is dangerous. Unlike Canada and USA, the Kenya Government does not provide consumers with any information on the impacts that products we use are having on people or the environment.

The US EPA is proceeding toward cancellation of carbofuran registrations, to address risks to pesticide applicators and birds.  In 2006, in addition to dietary risks, EPA identified significant occupational and ecological risks from the use of carbofuran. Although carbofuran uses have benefits, EPA concluded that carbofuran products pose an unreasonable risk to human beings and the natural environment, and these risks outweigh the benefits of continued use. Therefore, all uses of carbofuran must be cancelled.In Canada, all products containing carbofuran are proposed for phase out because, based on available scientific information, they do not meet Health Canada’s current standards for human health and environmental protection and pose unacceptable risks to human health and the environment. Additional mitigation measures are not being proposed at this time.

We submit that if carbofuran is too dangerous to be used in USA and Canada then it is too dangerous to be used in Kenya.

Frederick M. Fishel at the University of Florida Pesticide Information Office  has written up a detailed account about Carbofuran and the cancellation process on their website. The following content comes from that site.

Carbofuran is a carbamate insecticide/nematicide, first registered in the United States in 1969. Carbofuran is classified as a restricted-use pesticide due to acute oral and inhalation toxicity. Carborfuran inhibits cholinesterase enzymes, affecting nerve-impulse transmission. Several formulations of the trade product, Furadan®, are currently available (Figure 1). Although carbofuran has various registered uses, some of the commodities carbofuran is applied to in Florida include potato, corn, sugarcane, and cotton.

In the late 1990s, to reduce risks posed to drinking water and the natural environment due to carbofuran use, the manufacturer, Food Machinary and Chemical Corporation (FMC), made a number of changes to labels for flowable carbofuran. These changes included reducing the label-allowed application rates and numbers of applications.

Carbofuran Cancellation Process1

Frederick M. Fishel2

This EDIS publication provides a brief history of carbofuran’s use in the United States, describes risks associated with carbofuran use, and outlines the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) stated rational for revoking its regulations that have allowed carbofuran residues in food. This publication also describes the EPA’s plans announced in 2008 to cancel the pesticide’s registration due to risks carbofuran poses to pesticide applicators and to birds in treated fields.

Carbofuran Background

Carbofuran is a carbamate insecticide/nematicide, first registered in the United States in 1969. Carbofuran is classified as a restricted-use pesticide due to acute oral and inhalation toxicity. Carborfuran inhibits cholinesterase enzymes, affecting nerve-impulse transmission. Several formulations of the trade product, Furadan®, are currently available (Figure 1). Although carbofuran has various registered uses, some of the commodities carbofuran is applied to in Florida include potato, corn, sugarcane, and cotton.

In the late 1990s, to reduce risks posed to drinking water and the natural environment due to carbofuran use, the manufacturer, Food Machinary and Chemical Corporation (FMC), made a number of changes to labels for flowable carbofuran. These changes included reducing the label-allowed application rates and numbers of applications.

Figure 1.  Furadan 4F is an example of a carbofuran trade product currently on the market in USA.

To date, three human studies have been conducted for carbofuran – one oral and two dermal. In May 2006, these studies were reviewed by the EPA’s Human Studies Review Board (HSRB). The Board concluded that, while the studies were informative, the results are not appropriate for use by the EPA in either the individual carbofuran or carbamate cumulative risk assessment. The EPA did not use the results of the human studies in the risk assessment for carbofuran. Carbofuran is classified by the EPA as “Not Likely” to be a human carcinogen.

Ecological Effects

Carbofuran is:

  • Very highly toxic to birds on an acute basis and highly toxic on a sub-acute basis. A chronic-effect level could not be established because all concentrations tested caused mortality in the test subjects.
  • Highly toxic to mammals on an acute basis. Chronic toxicity testing on laboratory rats showed reduced offspring survival and body-weight reductions.
  • Very highly toxic to freshwater and estuarine/marine fish on an acute basis. The available chronic test showed larval survival as the most sensitive endpoint for freshwater fish. Embryo hatching was indicated as the most sensitive endpoint for estuarine/marine fish.
  • Very highly toxic to freshwater and estuarine/marine invertebrates on an acute basis. Chronic tests showed reproductive effects.

Pesticide Reregistration

All pesticides sold or distributed in the United States must by law be registered by the EPA, based on scientific studies showing that the pesticide can be used without posing unreasonable risks to people or to the environment. Additionally, the Food Quality Protection Act (FQPA) of 1996 protects the public from health risks presented with exposure to excessive pesticide residues in/on foods and everyday surroundings, such as in the home and at places of employment. This FQPA amended the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) with respect to the EPA’s process of establishing tolerances for pesticide residues in food and in the atmosphere. As a result, pesticides first registered by the EPA before November 1, 1984, must be reregistered to ensure that the pesticides meet today’s more-stringent standards, which are due to advances in scientific knowledge.

In evaluating pesticides for reregistration, EPA obtains and reviews comprehensive studies from pesticide producers describing each pesticide’s effects to human health and the environment. To implement provisions of the Food Quality Protection Act (FQPA) of 1996, EPA considers the special sensitivity of infants and children to pesticides, as well as aggregate exposure of the public to pesticide residues from all sources and the cumulative effects of pesticides and other compounds with common mechanisms of toxicity.

EPA develops any mitigation measures or regulatory controls needed to effectively reduce each pesticide’s risks. EPA then reregisters pesticides that meet current standards for human health and safety. According to the EPA, these are the pesticides that can be used without posing unreasonable risks to human health and the environment.

When a pesticide is eligible for reregistration, EPA explains in a Reregistration Eligibility Decision (RED) reasons for the decision on whether to reregister the pesticide or cancel registration for the pesticide.

Tolerance Revocation

Due to considerable risks associated with carbofuran in food and drinking water, EPA is revoking its regulations that have allowed carbofuran residues in food. Because dietary exposures to infants and children are of particular concern, the EPA is moving to revoke carbofuran tolerances first, before cancelling carbofuran registrations. This approach provides the most direct and timely means to realize protection of children from dietary risks. It also allows multiple stakeholders an additional opportunity to comment.

According to a statement released by the EPA on July 24, 2008, even though carbofuran is used on a small percentage of the U.S. food supply and therefore the likelihood of human exposure through food is low, EPA has identified risks that do not meet their rigorous food safety standards. EPA is taking the necessary steps to address these risks to ensure that the U.S. has the safest food supply possible. Children and others should continue to eat a variety of foods, as recommended by the federal government and nutritional experts.

In a Federal Register notice signed in July 2008, EPA is proposing to revoke all U.S. carbofuran tolerances. EPA specifically will request comment on whether any individual carbofuran tolerances, or group of tolerances, meet the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) safety standard. It is possible that one or more individual carbofuran tolerances could be maintained, if information is provided to demonstrate that the tolerance(s) would be safe.

Revoking carbofuran tolerances is part of a broader series of EPA actions to cancel all uses of carbofuran in the U.S. due to human dietary, occupational, and ecological risks of concern. After moving to revoke carbofuran tolerances, EPA subsequently plans to publish a Notice of Intent to Cancel all carbofuran registrations.

EPA establishes tolerances for pesticides that may be found on foods and can also revoke tolerances to better safeguard public health and the environment. The EPA must modify or revoke any tolerance that it determines is unsafe, that is, that does not meet the safety standard of the FFDCA. The EPA is proposing to revoke all tolerances for carbofuran because exposure through food and drinking water does not meet the FFDCA safety standard.

 Canada

This information is from the Canada Pest Control Board.

 “After a re-evaluation of the insecticide carbofuran, Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA), under the authority of the Pest Control Products Act, is proposing phase out of carbofuran products in Canada.

An evaluation of available scientific information found that, under the current conditions of use, carbofuran products pose an unacceptable risk to human health and the environment, and therefore do not meet Health Canada’s current standards for human health and environmental protection. As a result, all uses of carbofuran are proposed for phase-out. This includes registered uses on canola, mustard, sunflower, corn (sweet, field and silage), sugar beet, green pepper, potato, raspberry and strawberry as well as temporary emergency uses on turnip and rutabaga. The emergency uses on turnip and rutabaga were registered for the period of April 1, 2008, to August 31, 2008, and are no longer registered for use in Canada, but were included at the time of this assessment.

The PMRA‘s pesticide re-evaluation program considers potential risks as well as the value of pesticide products to ensure they meet modern standards established to protect human health and the environment. Regulatory Directive DIR2001-03, PMRA Re-evaluation Program, presents the details of the re-evaluation activities and program structure. Re-evaluation draws on data from registrants, published scientific reports, information from other regulatory agencies, and any other relevant information available.

The proposal affects all end-use products registered in Canada that contain carbofuran. This Proposed Re-evaluation Decision is a consultation document that summarizes the science evaluation for carbofuran and presents the reasons for the proposed re-evaluation decision.

The information in the Portable Document Format (PDF) version of this document is presented in two parts. The Overview describes the regulatory process and key points of the evaluation, while the Science Evaluation provides detailed technical information on the human health, environmental and value assessment of carbofuran.”

Purple killer – the slide show

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