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Pesticide News Story: Petitioners Ask EPA to Revoke Import Tolerances for 13 Pesticides to Protect Migratory Birds; EPA Requests Public Comment

For Release: September 1, 2009

EPA is seeking public comment on a July 2009 petition from the American Bird Conservancy (ABC) requesting that the Agency revoke certain tolerances, or maximum residue limits in food, for 13 pesticides because the pesticides present an unacceptable risk to migratory birds. The named pesticides are: cadusafos, cyproconazole, diazinon, dithianon, diquat, dimethoate, fenamiphos, mevinphos, methomyl, naled, phorate, terbufos, and dichlorvos. The specific tolerances covered by the petition are tolerances associated with pesticide uses for which there is no U.S. registration and thus application of the pesticide is not permitted in this country. Such tolerances are generally referred to as "import tolerances" because their sole purpose is to legalize residues in foods being imported to the United States. ABC claims that by maintaining import tolerances for these pesticides, EPA allows Central and South American countries to continue using the pesticides on crops for which the U.S. has already determined there are unacceptable risks for protected U.S. migratory birds. The crop uses include green coffee beans, bananas, and other fruits and vegetables. ABC believes that revoking import tolerances for these crops will protect U.S. migratory birds on their wintering grounds in other countries and in the U.S.

ABC argues that revocation of identified pesticide tolerances is required by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, the Endangered Species Act, and Executive Order 13186.

Consistent with Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act requirements, EPA is requesting public comment on the ABC petition for a 60-day period ending on November 2, 2009. After considering comments received, the Agency will respond to the comments and the petition. For further information, please see EPA’s September 1, 2009 Federal Register notice and the ABC petition in docket EPA-HQ-OPP-2009-0629 at www.regulations.gov.

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