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Chlorpyrifos is no Longer Available for Food and Feed Crop use: Regulation and Disposal

By Naworaj Acharya

For many years, chlorpyrifos was widely used to manage a variety of insect pests in several important agricultural crops including soybean and sugar beet in Minnesota. However, in August 2021, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a final rule revoking all chlorpyrifos tolerances, effectively stopping its use on food and/or feed commodities after February 27, 2022. In response to the EPA decision, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) did not renew registration of chlorpyrifos products with food and feed uses for 2022. This means these products cannot be sold or distributed in Minnesota.

While chlorpyrifos can no longer be used on food/feed commodities for sale in the United State, its use on non-agricultural sites such as sod farms, ornamentals and turf, greenhouse and nursery production, and structures is unaffected by the tolerance revocation decision. If a chlorpyrifos product is labelled for both food/feed and non-food/feed use sites, it cannot be used on the food/feed sites, but existing stocks can still be used on non-food/feed sites until December 2023. Chlorpyrifos treated seeds could be planted in 2022 if the seeds were treated before February 28, 2022, but documentation to verify the seed treatment dates is required. A full list of commodities impacted by the EPA decision including specific use scenarios can be found at frequent questions about the chlorpyrifos 2021 final rule.

According to the Food and Drug Administration guidance document, food and feed commodities treated with chlorpyrifos before February 28, 2022 can still be sold and distributed if chlorpyrifos was legally applied and residue levels are below the previous tolerance. Documentation, such as application records, is required to verify the lawful application of chlorpyrifos. If you are unable to meet these conditions, the food and feed commodities are considered adulterated and ineligible for sale and distribution.

For the time being, if you have chlorpyrifos products that need to be disposed of, check with your dealer, coop, or ag retailer to see if they will take back products. If they will not, please use the MDA's Waste Pesticide Collection Program. For volumes of more than 300 pounds, call MDA’s Jane Boerboom at 612-214-6843. If other disposal or product return options become available, the MDA will provide more information through its website.

Following the revocation of tolerances, farmers will need to consider alternative insecticides or other management tactics for crop pests. In collaboration with the University of Minnesota, the MDA published an article on alternatives for management of key Minnesota crop pests. The following extension crop and pest management guides provide extensive lists of products available for management of pests but are not Minnesota-specific. Always use the MDA's registered product search to check if products are registered for use in Minnesota and read the label before use.

Source : umn.edu

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