The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) this week issued a notice of intent to cancel all flubendiamide products “that pose a risk to aquatic invertebrates that are important to the health of aquatic environments.”
Flubendiamide is an insecticide marketed commercially by Bayer under the trade name Belt, and also by Nichino America as Tourismo and Vetica. Both companies rejected a recent request by EPA to voluntarily pull the product off the market. Flubendiamide is registered for use on over 200 crops, including soybeans, almonds, tobacco, peanuts, cotton, lettuce, alfalfa, tomatoes, watermelon, and bell peppers.
Bayer VP of regulatory affairs for North American Dana Sargent says they disagree with the EPA’s methodology, which is based on theoretical models and assumptions that exaggerate risk. “We honestly believe that if EPA uses the best available data that the use of flubendiamide can continue without creating a risk to the environment,” she said.
At this point, Sargent says farmers will continue to be able to buy Belt for this growing season, as the companies work through the regulatory process to prove their case.
Learn more in this interview: Interview with Dana Sargent, Bayer