Bayer is rejecting a request by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to voluntarily cancel the uses of flubendiamide insecticide, marketed as Belt® in the United States, and instead will seek a review of the product’s registration through an administrative law hearing.
According to a company release, Bayer believes EPA is exaggerating the environmental risk of the product and “would deny farmers access to a critical pest management tool.” Flubendiamide is approved for use on more than 200 crops, including corn, soybeans, cotton, grapes, tree nuts, pome fruit and stone fruit.
Bayer strongly disagrees with the EPA’s methodology, which is based on theoretical models and assumptions that exaggerate risk. Years of water monitoring studies have shown residues of flubendiamide and its metabolite are well within safe levels established for aquatic invertebrates.
“We are disappointed the EPA places so much trust on computer modeling and predictive capabilities when real-world monitoring shows no evidence of concern after seven years of safe use,” said Dr. Peter Coody, Bayer’s Vice President of Environmental Safety.
While under review, farmers and retailers can continue to buy, sell and use the product in their operations.