We were advised by the National Cotton Council that, despite NCC having worked actively with FMC over the past decade in support of the use of carbofuran in cotton, it has recently been announced that food tolerances for the insecticide carbofuran (Furadan) are being revoked effective December 31st.

Craig Brown, NCC Vice President Producer Affairs, said in an email, "On October 30, the U.S. EPA announced that it has denied requests from FMC Corp. and grower associations for a hearing on the agency's rule revoking food tolerances for the insecticide carbofuran (Furadan). EPA has concluded that the regulatory standard for holding an evidentiary hearing has not been met. The agency's explanation about why a hearing is not warranted, and the reasons for denying the objections are available at: http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/reregistration/carbofuran/prepublication-denial-order.pdf"

He continued, "The agency insists that aggregate exposure to residues of carbofuran under EPA-approved tolerances does not meet the safety standard of Section 408(b)(2) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (89 DEN A-1, 5/12/09) and will be moving forward to implement its May 2009 final rule revoking all tolerances for carbofuran."

Brown concluded, "Since the tolerances are being revoked, cotton farmers should not apply carbofuran to their crops after December 31, 2009. Use of carbofuran after this date could result in residues which would adulterate cottonseed products, which would be subject to enforcement by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. FMC had submitted a request for a foliar label use for cotton and, at the same time, submitted a cancellation request for the only labeled use for cotton - in-furrow application. EPA accepted the cancellation request but never ruled on the foliar request. Therefore, there are currently no labeled uses for cotton."

FMC has announced that it plans to challenge this decision to deny an administrative hearing and will take legal action in U.S. federal court.