Valent U.S.A. Corporation has reached an understanding with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that ensures Orthene® products (acephate insecticide) will continue to be available to homeowners, farmers and professional users well into the 21st century.

Orthene labeled products have been a mainstay in the pest manager's toolkit since 1974 for control of key pests in tobacco, cotton, peanuts and vegetables, as well as in tree turf and ornamentals.

After an intensive review of Orthene, the EPA has concluded that all agricultural Orthene products are acceptable for continued use. In addition, all Orthene products sold by Valent's Professional Products Group (PPG) will remain available.

However, Valent has agreed to modify Orthene product labeling to withdraw the following in the Professional Products market: 1) Pest Control Operator (PCO) use inside residential buildings, including homes and apartments, and 2) certain residential turf uses. Valent retains the uses of Orthene for golf courses, sod farms and by spot or mound treatment for fire ant and harvester ant control.

It is important to note that Orthene can still be used for all agricultural, nursery and greenhouse uses, as well as for PCO use inside commercial, institutional and industrial buildings (such as restaurants, warehouses, stores, hospitals, hotels, manufacturing plants and ships), and for use on golf courses, sod farms and by spot or mound treatments for fire ant and harvester ant control.

All inventories of Orthene products remain legal to purchase and use according to label directions.

Valent reached its decision to withdraw the indoor residential use and certain turf uses (with the aforementioned exceptions) after a careful analysis of its impact to the customer.

Valent's business in these markets and the expected cost to maintain these uses in the current regulatory environment.

“Valent sincerely regrets any inconvenience this may cause to those customers who have come to rely on Orthene for these uses,” said Valent president and chief operating officer Mike Borel. “The EPA is allowing for an orderly transition to new labels reflecting Valent's use withdrawals.”

This thorough review of Orthene took place as a result of the Food Quality Protection Act (FQPA), enacted by Congress in 1996, which strengthened the EPA's ability to review and regulate existing pesticide products, particularly those used for food production. The active ingredient in Orthene is in the organophosphate class of chemicals, which were among the first to undergo the intensive safety review of all registered pesticides required by the FQPA.

“We fully appreciate the importance of this review and its effect on our Orthene product users, especially given the focused consideration that the new law places on protection of infants and children,” said Brent Solomon, Orthene product manager. “We feel that the EPA conducted a fair and accurate technical assessment of Orthene's safety.”

Valent will release additional information as details become available. Until that time, questions regarding this announcement may be directed to Molly Okeon at 901-523-2000 or via e-mail at mokeon@archermalmo.com.