Seed World

EPA Unlikely to Approve New Outdoor Neonic Uses

As part of what it says is an ongoing effort to protect pollinators, the United States Environmental Protection Agency has sent letters to registrants of neonicotinoid pesticides with outdoor uses informing them that the EPA will likely not be in a position to approve most applications for new uses of these chemicals until new bee data have been submitted and pollinator risk assessments are complete.
The letters reiterate that the EPA has required new bee safety studies for its ongoing registration review process for neonicotinoid pesticides, and that the agency must complete its new pollinator risk assessments before it will likely be able to make regulatory decisions on imidacloprid, clothianidin, thiamethoxam and dinotefuran that would expand the current uses of these pesticides. Affected neonicotinoid actions include new uses (including crop group expansion requests); addition of new use patterns, such as aerial application; experimental use permits; and new special local needs registrations.
According to the EPA, this is an interim position. However, if a significant new pest issue should arise that might be uniquely addressed by one of these chemicals, the agency is prepared to consider whether an emergency use under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (known as FIFRA) section 18 might be appropriate. Due to the localized nature of many emergency pest management programs, it might be possible to develop mitigation or adjust the use pattern in a manner that would minimize exposure to bees. In the event that an emergency use is requested, the agency plans to assess such requests by relying on available information and risk mitigation strategies.
More information on EPA’s efforts to protect pollinators is available at