Mar. 11, 2019
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is seeking public comment
on a petition from the Center for Food Safety (CFS) requesting that EPA either initiate a rulemaking or issue a formal Agency interpretation for planted seeds treated with systemic insecticides.
The position taken in the petition is that the Agency has improperly applied the treated article exemption in exempting treated seed from additional registration and labeling requirements under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). If EPA were to side with the petitioners, it could create a substantial burden for farmers and seed treaters without a corresponding benefit to the environment. Applying the treated article exemption to treated seed is a longstanding approach by EPA to prevent duplicative regulation.
ARA urges members who have invested in seed treatment operations and services consider submitting comments to EPA.
CFS, along with a group of farmers and bee keepers, previously sued EPA (Anderson vs. EPA) in an attempt to require the agency to regulate seed treated with pesticides as if the seed were pesticides themselves.
A federal court in California in late 2016 ruled in favor of EPA finding that the 2013 Bee Guidance document relied on by CFS was neither an “agency action” or “final under the Administrative Procedures Act and therefore not reviewable by a court. ARA was part of an industry coalition that filed as intervenors on behalf of EPA.