The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) denied AgLogic Chemical LLC’s state pesticide registration application for the pesticide aldicarb on citrus crops in the state of Florida.
Aldicarb is an N-methyl carbamate insecticide primarily used as a nematicide. Responsible for the worst known outbreak of pesticide poisoning in North America, aldicarb is one of 28 active pesticide ingredients deemed extremely hazardous by the World Health Organization. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), aldicarb can cause weakness, blurred vision, headache, nausea, tearing, sweating and tremors, and high doses can cause death by paralyzing the respiratory system.
In 2010, the EPA phased out aldicarb’s use in the United States under an agreement with the pesticide’s manufacturer, with citrus and potatoes phased out first.
On Jan. 12 of this year, the EPA granted approval for aldicarb’s use in Florida on up to 100,000 acres of oranges and grapefruit for three years through 2023. The product was to be used as a nematicide to combat the invasive pest Asian citrus psyllid, which transmits the citrus greening bacterial pathogen. This approval was challenged in a lawsuit filed by the Center for Biological Diversity, Farmworker Association of Florida, and Environmental Working Group. Pesticides must be registered with the state of Florida through FDACS and must receive approval by the department for use in Florida.
On April 19, the EPA acknowledged in its filing with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit that “it did not make an Endangered Species Act (ESA) effects determination prior to conditionally approving the use of aldicarb on oranges and grapefruit in Florida.” Therefore, the department has determined that the registrant’s application does not meet the requirements of current state and federal law for the following reasons:
- The registrant’s application does not satisfy the substantive and procedural requirements set forth in Section 7(a)(2) of the Endangered Species Act, 16 U.S.C. § 1536(a)(2), because no determination was made whether the EPA registration orders may affect protected endangered and threatened species nor was a complete consultation conducted prior to the issuance of the final order granting the conditional registration.
- The registrant’s application does not satisfy the substantive and procedural requirements as set forth in section 487.041(2), Florida Statutes, because the registrant’s application did not comply with federal law requirements.
The applicant will have the opportunity to request an administrative hearing to challenge the department’s determination.
“While there are promising new horizons for fighting citrus greening, like recent breakthroughs at UF/IFAS (University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences) on genetic resistance, aldicarb poses an unacceptable risk to human, animal and environmental health in Florida, is one of the world’s most toxic pesticides, and is banned in more than 100 countries.” said Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried. “The registrant’s application does not meet the requirements of state law, and we must therefore deny the registration of aldicarb for use in the state of Florida. I look forward to working with our citrus growers, the EPA and all partners to continue supporting Florida citrus in an environmentally conscious way.”
Source: Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services