Two Florida citrus grower associations expressed disappointment over the recent Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ (FDACS) decision to deny the use of the pesticide aldicarb in Florida citrus.
“We are frustrated in the decision as we believe aldicarb will provide a powerful tool in the fight against citrus greening and can be used safely,” said Florida Citrus Mutual (FCM) CEO Mike Sparks. “FCM supports the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s decision to allow its limited use in citrus and we plan to exhaust all avenues to get this product into the hands of growers.”
Citrus greening, also known as HLB, is the most devastating disease in the history of the Florida citrus industry. FCM is the statewide association of citrus growers.
“We are extremely disappointed that FDACS has decided to take this action and disallow the use of a very important tool for growers to employ in their production practices as the citrus industry looks for all available means to combat citrus greening and its vector, the Asian citrus psyllid,” said Ray Royce, executive director of the Highlands County Citrus Growers Association. “Aldicarb is currently being legally and safely utilized for several other agricultural crops here in the state of Florida. The strenuous safeguards, per its U.S. Environmental Protection Agency approval, that would have regulated its use on a limited number of citrus acres would have served to negate any potential impacts to our shared environment. Hopefully, AgLogic Chemical, with assistance from Florida’s agricultural commodity advocates, will continue to pursue the registration and use of this important pesticide.”
In a FDACS notification about the denial, Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried said that aldicarb “poses an unacceptable risk to human, animal and environmental health in Florida.” She added that the registrant’s application “does not meet the requirements of state law.”
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