EPA Vows to Wipe Out Carbofuran Pesticide Residues in Food

The Environmental Protection Agency announced it has revoked regulations that previously permitted small residues of the pesticide carbofuran in food. Carbofuran is a toxic insecticide that does not meet current U.S. food safety standards. EPA said it will eliminate residues of carbofuran in food, including all imports, in a move to protect people, especially children, from dietary risk. The agency vowed it ultimately will remove this pesticide from the market..

EPA is proceeding to cancel the remaining carbofuran registrations, or licenses, which will address risks to pesticide applicators and birds in treated fields. In 2006, EPA identified significant dietary, ecological, and worker risks from the use of carbofuran and concluded that all uses must be cancelled. While FMC Corporation voluntarily withdrew 22 uses of this pesticide, it was insufficient for the agency to conclude that dietary exposures to carbofuran are safe.

The final carbofuran tolerance rule becomes effective in December. EPA said it is encouraging growers to switch to safer pesticides or other environmentally preferable pest control strategies and noted that carbofuran is used on a very small percentage of the U.S. food supply. For more information on carbofuran, visit www.epa.gov/pesticides/reregistration/carbofuran/carbofuran_noic.htm.

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