Friday, February 5, 2016

Bayer Contests EPA’s Decision on Valuable Insecticide for Farmers

Company seeks to stop Agency’s proposed cancellation of flubendiamide, which exaggerates risk and would deny farmers a valuable tool in battling damaging insects.
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RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. (Feb. 5, 2016)Crop Science, a division of Bayer, announced today it has refused a request by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to voluntarily cancel the uses of flubendiamide in the United States and instead will seek a review of the product’s registration in an administrative law hearing. 

The company believes the methods used by the EPA exaggerate environmental risk and would deny farmers access to a critical pest management tool.  Sold in the U.S. by Bayer under the trade name Belt®, flubendiamide is approved for use on more than 200 crops because of its strong pest performance, favorable environmental and toxicological profile, and excellent fit in integrated pest management (IPM) programs.  

The EPA claims uses of flubendiamide may harm benthic organisms that live in the sediment of waters near agricultural fields, without any evidence of harm in more than seven years of commercial use.  Bayer strongly disagrees with the EPA’s methodology, which is based on theoretical models and assumptions that exaggerate risk.  Years of water monitoring studies have shown residues of flubendiamide and its metabolite are well within safe levels established for aquatic invertebrates. 

“We are disappointed the EPA places so much trust on computer modeling and predictive capabilities when real-world monitoring shows no evidence of concern after seven years of safe use,” said Dr. Peter Coody, Bayer’s Vice President of Environmental Safety. 

“This would be a significant loss for growers of pistachios,” said Richard Matoian, executive director of American Pistachio Growers. “The loss of this chemistry would make it more difficult than ever to control pests like the navel orange worm and the peach twig borer which are now significantly impacting pistachio production in California. What’s ironic and unfortunate is this would force tree nut growers to resort to older, less effective, but more potentially disruptive chemistries to manage these same pests. Growers need more innovative tools to help them manage destructive pests to produce healthy and abundant crops, not less.”

Bayer rejected the EPA’s request to voluntarily cancel the flubendiamide registration and anticipates a hearing in front of EPA’s independent Office of Administrative Law Judges for a review.

“Denying a product’s registration and ignoring its safe use history based on unrealistic theoretical calculations calls into question the EPA’s commitment to innovation and sustainable agriculture” said Dana Sargent, Bayer’s Vice President of Regulatory Affairs. 

While under review, farmers and retailers can continue to buy, sell and use the product in their operations.

Bayer is committed to bringing new technology and solutions for agriculture and non-agricultural uses. For questions concerning the availability and use of products, contact a local Bayer representative, or visit Crop Science, a division of Bayer, online at CropScience.Bayer.us.

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Bayer: Science For a Better Life
Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the Life Science fields of health care and agriculture. Its products and services are designed to benefit people and improve their quality of life. At the same time, the Group aims to create value through innovation, growth and high earning power. Bayer is committed to the principles of sustainable development and to its social and ethical responsibilities as a corporate citizen. In fiscal 2014, the Group employed around 119,000 people and had sales of EUR 42.2 billion. Capital expenditures amounted to EUR 2.5 billion, R&D expenses to EUR 3.6 billion. These figures include those for the high-tech polymers business, which was floated on the stock market as an independent company named Covestro on October 6, 2015. For more information, go to www.bayer.com.

Contact:
Bayer Media Hotline, 1-862-404-5118, or

Jeffrey Donald
Bayer
Tel: (919) 549-5395
Email: jeffrey.donald@bayer.com

Jack Boyne
Porter Novelli
Tel: (919) 830-3641
Email: jack.boyne@porternovelli.com

Find more information at CropScience.Bayer.us.


Forward-Looking Statements
This release may contain forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by Bayer management. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to material differences between the actual future results, financial situation, development or performance of the company and the estimates given here. These factors include those discussed in Bayer’s public reports which are available on the Bayer website at www.bayer.com. The company assumes no liability whatsoever to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.

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