Bayer's Belt (Flubendiamide) insecticide, which was given conditional approval by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 2008, has seen its registration pulled.
Though labeled for use in almonds, pistachios, walnuts and various vegetable crops in 49 states, it wasn't used much. To have full registration, the EPA had told Bayer to conduct studies showing that the product did not exceed certain toxicity levels in water ways. Bayer says it did, using real-world data, and contend the EPA instead used computer models to determine it was too toxic for some Benthic invertebrates, and therefore could be harmful to fish. It has no realistic toxicity in humans, in either acute or chronic exposure.
The EPA asked Bayer CropScience to pull the registration and the company declined, so the government agency filed a notice of intent to cancel it. The company says they did not get a fair hearing. EPA is allowing existing stocks to be used, which is a puzzle, notes Todd Fitchette at Western Farm Press. They approved it but have now unapproved it because it is too toxic, but it is not so toxic it can't be used.