Appeals board sides with EPA, cancels Belt insecticide registration

Belt insecticideAn Environmental Protection Agency appeals board has upheld the agency’s decision to cancel registration of Belt insecticide from Bayer CropScience, but it will let growers use existing stocks.

Belt, which contains the active ingredient flubendiamide, is labeled to control lepidopteran (order of butterflies and moths) pests on a wide array of crops, including soybeans, cotton and corn.

In making the decision, the board overturned the EPA’s earlier ruling that would have prohibited distributors and retailers from moving existing inventory and growers from continuing to use existing stocks.

Bayer officials disagree with the decision.

“Bayer maintains the EPA’s actions on flubendiamide are unlawful and inconsistent with sound regulatory risk assessment practices,” Dana Sargent, Bayer’s vice president of regulatory affairs, said in a news release. “The science supporting the registration of flubendiamide may be complex, but it is solid, and it’s unfortunate that we were denied the opportunity to argue the scientific merits of our case. You cannot use the regulatory process as a shield to avoid engaging in meaningful dialogue, but that is exactly what the EPA has done.”

Bayer officials say they nonetheless will comply with the ruling.

Growers, retailers and distributors with questions about this issue should contact local Bayer field sales representatives or call 866-992-2937.

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