The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Environmental Appeals Board has upheld an earlier EPA decision to cancel registration for Bayer’s insecticide flubendiamide, marketed in the U.S. as Belt, but is allowing sales of existing stocks to growers.
The EAB overruled EPA’s proposed existing stocks determination and will permit distributors and retailers to distribute and sell remaining flubendiamide inventories, and permit growers to continue using product consistent with label use directions.
While Bayer intends to comply with the order, it will fully review the EAB’s decision and evaluate its options going forward.
The July 29 ruling follows an earlier appeal to the EPA’s Administrative Law Judge, who ruled in favor of the Agency after excluding any documentary evidence and testimony regarding the scientific issues raised by EPA’s actions on flubendiamide.
“Bayer maintains the EPA’s actions on flubendiamide are unlawful and inconsistent with sound regulatory risk assessment practices. 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,” said Dana Sargent, Bayer’s vice president of regulatory affairs.
“The ruling was narrowly focused on process issues around the registration. It is notable that it did not weigh in on the lawfulness of EPA’s cancellation nor did it consider the fundamental science underpinning Bayer’s argument,” Sargent said in a statement.
Crop Life America, Agriculture Retailers Association, American Soybean Association and other ag groups publically expressed the need and their desire for EPA to use sound science during its regulatory process.