Revised Label Language for Pesticide Products in Water Soluble Packaging to Protect Handlers

The Environmental Protection Agency has sent a letter to registrants of products with water soluble packaging (WSP) with revised instructions to be placed on the label of those products. When used properly, WSP can significantly reduce handler exposure during the mixing and loading of pesticides, qualifying it as a closed mixing/loading system under the Agricultural Worker Protection Standard. However, some unintended practices in the field are actually increasing the risks, negating the intention of the technology.

EPA worked with state officials and a task force of pesticide registrants to examine the issue and develop the improved language in order to eliminate misuse and protect handlers. Continue reading

EPA Seeks Beta Testers for Pesticide Mobile Application for Pesticide Label Matching

Every pesticide must have labeling that is approved by EPA before it can be sold or distributed. A pesticide is misbranded under FIFRA if its labeling is false or misleading, which can lead to unsafe and ineffective use of the product. State governments generally have the authority to enforce these labeling requirements.

EPA is working on a mobile application that will dramatically save state government inspectors’ time and increase efficiency, allowing for more labels to be inspected and improving compliance rates over time. As part of this effort, EPA is looking for state and federal officials to beta test the Pesticide Label Matcher (PLM) mobile application. EPA is particularly interested in federal and state officials who routinely go into the field and inspect pesticide products, as well as pesticide registrants.   Continue reading

EPA Clarifies Placement of Required First Aid Statements on Pesticide Product Labels

The Environmental Protection Agency is clarifying where first aid statements must be placed on pesticide product labels. First aid statements provide important information concerning appropriate first aid in the event of accidental exposure to a pesticide.

First aid statements must be immediately visible on a pesticide product when the product is sold or distributed. It should not require opening a booklet or other manipulation of the label to read the first aid statement. Continue reading

Updated Version of Pesticide Label Review Manual Chapter 1 Now Available

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has updated the Pesticide Label Review Manual (LRM)’s Chapter 1. This manual began as a guide for EPA label reviewers, and now it serves as a tool to assist EPA’s stakeholders in understanding the pesticide labeling process. The LRM is also useful in understanding approaches for how labels should generally be drafted.

Chapter 1 changes include reformatted text, style and layout to improve readability and accessibility. This update is the first in a series of rolling chapter updates to be announced by EPA as they are completed by the Label Review Manual Subcommittee over the coming years.

Please use the Pesticide Labeling Questions & Answers – Form to submit questions or comments on the LRM.

EPA seeks comment on SmartLabel Program

The Environmental Protection Agency is announcing the second phase of the SmartLabel Pilot, an initiative to develop an electronic system for pesticide labels.  The SmartLabel system will allow pesticide manufacturers to develop and submit pesticide labels to EPA for review in an electronic format instead of as paper or PDF files.

SmartLabel will make the label review process more efficient by creating a standard template for the submission of pesticide label content to EPA, allowing for quicker reviews and easier comparisons to previous label versions. Additionally, SmartLabel will allow the agency to set up a searchable database of standardized label use data for all products, which can be used in support of risk assessments and registration decisions.  EPA is working with 9 pesticide manufacturers who volunteered for the SmartLabel pilot in December 2014.

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Read the ENTIRE label when applying a pesticide

The EPA notified OPMP this morning regarding a large bumble bee kill in Oregon involving a landscaper using a pesticide to control aphids in linden trees at a Target parking lot.  EPA has been notified that as of last night (8pm ET), the State of Oregon has issued a 180-day “don’t use” moratorium on the product.  The investigation is ongoing. The label on the pesticide used indicated that the product should not be applied during the day on trees in full bloom, specifically because of its effects on pollinators.

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IPM and Pesticides: the elephant in the room

With some of the articles I’ve seen in the agricultural media so far this week on organic, GMO and conventional farming, I thought it was time to address one of the major elephants in the room when it comes to public perception of integrated pest management: the fact that IPM allows the use of pesticides.

Because pesticides are only one tool in the IPM toolbox, few of the articles I read about IPM cover them directly. In IPM, the use of pesticides is, or at least should be, directly related to the action threshold. For most pests of agricultural products, the threshold is a published number that lets the farmer know how many pests that should be present before any treatment begins. For a refresher on the steps for IPM, see my blog post from October on the different farming practices.

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