In March of this year, the EPA stated studies showed the insecticide flubendiamide breaks down into a highly toxic material harmful to species that are part of aquatic food chains. The EPA initiated cancellation of all currently registered flubendiamide products because of BCS/NAI’s [Bayer CropScience] failure to comply with the terms of the registration.
In a response letter later that month, Bayer rejected the EPA’s request to submit a voluntary cancellation and argued the agency violated due process by attempting to bypass required statutory proceedings. They further argued that continued registration of flubendiamide poses no unreasonable adverse effects on the environment. Shortly thereafter, Bayer announced its intent to protect the pesticide based on a “fundamental disagreement with EPA over science and process surrounding the registration of flubendiamide and Belt.”
However, yesterday, the company announced it will no longer pursue its legal options after the Environmental Appeals Board (EAB) issued its final ruling. Charlotte Sanson, a Bayer spokesperson, stated on the company’s website that following the EAB decision to cancel all flubendiamide registrations, “we were faced with three options: 1) appealing to a Federal Appeals Court; 2) re-applying for a new, full registration for flubendiamide; or 3) accepting the gains from the EAB ruling. While the first two options may have given us an opportunity to be heard on the science, that opportunity was far from certain.”
Sanson concluded that, “We had hoped that the process . . . would focus on the science. Unfortunately, it did not and the final ruling focused on process and procedure arguments.”
Despite the EAB ruling, Sanson noted the company made progress in other areas. Specifically, The EAB “did not rule on the issue of whether the ‘voluntary’ cancellation condition was lawful, leaving it an open question.” Furthermore, registrants “now have a clearly defined path to challenge conditions they do not agree with.”