On Tuesday, Federal regulators said they would ban a widely used pesticide that farmers in California used on crops such as alfalfa and almonds, saying the pesticide imperils aquatic insects, which are a food source for fish.
On Tuesday, officials from the Environmental Protection Agency filed an intent for the cancellation of registration of all products that contain flubendiamide, which is most commonly found in Belt. The chemical can also be found in products manufactured by Nichino America.
The canceling of the registration prohibits any more sales of the products that include that particular ingredient.
The EPA announced that it found the compound would break down into a chemical that is more toxic that has been found to be harmful to insects, which are important to the aquatic food chain.
California growers have been using the chemical for 7 years and in 2013 applied more than 42.500 pounds to over 521,100 acres.
Over one third of that amount was used on almonds or 14,690 pounds on over 125,550 acres according to data released by the state. Growers also applied over 6,000 pounds to 91,828 acres with alfalfa and more than 3,680 pounds on 78,350 acres of tomatoes, which are used in tomato paste as well as other products.
Other crops that used over 1,000 pounds of the pesticides with that chemical included walnuts, sunflowers, corn, table grapes, wine grapes, cotton and pistachios, said the department.
A Bayer spokesperson was not available to make a comment on Tuesday.
Bayer in February refused an EPA request to cancel on a voluntary basis the use of its product, saying it disagreed strongly with the agency’s methods used in studying the effects of the chemical.
The California Almond Board announced that it hopes the EPA and Bayer would find a process that was science-based and fair to assess the safety of the chemical.
Environmental organizations praised the decision of the EPA even while warning that many different chemical are given conditional approvals prior to the safety of them being vetted completely.