USEPA Issues Two Press Releases On Pesticide Use Concerning Acephate and Dicamba


USEPA Issues Two Press Releases On Pesticide Use Concerning Acephate and Dicamba

The United States Environmental Protection Agency has issued two news releases opening comment periods on situations impacting the Kansas crop protection industry including canceling all but one use of the pesticide Acephate and Bayer CropScience’s new product containing dicamba.

EPA Proposes to Cancel All but One Use of Pesticide Acephate to Protect Human Health

The EPA is releasing a proposed interim decision (PID) to cancel all but one use of the pesticide acephate.

This decision is based on EPA’s updated human health draft risk assessment (HH DRA) and drinking water assessment (DWA) that were released last year, which showed significant dietary risks from drinking water for currently registered uses of acephate. EPA also identified worker, homeowner, and ecological risks that would be mitigated by the proposed cancellations.

Acephate is an organophosphate (OP) pesticide that is registered for both agricultural uses, such as cotton and soybean, and non-agricultural uses, such as tree injections for forestry and ant mound treatment around homes. Acephate interacts with the nervous system by inhibiting the acetylcholinesterase (AChE) enzyme. This process makes the pesticide effective against insects, but it can also occur in mammals, including humans, depending on the level of acephate exposure. At high levels of OP exposures, AChE inhibition can lead to neurological effects such as tremors, fatigue, and nausea. AChE inhibition has been found to be the most sensitive human health effect for evaluating exposures to acephate.

The Agency is proposing to maintain the use of acephate for tree injection because it does not contribute to drinking water exposure, there are no risks for workers, and, with label changes, would not pose risks to the environment. Tree injections allow the pesticide to move throughout the tree to control pests. This use of acephate is only allowed for use on trees that do not produce food for human consumption.

Acephate is proceeding through EPA’s standard registration review process. The revised HH DRA and DWA released in August 2023 and the PID released today are open for public comment for 60 days. Commenters may propose alternative mitigation for the Agency’s consideration for some or all uses of acephate, and the Agency will respond to these comments in the Interim Decision.

If EPA determines that alternative mitigation options that are voluntarily agreed to by the registrant can address the identified risks to satisfy the standard for continued registration of the pesticide, this could allow EPA to put protections in place faster than the statutorily required process for involuntary cancellation that can take up to five years.

Acephate is one of 18 OPs currently in registration review, with many scheduled to have interim decisions between 2024-2026.


EPA Opens Required Public Comment Period for Proposed Dicamba Herbicide from Bayer CropScience

EPA has received an application from Bayer CropScience LP for a new product containing the currently registered active ingredient dicamba. The proposed product includes use of dicamba on dicamba-tolerant soybeans and cotton. Because the application involves a new use pattern for dicamba, the Agency is required to provide a 30-day public comment period on the registration applications consistent with FIFRA 3(c)(4). EPA is also seeking comment on the associated draft labeling that was submitted by Bayer, which is available in the docket.

The proposed labels would allow application to dicamba-tolerant soybeans made before, during, or immediately after planting until emergence of the seedling, but no later than June 12 of each year. Application to dicamba-tolerant cotton in this proposal would be allowed before, during, immediately after planting, or ‘over the top’ of the cotton plant, but no later than July 30 of each year. Please review Bayer’s proposed label for additional details.

Like all opportunities for public comment associated with notices of receipt of applications, this action should not be interpreted as a registrant proposal that has been endorsed for future approval by EPA. Should EPA determine that this or any other registrant-submitted application including over-the-top dicamba meets the standard for registration of a new use under FIFRA, EPA will provide a separate opportunity for public comment on the proposed decision at a future time.

To read more about the registration application proposed by Bayer and submit a comment, see docket EPA-HQ-OPP-2024-0154 on The public comment period will close 30 days after the publication date in the Federal Register. EPA will review public comments as part of the proposed application process and incorporate any feedback into the registration decision.