NPC Calls on EPA to Reject Petition to Regulate Pesticide-Treated Seeds

As EPA approaches a September 30 deadline to decide whether to act on a petition seeking a rulemaking or a formal agency interpretation for pesticidal seed treatments, NPC and other U.S. ag groups this week called on the agency to deny the petition.

For years treated seeds have been exempted from regulation as a pesticide as part of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). The deadline is the result of a lawsuit filed by the Center for Food Safety and the Pesticide Action Network North America last December claiming the agency has not responded to a 2017 petition to regulate treated seed.

“There is no benefit to be gained by imposing duplicative layers of regulation on already-regulated products, as would occur should the petition be granted,” the group wrote. “Conversely, there is real, significant harm that will occur to U.S. agricultural production; our food, fuel, and fiber supplies; the environment; and EPA’s regulatory workload should the agency grant this ill-conceived petition.”

The letter continues, “As the agency knows, pesticidal seed treatments are already subject to robust regulation by EPA under FIFRA. Under the agency’s treated article exemption, a treated article – in this case, the seed itself – can be exempt from regulation under FIFRA if the article contains or is treated with a pesticide; the pesticide is intended to protect the article itself; and the pesticide is registered for this use. Agricultural seed treatments satisfy all of these criteria.”

The full letter is available here.