The Environmental Protection Agency has granted an exemption to the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to permit the sale of the insecticide Dinotefuran for limited agricultural use on apples and peaches, according to a statement released from Rep. Frank Wolf’s (R-VA-10) office today.
The congressman is part of a coalition of House of Representatives members that has been pressing the EPA and the U.S. Department of Agriculture to find a means of combating the brown marmorated stink bug. After having talked with a number of local farmers and growers, Wolf became convinced a permanent solution was needed to avert potentially devastating economic injury to crop producers.
In recent years, the invasive Asian pest has increased its range across the country, now present in more than 30 states, with ensuing damage to commercial crops, notably to apples and peaches. The stink bug has no natural predator in this country, although a wasp, which is used to control it in China and other Asian countries, is currently being studied at the University of Delaware.
Field research has shown some success in combating the bug through the use of Dinotefuran, Virginia Tech entomologist and researcher Christopher Bergh said during a forum in Purcellville hosted by Wolf several months ago. There he described efforts to get the toxin approved for limited use. Bergh has been working with VDACS on the Dinotefuran application.
The EPA action came as a result of a request by the Commonwealth of Virginia to allow a temporary exemption for use of the regulated toxin under provisions of Section 18 of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act.
Dinotefuran already is approved for commercial pesticide control for some other agricultural products, including melons and grapes. The EPA’s action clears Dinotefuran to be used by farmers and growers in Virginia and elsewhere in the region for stink bug control on stone and pome fruit, effective Oct. 15.
The EPA also issued guidelines for the use of the product to guard against unintended consequences of the pesticide, including its toxicity to honey bees. State agriculture officials will assess the effectiveness of Dinotefuran in controlling the pest, as well as monitor closely any impacts on the ecosystem, and work closely with the EPA and the U.S. Department of Agriculture to find additional solutions.
Read more at Leesburg Today
Industry’s war on nature: ‘What are the bees telling us?’ Food Freedom, 10 Apr 2011
A Perfect Storm of GMOs, Chemicals and Cancer, Food Freedom, 10 Mar 2011
EPA Factsheet on Dinotefuran