The Environmental Protection Agency has issued an interim re-registration eligibility decision or IRED for Lorsban that will allow farmers to continue using the insecticide in the manner in which they have become accustomed.

Dow AgroSciences LLC, the product registrant, said the IRED signed by EPA in mid-November, represents clearing a major regulatory hurdle in a 17-year review process that included some changes in labeling along the way. Under federal law, all pesticides registered prior to 1984 must undergo re-registration, including an extensive healthy and safety review process.

“Under this new U.S. re-registration action, our Lorsban business remains intact with all of its agricultural uses maintained,” said Stan Howell, Dow AgroSciences vice president for crop insecticides.

“It's been a long and arduous process,” Howell said, “but our goal is in sight, and despite some changes in uses made along the way, Lorsban insecticides will continue to be one of the most widely used and thoroughly trusted pest control products in the world.”

A major focus of the IRED is a “label improvement proposal,” Howell said, “that reflects how Lorsban products are actually used in today's agriculture.

“These changes represent a significant benefit for end-users such as farmers and commercial applicators,” Howell added, “since Lorsban products are used on a wide number of crops with diverse methods of application.”

The new labeling also introduces buffer zones and re-treatment intervals for added environmental protection, and contains provisions to further reduce potential exposures to agricultural workers.

Howell said EPA will be conducting one last risk assessment for the entire family of organophosphate insecticides, a group of products which includes chlorpyrifos. However, through these and previous label modifications, Lorsban products have already met regulatory provisions for reducing potential exposure, and we expect remaining uses of the product to be well positioned for the final review.”