We have received many questions about Lorsban in the last week. EPA has provided a prepublication version of the final rule which will revoke all food tolerances. Some changes are possible, but not likely.
Upon publication, all food tolerances for chlorpyrifos will be cancelled 6 months later (again, some changes are possible, but I believe are unlikely). So, if this rule is published on September 1, all tolerances will be revoked on March 1. Having tolerance revoked can be quite different than losing a label. Labels will also be addressed, but are not directly addressed in this rule.
What does that mean for use of chlorpyrifos in the next few months?
The prepublication rule is 82 pages. I believe the most relevant information for growers at this time is on page 71 (of the pdf I viewed).
IX. Procedural Matters
The revocations of the tolerances for all commodities will become effective on [INSERT
DATE 6 MONTHS AFTER DATE OF PUBLICATION IN THE Federal Register].
Any commodities listed in this rule treated with the pesticide subject to this rule, and in
the channels of trade following the tolerance revocations, shall be subject to FFDCA section
408(l)(5). Under this section, any residues of these pesticides in or on such food shall not render
the food adulterated so long as it is shown to the satisfaction of the Food and Drug
1. The residue is present as the result of an application or use of the pesticide at a time
and in a manner that was lawful under FIFRA, and
2. The residue does not exceed the level that was authorized at the time of the application
or use to be present on the food under a tolerance or exemption from tolerance that was in effect at the time of the application.
Evidence to show that food was lawfully treated may include records that verify the dates when the pesticide was applied to such food.
Bottomline (I believe) – a registered, legal application of chlorpyrifos prior to the date of tolerance revocation (six months after publication of the rule) should not provide any problem for growers. Use in the next six months should not be a problem UNLESS labels are changed or lost (which I doubt). The day tolerances are revoked, any use (labeled or not) that results in a detectable residue would render your food adulterated.
The last section is the part that is very different than our “normal” loss of a label with existing stock provisions that allows growers to more-or-less stockpile product and use it according to the label on the jug. I anticipate this will not be allowed under provisions of this rule.