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Carbofuran Pesticide Residues in Food Revoked

Release Date: 05/11/2009
Contact Information: (News media only) Dale Kemery, 202-564-4355 / 7839 / kemery.dale@epa.gov (All other inquiries) Richard Keigwin, 703-308-8000 / keigwin.richard@epa.gov

(Washington, DC – May 11, 2009) The Environmental Protection Agency has revoked regulations that permitted small residues of the pesticide carbofuran in food. Carbofuran is a toxic insecticide that does not meet current U.S. food safety standards. EPA’s action will eliminate residues of carbofuran in food, including all imports, in a move to protect people, especially children, from dietary risk. Ultimately, EPA will remove this pesticide from the market.

EPA is proceeding to cancel the remaining carbofuran registrations, or licenses, which will address risks to pesticide applicators and birds in treated fields. In 2006, EPA identified significant dietary, ecological and worker risks from the use of carbofuran and concluded that all uses must be cancelled. While FMC Corporation voluntarily withdrew 22 uses of this pesticide, it was insufficient for the agency to conclude that dietary exposures to carbofuran are safe.

The final carbofuran tolerance rule becomes effective in December. EPA is encouraging growers to switch to safer pesticides or other environmentally preferable pest control strategies.

Carbofuran is used on a very small percentage of the U.S. food supply and EPA’s action is focused on promoting greater food safety. The U.S. has a safe and abundant food supply. Everyone should continue to eat a variety of foods, as recommended by the federal government and nutrition experts.

More information on carbofuran:
http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/reregistration/carbofuran/carbofuran_noic.htm