Chlorpyrifos Food Tolerance Cancellation Rapidly Approaching

On February 28, 2022, the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) food tolerances for chlorpyrifos are set to expire. This means growers will not be allowed to apply chlorpyrifos to any food crop after this date. Chlorpyrifos is an organophosphate used to manage insects in a number of fruit and vegetable crops. It has been on the market since the 1960s under trade names such as Lorsban, Dursban, Eraser, Govern, Hatchet, Whirlwind, and numerous others.

Chlorpyrifos products have been helpful in managing tough-to-kill insects in fruit and vegetable crops since the 1960s. Due to health concerns, its food crop uses are coming to an end.

Corteva ceased production of chlorpyrifos products in 2020, though it is still available from numerous other manufacturers. Since the EPA is revoking the food tolerances but not actually canceling chlorpyrifos, it will still be available for a limited number of uses, such as Christmas tree and sod production.

A summary of the EPA’s ruling can be found here.

Answers to frequently asked questions about the ruling can be found here.

EPA Revokes Chlorpyrifos Tolerances

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a ruling in August to revoke all tolerances for chlorpyrifos, the active ingredient in Lorsban, following a lengthy review and legal battle.

The summary of the ruling states, “On April 29, 2021, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ordered EPA to issue a final rule concerning the chlorpyrifos tolerances by August 20, 2021. Based on the currently available data and taking into consideration the currently registered uses for chlorpyrifos, EPA is unable to conclude that the risk from aggregate exposure from the use of chlorpyrifos meets the safety standard of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA). Accordingly, EPA is revoking all tolerances for chlorpyrifos.”

Chloripyrifos has been used to manage insect pests in fruit and vegetable crops since the 1960s. This ruling is bringing its use to an end. According to the ruling, “This final rule is effective October 29, 2021. The tolerances for all commodities expire on February 28, 2022.”

We are still learning how this will affect the fruit and vegetable industry, but as of right now it appears growers will be able to use existing stock through the 2021 season.