FMC Corporation Plans Legal Challenge to EPA Decision to Deny Administrative Hearing on Carbofuran

Oct 30, 2009, 16:44 ET from FMC Corporation

PHILADELPHIA, Oct. 30 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- FMC Corporation (NYSE: FMC) today announced the company plans to challenge the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) decision to deny an administrative hearing on the agency's action to revoke all U.S. food tolerances for carbofuran insecticide. The company and a group of U.S. crop commodity associations will take legal action in U.S. federal court.

"EPA's unprecedented attempt to deny any review of its science deprives the registrant and the growers who use carbofuran the right to prove that the product is safe, and represents a bold abuse of power in contradiction of the agency's earlier commitments to transparency and good science," said Dr. Michael Morelli, Director of Global Regulatory Affairs, FMC Agricultural Products Group. "Additionally, EPA's attempt to link carbofuran food residues to symptoms of potential poisoning in children is particularly unwarranted."

FMC believes strongly there is no question that carbofuran meets all safety standards. EPA itself admitted that there are no safety concerns with carbofuran residues in food, or in imported crops. EPA's only alleged concern is with drinking water, but the concerns are based on an incorrect assumption that 100 percent of crops are treated with carbofuran, when in most cases only 1 percent or less is treated. "Without exaggerated assumptions, carbofuran residues are well within safe levels," said Morelli.

FMC contends that current law clearly mandates that growers and registrants be provided a right to a timely and neutral hearing when there are obvious and genuine factual issues between EPA and those parties over safety of a pesticide. EPA has chosen to disregard the legal requirements, said Morelli.

EPA's decision to revoke all food tolerance is confusing to growers and others in the agricultural community as it circumvents the normal re-registration process under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). EPA has not taken action to cancel carbofuran registrations, which continue under FIFRA. Several major grower associations, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and all 50 Secretaries of State Departments of Agriculture have gone on record supporting the continued, but very limited use of carbofuran where there are no alternative products, such as in sunflowers and corn rootworm rescue.

"EPA remains closed-minded about mitigation measures, even though FMC proposals have clearly demonstrated how such mitigation is possible and indeed allow product use to meet the EPA safety standard even under the Agency's worse case assumptions," said Morelli.

FMC Corporation is a diversified chemical company serving agricultural, industrial and consumer markets globally for more than a century with innovative solutions, applications and quality products. The company employs approximately 5,000 people throughout the world. The company operates its businesses in three segments: Agricultural Products, Specialty Chemicals and Industrial Chemicals.

SOURCE FMC Corporation