>>SPANN – THE ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY ANNOUNCED LAST WEEK ITS CANCELLING A PESTICIDE USED IN MISSISSIPPI, OTHER STATES AND EUROPE.>>FORD – LEIGHTON… THE ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY INTENDS TO CANCEL ALL USES OF THE PESTICIDE FLU–BENN–DA–MIDE, CLAIMING IT POSES A HEALTH RISK TO AQUATIC INSECTS. ITS USED ON MORE THAN 200-CROPS IN THE U.S. INCLUDING SOYBEANS IN MISSISSIPPI.>>>>TAKE PKG>>REPORTER: MIKE PEARSON, MARKET TO MARKET. THE U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY TOOK STEPS TO WITHDRAW THE INSECTICIDE FLUBENDIAMIDE, SOLD BY BAYER CROPSCIENCE AND NICHINO AMERICA. IN LATE JANUARY, THE EPA ASKED THE COMPANIES TO VOLUNTARILY STOP SELLING FLUBENDIAMIDE- CONTAINING INSECTICIDES. AGENCY OFFICIALS SAID THE INSECTICIDE IS MORE TOXIC IN WATER HABITATS AND APPEARED TO HARM THE LARVAE OF THE HARLEQUIN FLY. BAYER SELLS THE PRODUCT UNDER THE BRAND NAME BELT, WHICH IS APPROVED FOR USE ON MORE THAN 200 VARIETIES OF VEGETABLES, NUTS AND ROW CROPS. GERMANY-BASED BAYER CROPSCIENCE AND JAPAN-BASED NICHINO AMERICA, WHICH USES THE BRAND NAMES VETICA AND TOURISMO, REFUSED TO VOLUNTARILY SET THE CHEMICAL ASIDE. BAYER OFFICIALS SAID EPA RELIED TOO MUCH ON COMPUTER MODELS RATHER THAN BAYERS REAL-WORLD TESTS. COMPANY OFFICIALS ALSO SAID THE PONDS USED FOR TESTING MAY HAVE BEEN HOLDING DECADES-WORTH OF FIELD RUNOFF, WHICH MIGHT AMPLIFY THE HARLEQUIN FLYS APPARENT DIFFICULTY IN EMERGING FROM THE LARVAL STAGE. IN 2008, BAYER AND NICHINO WERE GIVEN THE GREEN LIGHT TO USE FLUBENDIAMIDE IN THEIR PRODUCT LINES. THE INSECTICIDE KILLS THE LARVAE OF BUTTERFLIES AND MOTHS THAT CAN HARM CROPS. BAYER ESTIMATES THAT BELT IS USED ON 2 TO 2.5 MILLION U.S. ACRES ANNUALLY. THESE INCLUDE NUTS AND VEGETABLES IN CALIFORNIA, AND TOBACCO AND SOYBEANS IN SOUTHERN STATES LIKE GEORGIA, MISSISSIPPI, LOUISIANA AND NORTH CAROLINA. NO HUMAN HEALTH CONCERNS HAVE BEEN IDENTIFIED, BUT STREAM AND RIVER TESTS FOUND EVIDENCE OF THE INSECTICIDE IN 14 STATES. OFFICIALS WITH BAYER SENT A LETTER TO THE EPA STATING THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENTS MOVE DENIES BOTH COMPANIES THEIR DUE PROCESS RIGHTS. THEY ARE SEEKING AN ADMINISTRATIVE HEARING TO FIGHT THE EPAS PLAN, SAYING: “REMOVAL OF THIS IMPORTANT TOOL WILL HAVE NEGATIVE IMPACTS ON GROWERS, THE NATIONS FOOD SUPPLY, AND THE ENVIRONMENT.>>FORD – THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT SAYS SALES AND USE OF FLU–BENN–DA–MIDE PRODUCTS CAN CONTINUE UNTIL THE WITHDRAWAL PROCESS IS FINALIZED.>>>FF- GREEN