Attack of the Killer Weeds

Pesticide Hypocrisy on Capitol Hill

December 14, 1999

Attack of the Killer Weeds: Abuses

Abuses of the Section 18 Program

Section 18 of the Federal Insecticide Fungicide and Rodenticide Act is designed to get pesticides with incomplete health and safety reviews into the hands of farmers faced with real emergencies that would threaten the viability of their crops. Many of the so-called "emergencies", however, are highly suspect. None are more dubious than the repeated "emergency" use of the same pesticide on the same crop year after year. Repeated emergencies suggest that the pest infestation is routine, and not an unexpected emergency event. If pesticide uses are repeatedly needed, their risks should be fully evaluated under the children’s health provisions of FQPA.

Many "emergencies" drag on for years.

Crop State Pesticide Number of times EPA granted the exemption in the last 7 years
Apple Michigan Oxytetracycline 7
Apple Washington Oxytetracycline 7
Asparagus Michigan Chlorothalonil 7
Cucurbit Group California Bifenthrin 7
Ginseng Wisconsin Mancozeb 7
Wild Rice Minnesota 2,4-D 7
Bean, Snap Arkansas Fomesafen 6
Bean, Snap New York Fomesafen 6
Citrus Group Florida Imidacloprid 6
Grass (Seed) Oregon Oxyfluorfen 6
Grass, Bermuda Alabama Norflurazon 6
Grass, Bermuda Texas Norflurazon 6
Raspberry Oregon Bifenthrin 6
Spinach Maryland Metolachlor 6
Spinach Oklahoma Metolachlor 6
Spinach Texas Metolachlor 6
Spinach Wisconsin Metolachlor 6
Strawberry California Myclobutanil 6
Tomato California Myclobutanil 6
Walnut California Maneb 6
Watermelon Maryland Clomazone 6
Watermelon Virginia Clomazone 6

Source: Environmental Working Group. Compiled from U.S. EPA data.