EPA Urged to Stop Use of Misbranded “Minimum Risk” Pesticides, Step Up Oversight and Enforcement

View the full article from Beyond Pesticides News Blog

“Health and environmental organizations are urging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and state pesticide regulators to immediately stop the use and sale of dangerous and misbranded Eco-MIGHT and W.O.W. (Whack Out Weeds!) products, falsely labeled as 25(b) minimum risk. Recent laboratory testing by the state of California found the presence of hazardous pesticides, including glyphosate, bifenthrin, permethrin, cypermethrin, and carbaryl in these products. “From organic farmers to municipal landscapers and home gardeners, consumers employing minimum risk products are working intentionally to avoid the dangers associated with toxic pesticide exposure,” said Jay Feldman, executive director of Beyond Pesticides. “It is critical that EPA and state regulators coordinate to ensure the integrity of the minimum risk program.”

While this finding does damage the minimum risk designation, it speaks to a broader problem of EPA failing to provide oversight to manufacturers over pesticide contamination and adulteration. Late last year, independent testing by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) found that mosquito pesticides were being tainted with highly hazardous PFAS (per and polyfluorinated alykyl substances) ‘forever chemicals.’ Although the state of Massachusetts stopped using the initially tested product, Anvil 10+10, PEER determined that localities in at least 25 states have used Anvil 10+10 as part of their mosquito spray program. While EPA continues to look into the problem, further testing has shown the issue to be much more widespread. In Maryland, testing from PEER and Maryland Pesticide Education Network found significant levels of PFAS in Permanone 30-30, a mosquito adulticide regularly used by the Maryland Department of Agriculture in their mosquito control program.”