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EPA Delays Pyrethrins Decision After NMPF Comments Advocate Use

December 6, 2021

The Environmental Protection Agency in early December decided to delay a decision on the use of pyrethrins in agriculture until at least 2024 after NMPF filed joint comments with other agricultural organizations, including the American Farm Bureau Federation and the National Pork Producers Council, 3 advocating for the continued use of pyrethrins on agriculture operations.

“The pyrethrin + products are fundamentally important to the US livestock and poultry sectors for the control of many airborne and other animal house insect pests, especially house and stable flies,” the groups wrote on Nov. 3. “These insects are highly detrimental to the health and welfare of the animals, the persons working in the houses, and lead to risks of spread of food safety pathogens.

Pyrethrins are the most effective and safe product to use for adult fly control on agriculture operations. After initiating a registration review on Dec. 2011, EPA proposed the prohibition of multiple applications of pyrethrins, including the use in animal barns, even after recognizing that this could negatively impact pest control, citing “potential risks of concern for residential handlers and adults and children who are exposed after application.”

The joint comments emphasized the important role pest management plays in biosecurity and disease control, noting and that there is little to no public exposure to pyrethrins when applied properly.