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January 30, 2013
EPA proposes sulfoxaflor registration

The EPA has proposed to register sulfoxaflor, Dow AgroScience’s latest innovative pesticide, which the company claims will address a $2 billion market need currently unmet by existing technologies.  In September 2012, the Agency issued emergency exemptions to apply sulfoxaflor to cotton in Arkansas, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Louisiana to control the tarnished bug plant.  The proposed registration would apply to cotton and a wide range of fruits, vegetables, and nuts as well as ornamentals, turfgrass, watercress, wheat, and other crops.

Dow AgroScience describes sulfoxaflor as a fast-acting, extended residual control insecticide that is effective at low-use rates for a broad spectrum of sap-feeding insects, including aphids, plant bugs, whiteflies, planthoppers, and scales.  The substance can serve as a rotation partner with other chemistries and is an excellent fit in integrated pest management programs, claims the company. 

Emergency exemptions

The EPA agrees that sulfoxaflor will address a broad spectrum of piercing/sucking insects, including species that are difficult to control.  The emergency exemptions were granted because the tarnished bug plant had developed resistance to other insecticides.  When granting emergency exemptions, the Agency is required to make certain determinations regarding the validity of the emergency claim and economic loss, human dietary risk, occupational risk, and ecological and environmental risk.  The exemption was granted until December 31, 2015.

Dow expects to market sulfoxaflor under two brand names, Transform™ and Closer™, and has informed investors that the products will deliver more than $300 million in sales at maturity.   In 2011, the company announced a $14 million plant expansion in Midland, Michigan, to accommodate increased manufacture of the pesticide.  Also in 2011, South Korea became the first country to register sulfoxaflor, specifically for use on apples, pears, and red peppers. 

EPA’s notice of emergency exemptions granted was published in the September 28, 2012, FR.

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