The Environmental Protection Agency has announced new restrictions on the use of chlorpyrifos, known as Lorsban, in response to a petition filed by the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Pesticide Action Network North America, which asked EPA to revoke all tolerances and cancel all registrations of chlorpyrifos.

In a partial response addressing the first six of ten petition claims, EPA has found that none of the claims warrants revoking tolerances or canceling registrations for chlorpyrifos at this time.

ASA submitted comments on the petition last October, with then-President Alan Kemper writing, "Soybean farmers rely on chlorpyrifos as a safe, effective, and reliable tool for insect control."

ASA's comments pointed out that "from 2001-2009, nearly 8,000 individual samples of drinking water were analyzed for chlorpyrifos by USDA's Pesticide Data Program. There was not a single detection of chlorpyrifos or chlorpyrifos-specific breakdown products."

Under the new label requirements, maximum aerial application rates are being significantly reduced from about 6 pounds per acre to about 2 pounds per acre. Other new mitigation measures include buffer zones for ground and aerial applications around sensitive sites such as residential lawns, homes, sidewalks, outdoor recreational areas and all property associated with buildings typically occupied by people.

Chlorpyrifos is one of the most widely used crop protection products in the world; farmers across the country use chlorpyrifos to control grasshoppers, spider mites, aphids and other pests.