The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced that existing stocks of spirotetramat, the active ingredient in Movento, Ultor and Kontos insecticides, may continue to be distributed and used within the normal channels of trade.

EPA acknowledged the registrations had been cancelled “because of judicial action related to a procedural failure on the part of the agency,” and not because of any risk concerns associated with the product. Based on its review of hundreds of scientific studies, and after considering public comments submitted concerning existing stocks, EPA reconfirmed its conclusion that there are “no significant risk concerns associated with spirotetramat.” In fact, EPA concluded that “spirotetramat has a more favorable risk profile in terms of human health and the environment than the registered alternatives.”

Furthermore, EPA rejected recent suggestions by the Natural Resources Defense Council that spirotetramat use might pose a threat to honey bees, finding such claims unsupported by scientific data.

EPA noted that nearly 90 percent of the public comments received in response to the agency’s solicitation of public input requested the continued use and distribution of existing stocks of spirotetramat. Such comments included the need for spirotetramat as a “reduced risk” pesticide and as an important tool in integrated pest management (IPM) programs. Many growers noted that spirotetramat is vital in their struggle against invasive species and is more selective and less injurious to beneficial insects than alternative insecticides.

“We are pleased that EPA’s decision has reaffirmed our assessment of spirotetramat as an important IPM tool in the fight against destructive pests,” said Kevin Adam, product manager for Bayer CropScience.