Makhteshim Agan of North America (MAI) will maintain its position in supporting industry use of diazinon in response to this week’s federal ruling upholding restrictions on pesticide applications near Pacific Northwest waterways containing salmon.
MAI, Dow AgroSciences and Cheminova, Inc. USA, filed a lawsuit in the federal court of Maryland against the National Marine Fisheries Service to remove use restriction guidelines approved in an earlier federal ruling. The case stems from a 2008 biological opinion (BiOp) submitted by the fisheries service and anti-pesticide counterparts claiming environmental impact on salmon from pesticide run-off from agricultural cropping fields into nearby lakes and streams.
In a suit filed by the manufacturers against the fisheries service, the complaint stated that the biological opinion included insufficient data and modeling, and that the proposed buffers were not scientifically-based to establish sound evaluation by the federal court for a comprehensive and fair ruling.
The plaintiff companies hold registrations issued by the U.S. EPA that authorize them to sell products containing chlorpyrifos, diazinon and malathion - all listed for recommended restrictive use in the biological opinion document.
On Monday, Oct. 31, 2011, a federal judge upheld the original ruling which maintains the restricted use guidelines for these products along with others. The ruling leaves in place findings by the fisheries service that applications of products containing chlorpyrifos, diazinon and malathion be prohibited within 500 to 1,000 feet of salmon-bearing streams, depending on if the application is by ground or air.
MAI, a global manufacturer of diazinon, is evaluating the current ruling, yet stands by their position that this specific crop production input used by growers in the Pacific Northwest does not cause harm to salmon or other wildlife species.
Rob Williams, CEO of MANA Crop Protection, the U.S. agricultural division of parent company MAI, says the company is considering their options and currently reviewing the federal court response.
“The ruling brings disappointment in regards to scientific assessment that diazinon is a safe and effective crop protection input with no adverse impact on wildlife,” he says. “MAI respects the court’s decision, yet we will continue to look for an option, including the possibility of an appeal, which will pro-actively support growers with their desire to maintain use practices of this important crop protection tool.”