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Last time, we spoke briefly about federal pesticide regulation, which is handled by both the FDA and the EPA. As we noted, the EPA can and does sometimes grant conditional approval for pesticides subject to ongoing research concerning the safety of the pesticide under consideration. An ongoing dispute between the EPA and Bayer CropScience involves the granting of conditional approval for a pesticide by the name of flubendiamide.

In the United States, the pesticide has been used on tobacco, pepper, almond, and watermelon crops. The EPA approved the pesticide on a conditional basis, and is now moving to cancel approval based on evidence that it accumulates in streams and lakes, which could cause it to harm freshwater wildlife. 

The move has been praised by environmental activists, but Bayer has refused to stop selling the chemical, claiming that the agency is basing its decision on algorithms which exaggerate the actual risks to the environment. At this point in the dispute, the company is set to have a hearing before an administrative law judge.

In its cancellation notice, the EPA details that both parties who have registered for the pesticide, as well as those who are adversely affected by its cancellation, are able to request a hearing. Such a hearing provides parties the opportunity to put forth specific objections to the cancellation of pesticide registration.

Navigating an EPA hearing is not necessarily an easy thing. Hearings are governed by established rules of practice under federal law, and successfully following these rules, as well as presenting an effective argument, requires the help of an experienced attorney.

Sources: Office of the Federal Register, Flubendiamide; Notice of Intent To Cancel Pesticide Registrations, March 4, 2016. 

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