PHILADELPHIA -- FMC Corp. said it disagrees strongly with conclusions in an Interim Reregistration Eligibility Decision document issued last week by the EPA would cancel and phase out carbofuran uses in the United States.

FMC believes there are crop uses that meet both the Food Quality Protection Act standard for dietary risk and the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act risk-benefit standard that clearly warrant continued registration of carbofuran.

"EPA has exaggerated the risks of carbofuran and underestimated its unique benefits to agriculture in arriving at this unjustified conclusion to eliminate continued use of the product," said Michael Morelli, director of global regulatory affairs, FMC Agricultural Products Group. "We disagree with the evaluations behind the agency's IRED and will continue our efforts to explain the science that supports our position during the comment period."

The IRED is not a final decision, and FMC will vigorously defend the product. The company believes it is imperative to protect important agricultural uses as well as a significant number of manufacturing jobs in Maryland, New York and Illinois.

Carbofuran registrations on key crops are of critical economic importance to U.S. farmers, said Morelli. EPA is underestimating the value of carbofuran by ignoring the comments from more than 3,000 growers nationwide.

FMC said the National Potato Council, the National Sunflower Association, the National Corn Growers Association, the National Cotton Council, and scores of other state and national grower groups have written in support of the continued use of carbofuran, sold under the brand name Furadan.

"Carbofuran does what no other insecticide can do to control some devastating insect problems," said Morelli. "As an alternative chemistry class, its inclusion in pest control spray programs also helps to prevent insects from becoming resistant to other insecticides, and is a key tool for integrated pest management programs."

FMC believes that carbofuran does not pose an unreasonable risk to workers, the public or the environment when used according to label directions. According to the company, very strict labeling standards and product stewardship programs, including "closed transfer" systems for loading and mixing Furadan 4F liquid formulations, have proven that the product can be handled by workers in a safe manner.

Because the IRED is not a final decision, farmers may continue to use Furadan on all currently registered crops and uses.

FMC Corp. is a diversified chemical company serving agricultural, industrial and consumer markets globally for more than a century with innovative solutions, applications and quality products. The company employs approximately 5,000 people throughout the world. The company operates its businesses in three segments: Agricultural Products, Specialty Chemicals and Industrial Chemicals.

SOURCE: FMC Corp. news release.