EPA targeting pesticide used on strawberries, lettuce

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“The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has announced its intent to ban sales in the United States of commercial insecticides made with flubendiamide, used on wine grapes, strawberries and lettuce.

The pesticides are manufactured by Nichino America, Inc. and Bayer CropScience, LP.

Bayer lists the chemical on its website as an ingredient in its “Belt” pesticide brand as the “first representative of a new chemical insecticide class — the diamides,” which doesn’t attack insects’ nervous systems, as other pesticides do, but instead attacks receptors in insect muscles, causing immediate cessation of feeding, preventing them from inflicting further crop damage.

“Required studies showed flubendiamide breaks down into a more highly toxic material that is harmful to species that are an important part of aquatic food chains, especially for fish, and is persistent in the environment,” EPA officials state in a news release issued Tuesday…”

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