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FMC Responds to U.S. Appeals Court Rulings on Carbofuran; Court Overturns Revocation of Import Tolerances

PHILADELPHIA, July 23, 2010 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ --

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit today ordered the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to reinstate import tolerances for carbofuran for rice, bananas, coffee and sugar cane. Although the court did not endorse EPA's views on the safety of carbofuran, for procedural reasons it did not overturn the agency's decision to deny an administrative hearing regarding revocation of domestic tolerances. FMC Corporation, the U.S. registrant for carbofuran (Furadan), while satisfied with the reinstatement of import tolerances, has not determined if further legal action will be taken regarding the continued denial of an administrative hearing until it can conduct a careful review of the court's opinion.

In its written opinion, the court noted EPA's acknowledgment that "exposure to carbofuran in imported foods alone is safe." In light of this fact, the court ruled that EPA's decision to revoke the import tolerances for these foods was "arbitrary and capricious."

"We are pleased the court recognized the agency had overstepped its bounds when it revoked the import tolerances for carbofuran, especially since the EPA acknowledged the imported foods are safe," said Dr. Michael Morelli, director of Global Regulatory Affairs, FMC Agricultural Products Group. "We were disappointed the court did not go all the way and grant an administrative hearing provided under the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA)."

FMC believes the Appeals Court gave undue deference to EPA, which will undermine the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) and the harmonization of FIFRA and FFDCA. The ruling will result in severe consequences to agriculture since there will be little chance for independent review of EPA decisions on a compound's safety.

"We are very concerned the ruling gives EPA unchecked power to cancel pesticides and to disregard the benefits to agriculture and the voices of American growers," said Morelli. "We think science, when viewed impartially, shows carbofuran is safe when used properly and provides unique benefits to agriculture unavailable through other products at this time."

The National Corn Growers Association, National Sunflower Association, National Potato Council and FMC jointly petitioned the Appeals Court. These grower associations, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and all 50 Secretaries of State Departments of Agriculture have gone on record supporting the continued, but very limited use of carbofuran where there are no alternative products, such as in sunflowers and corn rootworm rescue.

FMC Corporation 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 4,800 people throughout the world and operates its businesses in three segments: Agricultural Products, Specialty Chemicals and Industrial Chemicals.

SOURCE FMC Corporation