The U.S. EPA and Arysta LifeScience North America, LLC have entered into a Memorandum of Agreement to formally terminate all agricultural use of iodomethane in the United States by the end of 2012 and ultimately remove all iodomethane or methyl iodide products from the U.S. market.
The EPA is requesting comment on Arysta’s request for voluntary cancellation of all of the company’s methyl iodide product registrations, as stipulated in the agreement. Methyl iodide has been registered since 2007 for use as a pre-plant soil fumigant to control pests in soil where fruits, vegetables, ornamental plants, and turf are to be grown. In March 2012, Arysta, the sole registrant, announced its plans to immediately suspend all sales of its methyl iodide MIDAS products in the United States
CalEPA had approved the use of methyl iodide saying it was safe to use despite an independent scientific review that said it could change DNA and harm groundwater. California growers are concerned because its use is licensed in Mexico and seven other countries. The company will continue sales outside the U.S.
Under the recently signed agreement and the voluntary cancellation request to EPA, all of Arysta’s existing iodomethane end-use product registrations will be cancelled and use of existing stocks in the United States will be prohibited effective December 31, 2012. Further distribution and sale of methyl iodide end-use products will be prohibited except to return the products to Arysta (the company will take back existing stocks) or for proper disposal or export. As of January 1, 2013, Arysta’s technical/manufacturing use iodomethane product may no longer be used in the U.S. except to formulate products for export. The technical product registration will be cancelled effective December 1, 2015. After that date, all sale and distribution of the technical product will also be prohibited except for proper disposal or export. Arysta will send methyl iodide product purchasers and retailers a letter describing these provisions.