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Reminder about chlorpyrifos use and options for disposal in Minnesota

 by Jamison Scholer (Research Scientist, Minnesota Department of Agriculture) and Robert Koch (Extension Entomologist, University of Minnesota)

With the revocation of tolerances for the insecticide chlorpyrifos, sale of food or feed containing chlorpyrifos residues in the U.S. is considered unlawful under the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetics Act. However, uses of chlorpyrifos on non-food and feed sites, such as for turf, ornamentals, greenhouses, nurseries, crops grown for seed, and industrial applications, are still allowed with an appropriately labeled chlorpyrifos product. Some chlorpyrifos product labels have agricultural and non-agricultural uses listed; these products can no longer be sold in Minnesota. For these products, Minnesota state law allows the continued use, in non-agricultural settings only, through December 2023 if they were purchase before January 1, 2022. Beginning in 2024, any chlorpyrifos product with a food or feed use on the label will be considered mis-labeled and cannot be used regardless of the location.

Since January 1, 2022, it has been illegal to sell chlorpyrifos products with any food or feed uses on the label in Minnesota. Individuals with unwanted or unusable chlorpyrifos products can properly dispose of these products through private or state programs. A good place to start is to contact your local dealer, co-op, or ag retailer to see if they can dispose of your chlorpyrifos product; see Return Program Available for Certain Chlorpyrifos Products for a full list of products accepted by manufactures for return. If your chlorpyrifos product is not accepted, you can use the MDA’s Waste Pesticide Collection Program. Visit the Collection Schedule tab to find the date and location of your county’s next waste pesticide pickup event.

On January 1, 2022, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) cancelled all chlorpyrifos products labeled for use on food and feed. The MDA’s decision to cancel these products was tied to the then-pending expiration of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) chlorpyrifos food and feed tolerances which expired on Feb 28, 2022. Following the revocation of chlorpyrifos tolerances, the EPA published a notice of intent to cancel chlorpyrifos products labeled for use on food and feed.

In Minnesota, chlorpyrifos has been widely used in agriculture to protect crops from a variety of arthropod pests, such as soybean aphids. However, chlorpyrifos is only one pest management option. To learn more about these decisions and for links to identify alternative strategies and products available for arthropod control, check out the articlEnvironmental Protection Agency’s Cancellation of Chlorpyrifos Tolerances: Alternatives for Management of Key Crop Pests.

Additional information and answers to technical questions can be found through the EPA’s Chlorpyrifos FAQ webpage Frequent Questions about the Chlorpyrifos 2021 Final Rule and the MDA’s Chlorpyrifos Insecticide webpage.

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