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Bayer AG announced it will no longer sell Belt (flubendiamide) insecticide in the United States on Friday, July 29, the same day the EPA’s Environmental Appeals Board (EAB) denied the company’s appeal of the agency’s decision to cancel the label.

Adult codling moth, Cydia pomonella (Courtesy Todd M. Gilligan and Marc E. Epstein/Colorado State University)

Adult codling moth, Cydia pomonella (Courtesy Todd M. Gilligan and Marc E. Epstein/Colorado State University)

Belt’s label allowed its use in grapes, apples, pears, quince, sweet and tart cherries nectarines, peaches, plums, apricots and prunes. Among the many insects it controls were codling moth, oriental fruit moth, cutworms, oblique-banded leafroller and spotted tentiform leafminer.

Under the order, farmers and retailers will be allowed to use existing supplies.

Earlier this year, Bayer refused an EPA request to voluntarily withdraw its product from the market. In doing so, the company broke the agreement it made with EPA in 2008 to secure Belt’s initial conditional registration.

In exchange for its registration, Bayer and its co-registrant, Nichino America, agreed they would voluntarily cancel the registration if EPA determined the product would cause “unreasonable adverse effects” to the environment.

The agency determined that was the case and requested Bayer and Nichino to comply with the terms of the agreement. Instead, the companies rejected the request and filed an appeal with EPA’s Environmental Appeals Board, which rendered its decision late last month.

Responding to EAB’s ruling, Bayer’s regulatory affairs vice president, Dana Sargent, said: “It is notable that it did not weigh in on the lawfulness of EPA’s cancellation nor did it consider the fundamental science underpinning Bayer’s argument.”