The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has extended the use of azinphos-methyl (AZM, Guthion) for an additional year so that growers can use up stocks they purchased but did not use this year.

In the announcement August 29, EPA made it clear it has not changed its views about the 2008 cancellation order that was to phase out AZM over six years because of “high worker and ecological risks.” The cancellation order prohibits the distribution, sale, and use of AZM after September 30 of this year.

“As a result of this year’s abnormal weather events, however, growers have been left with unused stocks that cannot be used unless EPA modifies the existing cancellation order to permit use of the existing stocks in the growers’ possession,” the announcement said.

“EPA believes it is appropriate to allow growers to use the remaining stocks in their possession—for another use season—through September 30, 2013—and therefore is today modifying the existing cancellation order to permit growers to use stocks in their possession for another year.”

EPA said the decision, while it would stretch out use for another year, wouldn’t result in any greater use of the product, and it would avoid the need for costly disposal arrangements for stocks in growers’ hands.