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The Iron Factor
Program Designed To Reduce Drift
Focus On Waterbirds & Raptors
The Label Is The Law
Variety/Hybrid 2012 Roster
May You Plant In Interesting Times
Additional Weeds Targeted
From the Editor
Rice Producers Forum
USA Rice Federation
Specialists Speaking
Industry News
ARCHIVES

The Label Is The Law

Label interpretation remains an important part of pesticide applications


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The label is the law is a saying that exists with pesticide regulators, sometimes coining it as “Enforcement 101.” With our busy schedules, it is often necessary to revisit the basics. The addition of technology and electronic services can cause us to make shortcuts in daily decisions.

Q. Isn’t reading the label old fashioned?

A. Reading and following the label associated with the pesticide application is a requirement that has never changed.

The county biologist inspecting your pesticide application will check for compliance with the label in hand (on the container) and any supplemental information such as a section(s) 24(c), 2(ee), 18 and/or permit conditions.

Q. Don’t the written recommendations provide all the information I need?

A. Yes, but the PCA might not include label and/or permit condition information such as wind speed (mph), vulnerable crop(s), buffer zones, restricted entry intervals and pre-harvest intervals. In addition, non-restricted materials and/or private applicator applications do not always require written recommendations.

The responsibility for compliance includes the PCA, grower and applicator, but will fall on the person with the label in hand at the time of application. An important rule to follow: Whatever is listed on the label is not an option.

Q. Is it just the pest, or the crop, that must be listed on the label?

A. Some people misunderstand and believe that only the pest needs to be listed on the label. Actually, the crop shall be on the label, and the pest must be included as the control could happen through incidental use.

The U.S. EPA establishes a residue tolerance for the active ingredient on the commodity as the final process in registering the pesticide. All pesticides sold and used in California must first be registered with the U.S. EPA and then go through the process with the Department of Pesticide Regulation.

Q. Why is any of this important?

A. Countries receiving California rice, such as Japan, test for approximately 600 chemicals. Any illegal detection could cause California rice to fail the chemical test, resulting in rejected commodity shipments. Worse case scenario is a crop destruct for illegal residue. Add to this, heightened awareness of food safety concerns from the public. In the end, the California rice industry suffers a loss of credibility with customers domestically and abroad.

The California Rice Commission supports the advances in technology for pesticide applications. However, reading and comparing available labels to those on the container is a proactive approach to credibility in stewardship and maintaining a high reputation with our public stakeholders.

This article was originally published in the California Rice Commission September 2011 newsletter.

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