On June 7, the EPA’s Office of Pesticide Programs (“OPP”) issued two draft Pesticide Registration Notices aimed at combating pesticide resistance: (1) PR Notice 2016-X “Draft Guidance for Pesticide Registrants on Pesticide Resistance Management Labeling”; and (2) PR Notice 2016-XX “Draft Guidance for Herbicide Resistance Management Labeling, Education, Training, and Stewardship.” The EPA issued the draft PR Notices because of its concern about pesticides losing their effectiveness as a result of pests developing significant decreases in sensitivity to pesticides. To combat the issue of pesticide resistance and to preserve the utility of pesticides, the EPA is beginning a more widespread effort to combat and slow pesticide resistance.

PR Notice 2016-X revises and updates PR Notice 2001-5 and applies to all conventional agricultural pesticides. It focuses on pesticide labels and is aimed at improving information on how pesticide users can minimize and manage pest resistance. Such improvements include: (1) additional guidance to registrants and a recommended format for resistance-management statements or information to be placed on labels; (2) references to external technical resources for guidance on resistance management; and (3) instructions on how to submit changes to existing labels in order to enhance resistance-management language.

PR Notice 2016-XX only applies to herbicides, and it provides guidance on labeling, education, training and stewardship for herbicides undergoing registration or registration review. The EPA is issuing its “holistic guidance” in PR Notice 2016-XX because: (1) herbicides are the most widely used agricultural chemicals; (2) no new herbicide mechanism of action has been developed in the last 30 years; and (3) herbicide-resistant weeds are rapidly increasing. In the future, the EPA may also issue “holistic guidance” regarding pesticide resistance for other types of pesticides (e.g., fungicides, bactericides, insecticides and acaricides).

Comments on PR Notice 2016-X and 2016-XX must be submitted by August 2, 2016. Click here to read more about pesticide resistance in the EPA’s “Slowing and Combating Pest Resistance to Pesticides."