Bayer AG will stop producing a pesticide that regulators have determined can pose a safety risk to infants and young children, the company said Tuesday, although the chemical will remain in use for another eight years.
The Environmental Protection Agency said the pesticide aldicarb, which is sold under the name Temik, "no longer meets the agency's rigorous food safety standards and may pose unacceptable dietary risks, especially to infants and young children." As a result, Bayer said it agreed to stop producing Temik for use on citrus and potatoes. Farmers can continue using Temik on those crops until end of 2011.
Production of Temik will stop by Dec. 31, 2014, and all remaining use in the U.S. will end by August 2018. That will allow farmers to use the supplies that have already been made.
While the pesticide remains in use, its label will be changed to reduce its use on cotton, soybeans, and peanuts. The EPA said Bayer will adopt new measures to protect shallow water wells in parts of the Southeastern U.S.
Side effects of aldicarb can cause sweating, nausea, dizziness, blurred vision, abdominal pain, vomiting, and diarrhea, the EPA said. It said those side effects don't occur at levels that are typically found in food.
Bayer said the agreement does not mean Temik poses a food safety concern. It said it is cooperating with the EPA even though it does not fully agree with the agency's assessment. The company said Temik has been used for almost 40 years.