Sunday, December 5, 2021

Web-Based Pesticide Labels Give Farmers Options

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The following is a news release from the ND Department of Agriculture:

BISMARCK – Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring says a new labeling option for pesticides will make labels easier to read and follow, helping farmers and other users comply with rules and restrictions. 

“The Environmental Protection Agency now allows pesticide manufacturers to publish labels on their websites, as well as on the product containers,” Goehring said. “Users of these web-distributed labels will be able to choose to follow either a printed label on the container or a label downloaded from a website referenced on the container label.”

EPA recently informed pesticide manufacturers of the web-distributed labeling option in a pesticide registration notice.

Once the system is operational, a user can visit the website referenced on the container, input some data from the container labeling, and download a legally valid version of the labeling.

“This enables the user to custom tailor a label for an intended application,” he said. “The custom label would include all relevant labeling, such as first aid and precautionary statements, but only the use instructions requested by the applicator. A user can also download the full label.”

Goehring said that pesticide labels can be already found on the internet from various sources, including manufacturers, but web-distributed labels are only valid if downloaded from the website referenced on the pesticide container.

“The downloaded labels can be state-specific, crop-specific or both,” Goehring said. “Users can also update their labels from year to year.” 

Goehring said users of online labels will be able to store them on their desktop, laptop or tablet computers, as well as on smartphones.

“State rules require the user to have a copy of the label in their possession during application,” he said. “This will be easier than ever when the label can be stored on a smartphone.”

Goehring said he believes most manufacturers will eventually offer web-distributed labeling.

“I also hope many pesticide dealers will offer their customers the service of downloading these labels,” he said.

The commissioner said the North Dakota Department of Agriculture played an important role in developing the web-based label concept.

“The department’s pesticide and fertilizer director, Jim Gray, first suggested this idea to EPA   back in 2003, and we have been pressing for it since as members of EPA work groups and through committees of state pesticide officials,” Goehring said. “It shows the importance of having state people on board with national advisory committees and task forces that determine public policy.”

Goehring said more information about web-based pesticide labeling is available at www.epa.gov/pesticides/regulating/labels/distribution/ or from NDDA’s pesticide and fertilizer division.

Source:  ND Department of Agriculture

Posted by Haylie Shipp

 

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