Seed giant Syngenta is asking federal regulators in the United States to raise the allowable levels of a certain pesticide used on select crops despite warnings from critics.
According to a Sept. 5 document published on the Federal Register, the agri-business corporation wants the US Environmental Protection Agency to increase the amount of thiamethoxam that can legally be used on certain crops, raising concerns among pesticide opponents who say a surge in chemical use could cause widespread problems. Syngenta developed the chemical, and the compound was first approved for use in the US in 1999.
Among the requests made by Syngenta earlier this month are that EPA increase the amount of thiamethoxam that can be used on sweet corn crops from 0.1 parts per million (ppm) to 5.0ppm — a 50-fold increase — and raising the allowable amount on hay from wheat by 400 times over. The company is also asking that the EPA make changes to the thiamethoxam tolerance levels concerning alfalfa and barley.