GOEHRING WARNS LANDOWNERS OF ROZOL CANCELLATION

BISMARCK – Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring is advising pesticide users and dealers that Rozol Prairie Dog Bait®, a rodenticide to manage black-tailed Prairie Dogs, has been canceled by the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) because of a recent court decision. This bait can no longer be used or sold in North and South Dakota, Montana, and New Mexico. The cancellation does not affect other pesticides registered under the Rozol trade name.

“Defenders of Wildlife sued EPA, alleging that EPA failed to meet the risk assessment requirements under the Endangered Species Act when registering Rozol,” said Goehring. “Specifically, they alleged EPA of not going through formal consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS).”

In Defenders of Wildlife v. Jackson, the U.S. District Court for D.C. ordered on July 27, 2011 in favor of the plaintiffs, resulting in EPA's required cancellation of Rozol in those four states on August 8, 2011. The registration cannot be reinstated until USFWS has issued a formal biological opinion relating to the use of Rozol to control black-tailed prairie dogs.

“The cancellation of Rozol will hurt our ranchers who use it to effectively control prairie dogs on their operation. This court decision could be a predecessor to a more extensive lawsuit looming against EPA regarding 381 pesticide chemical ingredients and 214 endangered species. A decision by the courts to cancel any number of these chemicals would tie the hands of producers and bring agriculture to its knees,” said Goering.

The court case, Center for Biological Diversity and Pesticide Action Network North America v. EPA was filed in the U.S. District Court of San Francisco on January 20, 2011. No decision has been made on the case.

“If a farmer or rancher has already purchased Rozol, they need to contact their local dealer to see if the product can be returned or they can hold on to the product until next year's Project Safe Send,” Goehring said. Project Safe Send is a program of the ND Department of Agriculture, which annually collects unused and unwanted pesticides.