Brazil approves new pesticide to combat coffee beetle

SAO PAULO Fri Jul 18, 2014 11:39am EDT

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SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Brazil's government approved the use of pesticides with the active ingredient cyantraniliprole to fight the coffee borer beetle, a note published in the country's Official Gazette said on Friday.

Coffee cooperatives had been lobbying for the approval after the government said it would no longer allow farmers to use another product, endolsulfan, to prevent the beetle from damaging crops.

Cyantraniliprole is approved for use in the United States, the European Union, Canada and Japan, according to a statement from Brazil's Agriculture Ministry.

The U.S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved toxicity levels of cyantraniliprole in February after determining it had not caused adverse health effects in humans. The ruling was requested by chemical manufacturer DuPont.

U.S. environmental groups led by the Center for Biological Diversity have sued the EPA, however, saying the pesticide "risked far-reaching harm" to many species of animals.

Brazil's government declared a state of emergency because of the beetle in top coffee growing state Minas Gerais in March. The National Coffee Council president told Reuters last month that the bug's impact on the drought-hit crop now being harvested is not yet significant.

Cyantraniliprole should protect future crops from the beetle, according to the agriculture ministry.

Soy farmers criticized federal and state governments for delaying the approval of new chemicals, especially Syngenta's Emamectin Benzoate, to fight the helicoverpa armigera caterpillar earlier this year.

(Reporting by Caroline Stauffer; Editing by Tom Brown)

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