State bars 15 lawn herbicides, citing vegetable damage

The Associated Press
Thursday March 28, 2002

SACRAMENTO — California is banning the sale of 15 lawn herbicides, saying the accumulation of a particular chemical in compost can damage some vegetables. 

The broadleaf herbicide clopyralid holds little hazard for people, animals or most vegetation, the Department of Pesticide Regulation said Wednesday. 

However, it accumulates in lawn clippings that often are used in compost that can cause damage if it is applied to some vegetables, the department said. 

In California, nearly half the compost from garden clippings is used for agriculture, a $26.7 billion annual industry statewide. 

No crop damage has been reported in California, but the state of Washington recently banned some uses of clopyralid after it was linked to compost that damaged tomato plants. Some California composting facilities have recently reported detecting the chemical, as have facilities in Washington, Pennsylvania and New Zealand. 

Notices will go out Thursday to seven companies that market 15 lawn products containing clopyralid. The department is taking no action against other clopyralid products intended for use on farmland, range land and forest land. 

Sales could be banned in 30 days unless a company appeals. Companies also could opt to relabel their product for non-lawn use. 

Department Director Paul Helliker said California’s action reaffirms its support for composting as an alternative to depositing biodegradable waste in landfills. 

The department also is creating a committee including herbicide companies and composting facilities to study clopyralid’s use and regulation. 

The banned herbicides, and the companies that produce them, are: 

•The Andersons Lawn Fertilizer (Tee Time 18-5-9 With Millennium Ultra Herbicide, United Horticultural Supply Professional Turf Products 22-3-4 With Millennium Ultra, The Andersons Professional Turf Products 16-4-8 With Millennium Ultra Herbicide & PCSCU). 

• Dow AgroSciences LLC (Lontrel Turf and Ornamental, Lawn Fertilizer Plus Confront Weed Control, Turf Fertilizer Contains Confront, Confront) 

• Howard Johnson’s Enterprises Inc. (Howard Johnson’s Weed & Feed With Millennium Ultra). 

• Lebanon Chemical Corporation (Lebanon Proscape Homogeneous Fertilizer With Confront Herbicide Broadleaf Weed Control). 

• Lesco Inc. (Lesco Momentum Premium Weed & Feed). 

• Monterey Chemical Company (Millennium Ultra Selective Herbicide). 

• Riverdale Chemical Company (Riverdale Millennium Ultra Selective Herbicide, Riverdale Millennium Ultra Weed And Feed, Riverdale Trupower Selective Herbicide, Riverdale XRM-5202 TM Premium Weed And Feed).