Friday, January 24, 2014
DO NOT EAT THE COCONUTS NOR DRINK THE COCONUT WATER
Our Coconut palms have been treated with pesticide to combat spiraling whitefly. The EPA labeling is unambiguous and is presented as follows:
I have attached the label for Mallet T&O for reference. On page 12 of the label it has the following statement:
“DO NOT harvest or consume fruits or nuts from trees that have been treated within 1 year of application.”
As we know, the EPA-approved labels on control products are considered law at the federal and state levels. I do not doubt that the potential levels of the active ingredient, imidacloprid, are very low in the coconuts, and even so low as to be insignificant if consumed. Imidacloprid is an example of a newer class of insecticides known as the neonicotinoids, which are synthetic variations of nicotine. These “mnemonics” have much lower mammalian toxicity potential than the organophosphate products (such as Dursban) that they replaced. Additionally, we greatly dilute these products with water prior to application, and much of the product is bound by organic soil components before the roots have a chance to uptake it. Imidacloprid has been the number one product by far for control of spiraling whitefly on millions of coconuts for the last 3-4 years and I am unaware of any issues.
Despite all of the above, the fact remains that the label prohibits consumption of the coconuts for one year after treatment. Although coconuts are being used as ornamentals in landscapes, the possibility that some may be consumed remains. Perhaps the only way anyone can be certain none are consumed would be to frequently remove the coconuts before they develop fully. Although many of our customers do this already to prevent personal and property harm due to falling fruit, the additional removal services can become cost prohibitive. Of course we also have no means or authority to police residents, especially in large communities such as Century Village. Notifying Mr. Herrle of this label restriction and requesting the information be distributed to residents via website, newsletter, etc. is usually our best course when we begin these treatments. If another company besides ValleyCrest does the regular palm pruning, we should also inform them that the coconuts have been drenched and should not be consumed by their employees or others. I would be happy to speak to Mr. Herrle if he has any questions regarding this.
Ian Rodriguez, Ph.D.
Assistant Director of Technical Services, South Florida
3340 SE Dixie Hwy.
Stuart, FL 34997
Link to full label ..... http://goo.gl/ClvWHx
As always in such matters, please don't shoot the messenger.