WSDA Addresses CPDA Concerns Over CBI Relating to Proposal for Principal Functioning Agents in Adjuvant Formulations

In a significant win for CPDA, the Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) has issued a memorandum, dated December 11, 2018, in which the Department addresses the concerns of the Council regarding WSDA’s proposed plan requiring spray adjuvant registrants to use a more specific chemical name in the Principal Functioning Agents (PFA) section of their product label. The proposal, part of the WSDA Spray Adjuvant Labeling Consistency, Clarity and Compliance guidance issued in March 2017, mandated that the names of the three principal functioning agents on the label and the CSF must be associated with the specific Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) number for the ingredient. 

In response to concerns voiced by CPDA and work group members that the proposed synonym names as well as the resulting label requirements would result in the disclosure of confidential business information (CBI) for products registered by WSDA, the Department has agreed to delay the implementation of the “specific chemical name” portion of the March 2017 guidance until family/group chemical names for PFA’s can be evaluated and added to the list of synonyms.  As such, spray adjuvant registrants will be allowed to continue to use the chemical class descriptor in the ingredient statement appearing on the label instead of the chemical name.

The memorandum, authored by Kelle Davis, WSDA Program Manager for Registration and Licensing Services, states that registrants who were directed prior to December 11, 2018 to make label revisions to amend their PFA statement in response to the March 2017 guidance on Spray Adjuvant Ingredient Statements, may either delay the revision until further notice or submit their updated label if they choose to do so. Label revisions requested by WSDA for any other reason still need to be completed. The memo sets forth revised criteria for listing principal functioning agents on spray adjuvant labels.

The WSDA memo represents the culmination of a series of meetings CPDA has conducted with Department staff since the summer of 2018.  CPDA and work group representatives objected that the WSDA naming proposal for principal functioning agents would force the disclosure of CBI for products registered by the Department and could result in some companies choosing to drop their product registrations. In its engagement with WSDA, CPDA collaborated with its allied industry partners, including Heather Hansen, Executive Director, Friends of the Fields and Forest and Far West Agribusiness Association, in persuading the Department to delay implementation of the naming proposal.

CPDA appreciates the willingness of WSDA staff to consider the concerns of spray adjuvant registrants relating to how the proposal could force the disclosure of CBI. CPDA and registrant stakeholders will be working with WSDA to evaluate the family/group names to make sure they meet WSDA’s requirements while allowing registrants more flexibility in their PFA chemical names. A copy of the WSDA memo may be accessed by clicking here. For more information, please contact CPDA Interim President Gary Halvorson at ghalvorson@cpda.com.

For additional background on this issue, read more here.

AUTHOR

Diane Schute

All stories by: Diane Schute