Department of Pesticide Regulation

Back to County Agricultural Commissioner Resources
Back to 2000 Enforcement Branch Letters

March 31, 2000

ENF 2000-015

TO: County Agricultural Commissioners


This responds to a recent request for a label interpretation concerning the product DowElanco - VikaneTM (U.S. EPA Registration No. 62719-4-ZA) (attached). A question was asked if the current VikaneTM labeling allows fumigation of sea/land shipping containers for export to meet quarantine requirements.

The VikaneTM labeling has an "exclusive site list (meaning it is only allowed on specific use sites) that does not list "shipping containers" as a use site. The label states: "For use in: Dwellings (including mobile homes), Buildings, Construction Materials, Furnishings (household effects), and Vehicles including automobiles, buses, surface ships, rail cars, and recreational vehicles (but not including aircraft)." In addition, the labeling includes a "general" site list statement (meaning it allows use in similar use sites) located under the "Directions for use" portion of the labeling. It states: "When used for fumigation of enclosed spaces, such as houses and other structures, warehouses, vaults, chambers, trucks, vans, boxcars, ships, and other transport vehicles . . . ." When labeling includes both an exclusive site list statement and a general site list statement, the more general list can be followed without use in conflict. Because the general site list statement uses the words "such as," the labeling would allow fumigation of sea/land shipping containers. This interpretation is based on Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) policy under "Site Interpretations" (Manual of Procedural Guidance for Pesticide Enforcement Personnel, page 105) which states: "When the list is preceded by 'such as' or 'including,' the product can legally be used on other species covered by the general term."

Recently, DPR met with DowElanco representatives to discuss the above interpretation. DowElanco informed DPR that they have recently become aware of issues associated with VikaneTM fumigation of shipping containers and that they have drafted supplemental labeling for VikaneTM specifically for fumigation of shipping containers for export. Purportedly, the proposed supplemental labeling will: (1) waive the requirement for Chloropicrin as a warning agent, (2) waive the fan requirement, and (3) clarify aeration requirements.

At this time, VikaneTM can only be used to fumigate shipping containers with the use of Chloropicrin as a warning agent and with a fan; otherwise, the use is in conflict with labeling and in violation of the Food and Agricultural Code, section 12973.

If you have any further questions, please contact the Senior Pesticide Use Specialist Liaison serving your county.


original signed by

David Duncan, Acting Chief
Pesticide Enforcement Branch
(916) 445-3871


cc: Mr. Daniel J. Merkley, Agricultural Commissioner Liaison (w/Attachment)
Dr. Ray Brinkmeyer, Dow AgroSciences (w/Attachment)
Dr. Brian Bret, Dow AgroSciences (w/Attachment)