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Posted 1 October 2003. PMN Crop News.

Syngenta Announces U.S. Phase-out of Molinate Rice Herbicide

Syngenta Crop Protection.

Greensboro, NC (September 17, 2003) - Syngenta Crop Protection Inc. announced today a five-year phase-out of its molinate rice herbicide business in the United States. The voluntary phase-out, detailed in an agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), will culminate in the cancellation of technical and end-use molinate registrations, including Syngenta Ordram* herbicide, by June 30, 2008. Use of molinate products will be permitted through the 2009 growing season.

U.S. rice growers have used molinate successfully for more than three decades to control problem watergrass and other grassy weeds, increase yields and manage herbicide resistant weeds. Syngenta is the sole manufacturer of molinate herbicides in the United States. Syngenta molinate products include Ordram 8E, Ordram 15G and Ordram 15GM herbicides. Through an agreement with Syngenta, RiceCo LLC markets Arrosolo* herbicide (a pre-mix of molinate and propanil).

"Multiple factors contributed to our decision to exit this business," said Rusty Wendt, Syngenta product manager. "The investment required to maintain molinate registrations, in light of a changing rice market in California and the southern United States and certain regulatory challenges, could no longer be justified."

According to Tim Johnson, president and CEO of the California Rice Commission, the rice industry's full support of the phase-out has resulted in a plan that permits transitional use of molinate under current Syngenta labels.

"Syngenta worked closely with the rice industry to devise a smooth transition from molinate, and we appreciate that," Johnson said. "Continued access to molinate herbicides over the next five years will help growers protect the yield and quality of their rice crops while giving industry additional time to develop affordable and effective alternatives."

Molinate, first registered for use in 1964, is now undergoing re-registration by EPA. An amended registration, reflecting the terms of the phase-out agreement, is expected third quarter 2003. Syngenta will fully support molinate products throughout the phase-out period.


Sherry Ford, Syngenta Crop Protection