Offioi of l*M»k*H» Mid Toxic
                                       Offiet of PMteid* Praoram (TS-78SCI
                                             DC 20460
•  &EPA      Pesticide
                     Fact Sheet
                     Name of Chemical: STRYCHNINE   UPDATE
                     Reason for Issuance: 5ff§ORARY CANCELLATION ABOVE GROUND
                     Date Issued: SEPTEMBER 28, 1988
                     Fact Sheet Number:

      Ge-neric Name:   Strychnine Alkaloid C2iH22N2^2
      (chemical)     Strychnine Sulfate C2 i H22N2°2 ^H2 S04"I"SH2°

      Common Name:   Strychnine
Nux Vomica
     EPA Shaughnessy  Code:
                Strychnine  Alkaloid - 076901-8
                Strychnine  Sulfate  076902-6
      Chemical Abstracts  Service (CAS)  Number:

          Strychnine  Alkaloid 57-24-0

      Pesticide Type:   Vertebrate pesticide.

      U.S. and Foreign Producers:  All  manufacturers import  the  technical
  grade material.   Importers include H. Interdonati, Inc.;  H.  R. Harkins,
  Inc.; Noris Chemical Co.; and the U.S.  Department of Agriculture (USDA),
  There are approximately 100 registrants of  end-use products  (37 regis-
  trants  include the California Department  of Food and Agriculture, and
  California counties).


      There are 383 products; 194 are registered for use above ground and
      189 are registered  for use below  ground.  The approximately 200 use
      sites include rangelands, pastures, many crops, forests, and below
      ground application  for pocket gophers and moles.
      Formulation Types:   Strychnine is  usually formulated in  grain baits
      at 0.2% to 0.5%  but  is also incorporated into a salt block  at 5.79%


     On August 23, 1988, the Eighth Circuit Court  of  Appeals  denied
 EPA's motion for a stay of an  April  11,  1988,  order  of  the U.S.
 District Court for the District of Minnesota requiring  EPA to
 temporarily cancel all strychnine registrations  for  above-ground
 use to protect non-target species.   Accordingly,  the  Agency  is
 issuing a Federal Register (FR) notice to  implement  the  court's
 order.  Since temporary cancellation is  not a  remedy  available
 under FIFRA, the FR notice identifies the  court  as  the  authority
 for the temporary cancellation action.   The District  Court has
 reviewed the FR Notice and has no objection to the  issuance  of
 the notice. The FR notice was  signed on  September 28,  1988 by  the
 Aministrator and it is to be issued  in the Federal  Register  on
 Wednesday, October 5, 1988.


       In 1976, EPA initiated a Special Review  [formerly  Rebuttable
 Presumption Against Registration (RPAR)] of the  above-ground uses
 of the pesticide strychnine in which the risks and  benefits  of
 strychnine use were examined in detail.  This  review  process was
 concluded on October 19, 1983, with  the  publication  of  a Notice
 of Intent to Cancel.  That Notice allowed  for  continued  registration
 of certain above-ground uses of strychnine with  certain  label modifi-j
 cations and required full cancellation of  other  uses.  The primary
 concern of the Agency in making its  risk/benefit  determinations
 was risk to non-target, endangered,  and  threatened  species.  Prior
 to issuance of the Notice, EPA had consulted with the  Fish and
 Wildlife Service under section 7 of  the  Endangered  Species Act.

     An administrative hearing was requested for  the  uses to  control
prairie do-gs, ground squirrels  and meadow mice.   The  remaining uses
addressed in the Notice of Intent to  Cancel were  either•amended to
comply with the terms of the Notice or were cancelled  by  operation
of law. The cancellations did not become  effective for  the three
uses involved in the hearing.

     After the administrative hearing began, settlement  discussions
occurred. In the summer of 1986, a settlement was  reached allowing
for the continued (with certain label modifications  to  protect
non-target species) registration of strychnine  for above-ground use
to control prairie dogs, ground squirrels and meadow  mice.  All
parties agreed to the settlement except the Defenders  of  Wildlife
and the Sierra Club.   The settlement was  based  on  a new  (1984)
biological opinion issued by the Fish and Wildlife Service in which
it was determined that aboveground strychnine use  could  continue
without jeopardizing the blackfooted  ferret if  certain protective
measures were taken.   The blackfooted ferret was  the  species  of most
concern in regard to strychnine use.

    In August 1986, the Defenders  of Wildlife  and  the  Sierra  Club
filed suit against EPA in  the United States  District  Court  for  the
District of Minnesota.  In  the  suit they  alleged  that  continued
registration of strychnine  for  above-ground  use would  result  in
takings of protected wildlife under the Endangered  Species  Act, the
Migratory Bird Treaty Act,  and  the Bald and  Golden  Eagle  Protection
Act.  In January 1987, Defenders of Wildlife provided  certain
information to the Agency  regarding deaths of  non-target  wildlife
from strychnine use (the "non-target kill book").   In  March 1987,
EPA issued a new Notice of  Intent  to Cancel  which  reflected the
terms of the settlement agreement  and allowed  the  continued use of
strychnine to control prairie dogs, ground squirrels,  and meadow
mice under specific terms  and conditions.  The Agency  informed  the
Defenders of Wildlife that  it would review the information  regarding
non-target deaths, but did  not  want to hold  up the  issuance of  the
March 1987 Notice because  it contained significant  measures to
protect non-target species.

     The "non-target kill  book" information  was referred  to the Fish
and Wildlife Service and EPA requested a  new biological opinion re-
garding the above-ground use of strychnine.  In May  and June, 1988
the Fish and Wildlife Service issued new  biological opinions on
above-ground use of strychn-ine.  These opinions currently are being
reviewed by EPA as part of  a reassessment of the  risks and  benefits
posed by above-ground use  of strychnine.

    In 1984, 1986 and 1987  the  Agency sent Data Call-in (DCI) notices
to the registrants of strychnine.  The information  required to  be
submitted to the Agency includes residue  chemistry, toxicology,
environmental fate,  environmental safety, and efficacy data.  The
deadlines were extended in  December, 1987.   The Agency is reviewing
progress made toward fulfilling the DCI requirements to determine
what future regulatory action may be appropriate.