USA Rice Federation has filed the 2015 Critical Use Nomination (CUN) from the USA Rice Millers' Association for continuation of use of the structural fumigant methyl bromide (MeBr). The CUNs, filed three years in advance, are designed to predict how much MeBr will be needed by each industry in that year and are part of the critical use exemption (CUE) process under the Montreal Protocol, which banned MeBr as a possible ozone depleter. The CUE process allows for usage to continue if there are no technical or economically feasible alternatives to MeBr.
For the last several years, both the United Nations and the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have been pushing industries to switch to sulfuryl fluoride (SF) as a fumigant. EPA recently announced that it is withdrawing the tolerances for SF -- effectively banning its use as a fumigant in food mills -- because the over-fluoridation of drinking water and tooth care products is causing children's teeth to stain. This action will leave the rice milling and other industries without a major fumigant. USA Rice is working on both regulatory and legislative actions to save one of the two fumigants for structural uses.