Pesticides are “any subsatnce or mixture of substances intended for preventing, destroying, repelling, or mitigating any pest.” 7 U.S.C 136(u). Like other aspects of food law, responsibility for pesticides is split between sevearl federal agencies including the FDA, EPA, and USDA. The EPA regualtes pesticides by virtue of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), which was enacted in 1947. The statute governs the sale, distribution and use of pesticides and operates mainly through a registration mechanism. No pesticide can be legally sold or distributed without first being registered by EPA. EPA may only register a pesticide if the agency determines the pesticide will not cause “reasonable adverse effects on the environment” 7 U.SC 136(a). Once registered, FDA and USDA monitor “tolerances” established by EPA.
The problem of pesticides for food safety is that pesticide residue may remain in or on food. Wehth4er from direct treatment of a crop or processing or crop rotation or run off or spray drift or livestock eating feed with residues, pesticide residue finds its way into all manners of food for human consumption. After years of increased concern about the health effects of pesticide residues, in 1996 Congtress passsed the Food Quality Protection Act (FQPA). The Act amended the FDCA and FIFRa, mandating a single standard for pesticide reisdue in food and focused attention on the particular vulnerability of children to pesticides. 110 Stat 1489, 1511 (1996).
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August 24, 2017
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