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CAL/EPA FORMS INTERAGENCY WORKING GROUP TO REVIEW NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES REPORT ON PESTICIDES AND CHILDREN

 SACRAMENTO, June 28 /PRNewswire/ -- The California Environmental Protection Agency (Cal/EPA) announced today the formation of an interagency working group to review the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) Report on children and pesticides released yesterday, Sunday, June 27.
 "We now have the nation's best regulatory program for pesticides. We will review the NAS report carefully to identify potential areas for further improvement," said James M. Strock, secretary for Environmental Protection.
 In accordance with California's Food Safety Act of 1989, Cal/EPA's Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) and Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) will jointly review the report, assisted by the Department of Health Services, and others.
 The working group, chaired by DPR, will focus on how the report's findings relate to federal and state pesticide registration and food safety systems, and determine how to utilize that information to improve California's already comprehensive pesticide regulatory program.
 The working group is expected to hold a series of public workshops in order to invite public comment on the NAS report and it's implications for the state's pesticide programs. DPR expects to report to the Legislature on its findings by the end of the year.
 The NAS report was commissioned by Congress and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 1988, following nationwide controversy surrounding a report from the Natural Resources Defense Council that implicated Alar and other pesticides as potential causes of cancer in children.
 "I applaud all those who worked on the National Academy of Sciences' report on pesticides and children. It was a long and difficult project, studying an issue that cannot help but give rise to emotion and controversy," said James W. Wells, DPR director.
 "We have a strong pesticide safety net in place, but we can tighten the weave with many of the recommendations of the NAS report. It has laid the groundwork for improving the state and federal pesticide regulatory programs, so we can continue to provide solid assurance to all our citizens that pesticide residues in food do not pose a threat to the health of those who are most vulnerable and deserving of our protection," Wells said.
 -0- 6/28/93 R
 /CONTACT: James J. Lee of Cal/EPA, 916-324-9670/


CO: California Environmental Protection Agency; Department of Pesticide
 Regulation; Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment ST: California IN: ENV SU:


SG -- SF014A -- 6482 06/28/93 18:56 EDT
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Date:Jun 28, 1993
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