Printer Friendly

Feds propose new pesticides policies.

Following the recent publication of a report from the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) on the health risks of pesticides used on foods, the Clinton administration pledged to revamp policies for studying, regulating, and policing the use of these chemicals (SN: 7/3/93, p.4). Last week, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Food and Drug Administration, and the Agriculture Department told Congress how they intend to fulfill that promise.

Among their proposed initiatives:

* setting an upper bound on the lifetime cancer risk that any pesticide can pose. They defined this "negligible" risk as one anticipated malignancy for every 1 million exposed persons.

* imposing a blanket prohibition on the export of pesticides banned in the United States.

* speeding up the ongoing federal safety review of all currently marketed pesticides.

* granting a grace period of up to five years for phasing out certain pesticides that do not meet the safety standard but that could result "in significant disruption in the food supply" if pulled from the market immediately, However, EPA said, such temporary waivers would be granted only for chemicals whose risks did not exceed 10 times the "negligible risk" level.

* adopting the NAS' recommendation that EPA consider possible exposures to a chemical from more than one food source when establishing permissible residue limits.

One of the more controversial elements of the revised pesticide policy is the intended amendment of the Delaney clause -- a 35-year-old provision of the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act that prohibits the sale of processed foods containing greater concentrations of pesticide residues than were present in the raw ingredients (SN: 5/15/93, p.311). EPA and other agencies have argued that the Delaney rule is too rigid, given improved analytical techniques that can detect residues too small to matter. The amendment would allow residues to concentrate as long as they pose only negligible risk. But critics, such as the Washington, D.C.-based Environmental Working Group, say the change "would weaken the strongest public health standard in all environmental law."
COPYRIGHT 1993 Science Service, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1993, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:Environmental Protection Agency, Agriculture Department and Food and Drug Administration propose initiatives for studying, regulating and policing pesticide use
Publication:Science News
Article Type:Brief Article
Date:Oct 2, 1993
Previous Article:A gem of a mistake.
Next Article:Environmental impacts of the computer age.

Related Articles
Pest patrol.
New legislation on pesticides and food safety laws introduced.
New laws rewrite rules on pesticides....
Pesticide regulations changed, but for better or worse?
Environmental pesticide illness and injury: the need for a national surveillance system.
Developing a comprehensive pesticide health effects tracking system for an urban setting: New York City's approach.
Testing toxic pesticides in humans: health risks with no health benefits.
Pesticide testing on humans: Resnick and Portier respond.
Information on pesticides.
Organic diets: Lu et al. respond.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2017 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters