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REGULATORY INITIATIVES NEEDED TO ACCELERATE INTRODUCTION OF REDUCED-RISK ALTERNATIVES TO CHEMICAL PESTICIDES

 SAN DIEGO, June 25 /PRNewswire/ -- Addressing concerns expected to be raised by a National Academy of Sciences report on how pesticide residues in foods may affect the health of infants and children, a leading producer of biological alternatives to chemical pesticides has proposed federal regulatory initiatives to accelerate the introduction of reduced-risk crop protection products.
 "Agricultural biotechnology has developed a wide array of reduced- risk products, such as biopesticides and pest-resistant crop plants," said Jerry Caulder, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Mycogen Corp. "Many have undergone extensive field-testing, but most aren't yet available to farmers and thus to the consuming public because they are bogged down in a regulatory system that was developed to deal with problems associated with synthetic chemicals."
 Caulder outlined a six-point program through which the Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Pesticide Programs can remove regulatory obstacles and promote adoption of reduced-risk pest control approaches:
 -- Designate a unit of qualified scientific reviewers specifically dedicated to reviewing reduced-risk pest control agents;
 -- Streamline the review process for reduced-risk pest control agents, and set mandatory deadlines for response to field testing and registration applications;
 -- Couple the re-registration review of existing chemical products that are likely to be denied with applications for reduced-risk products targeting the same pests;
 -- Allow reduced-risk pesticides to declare factual information about their safety and environmental compatibility on product labels and in advertising;
 -- Develop a joint program with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Extension to educate pesticide users about the benefits of proper use of reduced-risk pest control approaches; and
 -- Exempt users of reduced-risk pest control agents from inappropriate requirements and restrictions that have been enacted to control the purchase, storage, application and disposal of synthetic chemical pesticides.
 "The current debate over pesticides is one-sided, centering on the risks of chemical products rather than on the availability of reduced- risk alternatives," Caulder concluded. "EPA and other public agencies and officials have an opportunity to broaden that focus to promote solutions as well as addressing problems."
 Mycogen is a diversified agricultural biotechnology company that develops and markets environmentally compatible biopesticides and improved crop varieties to control pests and increase food and fiber production.
 -0- 6/25/93
 /CONTACT: Mike Sund, director-corporate communications of Mycogen, 619-453-8030 or (weekend/evening) 619-756-9445/


CO: Mycogen Corp. ST: California IN: CHM ENV SU:

JB-LS -- SD005 -- 5809 06/25/93 14:44 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jun 25, 1993
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