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STATEMENT BY CAL/EPA SECRETARY JAMES M. STROCK AND HEALTH SERVICES DIRECTOR MOLLY COYE ON NAS REPORT ON PESTICIDES

 SACRAMENTO, Calif., June 28 /PRNewswire/ -- Following are statements by Secretary for Environmental Protection, James M. Strock, and Department of Health Services Director, Dr. Molly Coye, on the National Academy of Sciences report on pesticide residues released Sunday:
 Following is Secretary Strock's statement:
 "The National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) has issued its long-awaited evaluation of the methods the federal government uses to estimate the health risks to infants and children from dietary exposure to pesticide residues.
 "The report, commissioned by Congress and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, will change the way pesticides are regulated, both nationally and in California. As scientific knowledge increases, government's approach must be updated.
 "California already has the nation's most comprehensive state program to regulate pesticides. This expertise is especially apparent in the ability of scientists in Cal/EPA's Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) and Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) to independently evaluate the potential risks of pesticides in the diet.
 "Beginning with the evaluation of pesticide safety, continuing through residue monitoring and enforcement of pesticide use in the field, California's program is one we are justly proud of.
 "California is already moving aggressively to deal with the issue of pesticide use and reduction by acting on the recommendations of a comprehensive report recently issued that evaluated the state's pesticide use, monitoring and registration programs. California farmers not only abide by the nation's most comprehensive pesticide laws, but are also leaders in integrated pest management, developing alternatives to chemical pesticides.
 "We can and will make the nation's best pesticide regulatory program even better. That is what continued environmental leadership demands. The NAS report will help us do that. DPR will review the report, with the assistance of OEHHA, the state Department of Health Services, and the University of California. We will take what the NAS report tells us, and make it work for California.
 "California is the state best prepared to work with the federal government to move pesticide regulation into the 21st century."
 Following is Dr. Coye's statement:
 "The health benefits of eating fruits and vegetables are well documented. Californians are encouraged to thoroughly wash fruits and vegetables before consuming them. This reduces or eliminates not only possible pesticide residues, but possible bacterial contamination as well.
 "With this precaution in mind, we still believe any risk to children from eating fruits and vegetables is extremely small and greatly outweighed by the health benefits of a balanced diet. In fact, the State encourages everyone to eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables each day.
 "The report recommends changes in how pesticides are regulated by the federal government. It does not recommend any change in our dietary practices."
 -0- 6/28/93
 /CONTACT: James J. Lee of Cal/EPA, 916-324-9670; or Scott Lewis of the Department of Health Services, 916-657-3064/


CO: California Environmental Protection Agency; Department of Health
 Services ST: California IN: ENV SU:


TM -- SF013 -- 6457 06/28/93 17:48 EDT
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Date:Jun 28, 1993
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