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2006 Pesticide Program Annual Report

The following are excerpt from this year’s annual report.  The full report (12 pages, 875 Kb, about PDF) is available in PDF format. All pesticide program annual reports.

SPECIAL ACCOMPLISHMENTS

This chart shows EPA's progress towards FQPA's goals at the 3 year, 6 year and 10 year intervals

Through FQPA, Congress required EPA to reassess 9,721 maximum allowable pesticide residue limits, called tolerances, by August 2006. This graph indicates progress toward that goal. As of FY 2006, 9,637 of a total 9,721 tolerances have been reassessed.

FQPA Deadline—2006 Culminated 10 Years of Effort

In 1996, the two houses of Congress unanimously enacted the Food Quality Protection Act (FQPA).  Through this historic action, Congress presented EPA with the immense challenge of implementing the most comprehensive overhaul of the Nation’s pesticide and food safety laws in decades.  The centerpiece of Congress’s challenge was the requirement to review and reassess—within a decade—the tolerances (maximum permitted residues) for all food-use pesticides to ensure they met a new, strict safety standard. 

By the end of fiscal year 2006, the Pesticide Program had reassessed more than 99 percent of the 9,721 subject tolerances, an effort that necessitated the detailed review of tens of thousands of toxicology, chemistry, and environmental studies and the application of new risk assessment methods and policies.  This 10-year effort, based on sound science and broad public participation, has resulted in the strictest protective standards for pesticide regulation for all Americans, especially infants and children.

Simultaneously with tolerance reassessment, the Pesticide Program determined reregistration eligibility of existing pesticides.  This resulted in cancellation of more than 4,300 individual pesticide end-use product registrations in the 10-year span, while still ensuring that pesticides are available to protect Americans, their homes, and their food supply.  

Carbofuran to be Phased Out

In 2006, EPA determined that carbofuran uses do not meet the standard for continued registration under FIFRA.  The decision was based on high ecological and human health risks and low benefits associated with most crop uses.  The Agency has proposed to revoke all carbofuran tolerances, with the exception of those being retained for imported crops only.

Carbofuran is a systemic, broad spectrum N-methyl carbamate insecticide registered for control of soil and foliar pests on a variety of fruit and vegetable crops, as well as ornamentals and agricultural fallow land.  Carbofuran is classified as a restricted-use pesticide.  No residential uses are registered. 

EPA is providing a four-year phaseout for some minor crop uses that have moderate benefits, including artichokes, chili peppers grown in the Southwestern United States, cucurbits (granular formulation only), spinach grown for seed, pine seedlings in the Southeastern United States, and sunflowers. 

The Agency will retain tolerances for imported coffee, bananas, rice, and sugarcane.  No dietary concerns are associated with these four tolerances. 

EPA’s tolerance decision for carbofuran is still considered “interim” pending the Agency’s completion of the N-methyl carbamate cumulative risk assessment.   http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/reregistration/carbofuran/

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