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Pesticide News Story: Proposed Rule Expands Opportunities for Minor Crops

For Release: January 8, 2010

EPA is proposing revisions to pesticide crop grouping regulations that allow the establishment of tolerances for groups of related crops. EPA expects these revisions will enhance EPA’s ability to make food safety evaluations of minor crops for tolerance-setting purposes and promote global harmonization of food safety standards. EPA anticipates that more lower-risk pesticides will be able to come forward for registration on minor crops, including many fruits and vegetables, because of the availability of crop grouping tolerances. The establishment of a crop group uses data from residue field trials developed on representative crops within that group. EPA determines whether residues of a pesticide can be permitted once the required safety finding is made to establish a crop group tolerance. The revisions announced today create a new crop group for oilseeds, expands existing crop groups by adding new commodities, establishes new crop subgroups, and revises the representative crops in certain groups. This is the second in a series of planned crop group updates to be proposed over the next several years.

The proposed crop group rule is based on a petition submitted to EPA by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Inter-regional Research Project No. 4 (IR-4). IR-4 developed this petition with input from the governments of Canada and Mexico, working with over 180 crop, agrichemical, and regulatory experts representing more than 30 countries. The petition and the monographs supporting it are included in the docket for the proposed rule, which can be found under docket EPA-HQ-OPP-2006-0766 at www.regulations.gov. The proposal is a burden-reducing regulation. Comments on the proposed rule are due on or before March 8, 2010. The Federal Register notice announcing the proposal can be found at http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2010/E10-31397.htm.

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