Pesticide News Story: Focus Meetings Offer New Early Opportunities for Stakeholder Involvement in Pesticide Registration Review
For Release: December 6, 2012
In an ongoing effort to enhance transparency and involvement, the EPA has instituted Focus Meetings as a new step for certain pesticides going through registration review, the agency’s periodic reevaluation of all pesticides to make sure that as the ability to assess risks to human health and the environment evolves and as policies and practices change, all pesticide products in the marketplace can still be used safely. Focus Meetings provide an additional opportunity for stakeholder engagement early in the registration review process. This early involvement can help ensure that the EPA has important information prior to developing risk assessments for registration review.
The meetings, which typically involve registrants and others, are intended to address areas of uncertainty such as unclear labels or missing studies that could affect the EPA’s pesticide risk assessment and risk management decisions. By obtaining better information early in the process, the EPA can narrow the scope of pesticide reevaluations to areas that pose real concerns, based on current data and use patterns. Better understanding of use patterns, for example, could reduce or eliminate the need for additional studies, or eliminate overly conservative assumptions that would lead to rework later in the process. Designed to improve efficiency, Focus Meetings will help ensure that the EPA has the best available data and information early in the process for making informed registration review decisions.
To ensure transparency, materials associated with Focus Meetings will be available in the pesticide-specific registration review dockets. For cases where a Focus Meeting is held prior to the opening of a chemical-specific docket, OPP has opened a special Focus Meetings docket, EPA-HQ-OPP-2012-0778, at www.regulations.gov.
Further information about Focus Meetings is available on the EPA’s registration review Web page, http://www.epa.gov/oppsrrd1/registration_review/focus-meetings.html.