Reevaluation: Review of Registered Pesticides
EPA ensures that each registered pesticide continues to meet the highest standards of safety to protect human health and the environment. These standards have become stricter over the years as our ability to evaluate the potential effects of pesticides has increased. Therefore, the Agency has embarked on several programs to reevaluate pesticides as the standards evolve. The Web pages in this area of the Pesticide Web site describe EPA’s activities under each of these programs.
EPA has used groundbreaking science and provided extensive opportunities for public involvement, while maintaining a commitment to timeliness. The Agency and our regulatory partners in the states and tribes, as well as interested stakeholders have upgraded the protective framework of these programs to ensure that safe and effective pesticides are available to support production of one of the most abundant, affordable, and healthy food supplies in the world and to meet America’s pest control needs.
In 2006, EPA initiated a new program called registration review to reevaluate all pesticides on a regular cycle. The program’s goal is to review each pesticide active ingredient every 15 years 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.
EPA has completed a one-time program to review older pesticides (those initially registered before November 1984) under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) to ensure that they meet current scientific and regulatory standards. This process, called reregistration, considers the human health and ecological effects of pesticides and results in actions to reduce risks that are of concern. Implementation of the decisions will continue beyond the 2008 completion of the reviews.
The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetics Act (FFDCA) as amended by the Food Quality Protection Act of 1996 (FQPA) called for reassessing existing tolerances (maximum limits for pesticide residues in food) and tolerance exemptions to ensure that they meet the safety standard of the law. EPA integrated reregistration and tolerance reassessment to accomplish the goals of both programs most effectively. The law required EPA to give priority to the review of those pesticides that appear to pose the greatest risk to public health, and to reassess nearly 10,000 tolerances. The Agency had completed more than 99% of tolerance reassessments by the end of 2006.
EPA may initiate the Pesticide Special Review process when it discovers that the use of a registered pesticide may result in unreasonable adverse effects on people or the environment. Unlike the reregistration and registration review processes, the special review process usually involves intensive review of only a few or just one potential risk concern. The review involves evaluating existing data, acquiring new information and/or studies, assessing the identified risk, and determining appropriate risk reduction measures.