Jump to main content.

Chapter 7: Partner and Task Force Meetings

CLI Partner and Task Force members met four times during Phase II of the CLI. These meetings were used to provide updates on the progress of the project, as well as to obtain consensus on decisions that needed to be made during Phase II of CLI. During these meetings, sub-groups presented their findings to the CLI Partner and Task Force members and other interested Stakeholders. Future CLI activities were also discussed and planned.

March 20, 1997 CLI Phase II "Kick-off" Meeting

In March 1997, CLI Partner and Task Force members met to begin work on the second phase of the CLI. The meeting began with a review of the key points coming out of Phase I of the CLI as a setting for the initiation of Phase II.

At this meeting, EPA announced that budgetary and Paperwork Reduction Act constraints would make it impossible for the Agency to fund quantitative research of the type and magnitude that had been recommended by Phase I of the CLI. The Agency indicated that it would neither require nor request that such research be done, although it conceded that quantitative research would be extremely valuable. Several of the CLI industry and trade association partners decided that the research was too important to be eliminated from the program, and volunteered to fund and direct it, with input from all of the CLI participants. The EPA's role in connection with the quantitative research has thus been one of a facilitator, consultant, and recipient.

Three of these industry partners presented a research plan for the Phase II quantitative research at this meeting. The Bayer Corporation, Procter and Gamble, and S.C. Johnson and Son, Inc. gave this presentation. Discussion on the research plan included, but was not limited to: making sure that the questions be clear in asking consumers what they understand about labels and not what they preferred; providing a 'mock-label' to consumers; collecting data on consumer attitudes toward products; collecting information on standardized environmental information.

The EPA also announced that there would be a meeting between the EPA and environmental and public interest groups in April 1997, and invited CLI Partner and Task Force members to attend. The purpose of the April meeting was to update these groups on the progress of the CLI, and to obtain their input and participation for its development.

The meeting was also a forum to re-cap the immediate and longer term label changes that could be made as a result of Phase I of CLI. Immediate label changes included: 1) inclusion of a toll-free number on product labels, so that consumers have someone to call in case of emergencies; 2) using the common names of ingredients instead of their chemical names; 3) using the word "other ingredients" instead of "inert ingredients; and 4) using a clear heading for the first aid section of the label, which is to read "First Aid," instead of "Statement of Practical Treatment."

Longer-term changes would be addressed by Subgroups and included: 1) further investigation of First Aid statements; 2) further investigation of the ingredients issues (i.e., right-to-know issues regarding full disclosure of ingredients); and 3) further investigation of the storage and disposal issues, and how to address the conflict between label language and state and local policies, regulations, and practices.

During this meeting, the EPA announced that they are interested in investigating the idea of a standardized "eco-facts box" on product labels (like the nutrition box). The EPA suggested investigating this through the quantitative research.

Finally, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency presented details of its Consumer Label Education Program as a stepping stone for the CLI consumer education effort. It was decided that any consumer education campaign for CLI should focus on "reading the label," rather than on infrequent but real risks of the products themselves.

For details on the discussion that took place during this meeting, refer to Appendix 7-1.

February 1998 Partner and Task Force Meeting

The second meeting took place February 17-18, 1998, in Alexandria, VA. The meeting was announced one to two months prior to the meeting. All Partner and Task Force members and other interested parties were invited to attend. Forty CLI Partner and Task Force members were in attendance. (For a list of meeting participants, please refer to Appendix 7‑1.) The meeting served as a forum for subgroups to update Partner and Task Force members on their activities.

On the first day of the meeting, members of the Quantitative Research subgroup updated meeting attendees on the progress of the quantitative research and the subgroup's plans for implementing the quantitative survey. The group affirmed that the survey would address the learning objectives defined in Phase I, and outlined a schedule for completing the research.

The concept of standardizing environmental information on product labels was introduced and an outline for discussion was proposed. To engage Stakeholders in framing the debate, Andrew Stoeckle of Abt Associates presented a paper written with Julie Winters of the EPA, that explored issues relating to standardizing environmental information on product labels. Julie Spagnoli of Bayer Corporation also did a presentation on the topic. A core subgroup of CLI members was identified to work on the issue.

Members from the subgroups on Ingredient Identification and First Aid gave presentations on the status of their work. In addition, sessions were held to discuss other issues not covered by a specific sub-group. These issues included multi-lingual consumers and literacy level of consumers, the use of icons or signal words on product labels, label format, and environmental claims of a product.

On the second day of the meeting, Susan Wayland, Deputy Assistant Administrator for the Office of Prevention, Pesticides and Toxic Substances, spoke to CLI Partner and Task Force members. She encouraged the group to find out what environmental information consumers wanted to know, and how they wanted that information presented.

The subgroups on Consumer Education, and Storage and Disposal, presented updates of their activities to meeting attendees. A session was also held to update Partner and Task Force members and CLI Stakeholders on EPA efforts to involve Stakeholders in the CLI.

At the end of the meeting, items for future action were compiled from the two days of presentations and discussion. CLI project management and time lines were also discussed. For more detailed information on the discussion that took place during this meeting, refer to Appendix 7-2.

September 1998 Partner and Task Force Meeting

CLI Partner and Task Force members met again on September 23 and 24 in Alexandria, VA. Efforts were made beforehand to encourage the involvement of as many participants as possible. A CLI Update, published in August 1998, invited interested parties to attend the meeting. The update was sent to all Partner and Task Force members and CLI Stakeholders, and was posted on the World Wide Web. Some project Stakeholders, such as environmental organizations, were telephoned and personally invited to the meeting by EPA staff members. Forty-seven people were in attendance. Julie Winters of the U.S. EPA's OPPTS served as the moderator. (For a complete list of attendees, refer to Appendix 7-2.)

The goals of the meeting were:

  • to present the data and the findings of Phase II quantitative and qualitative research, in order to ensure the understanding of participants;
  • to develop possible recommendations and action steps arising out of Phase II work;
  • to make policy recommendations when possible and appropriate;
  • to recommend label changes and identify tradeoffs in going forward; and
  • to recommend further research where necessary.

During the first day, findings, implications and conclusions from both the quantitative and qualitative Phase II CLI research were presented. Members of the subgroups on Storage and Disposal and Consumer Education also gave reports on their activities.

On the second day of the meeting, participants were asked to make recommendations to the EPA on policy changes, immediate label changes, and areas for further research, based on the information presented the day before. For a full list of the recommendations, please refer to Chapter 9. Discussion included topics addressed on the first day, as well as ingredient information, signal words, hazard hierarchy, and label format/language. CLI recommendations on which participants could agree were adopted to be presented to the EPA, for consideration by the Agency for possible adoption. For details on the discussion that took place during this meeting, refer to Appendix 7-3.

April 1999 Partner and Task Force Meeting

The fourth CLI Partner and Task Force Meeting was held on April 7 and 8, 1999, in Alexandria, VA, to update Stakeholders on CLI events that had happened since the September 1998 meeting. Thirty Partner and Task Force members attended the meeting. Topics of discussion included plans for an upcoming media event, implementation of CLI proposed label changes by the Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP), issues related to storage and disposal, and the consumer education campaign. (To view the meeting summary and notes, refer to Appendix 7-4.)

The EPA informed CLI Stakeholders about plans for an upcoming media event, to be held in Spring 2000, to announce some of the labeling recommendations that EPA will be making as a result of the CLI. The Partners and Task Force discussed potential messages, goals, and details of the event.

Jean Frane from the OPP informed project Stakeholders how the CLI recommendations made in September 1998 were being implemented. The OPP revised the First Aid Statements, using CLI recommendations, and expects to release a Pesticide Registration (PR) notice citing these new recommendations in Fall/Winter 1999. Certain label changes, recommended at the September Partner and Task Force meeting, were adopted by the EPA as changes that can be currently submitted to the OPP. These label changes, changes that will be considered on a case-by-case basis, and changes that will not be considered at present until formal implementing documents are published, were presented to CLI Stakeholders and are listed at the end of Chapter 9.

Storage and disposal issues were also discussed by Jean Frane of the OPP. At the meeting, it was pointed out that some states are reluctant to take part the "Read the Label FIRST!" campaign while there are still unresolved issues concerning the storage and disposal section of the label.

The Consumer Education sub-group updated Stakeholders on events pertaining to Consumer Education. The Subgroup presented drafted text for outreach brochures targeting gardeners, children's health, pet protection, and household products. Message placement plans and the process of designing a consumer education campaign logo were also discussed.

Publications | Glossary | A-Z Index | Jobs

Local Navigation

Jump to main content.