Current as of April 2013
As part of a series of initiatives to improve pesticide labeling, EPA is working with external stakeholders to design a new system for delivering product labeling to pesticide users. The new approach, which could largely replace the paper-based system, will rely on users to contact either an official pesticide labeling website or a toll-free telephone number from which they can obtain the detailed use instructions that previously were attached to the product container.
On This Page
- Advantages of “web-distributed” product labeling
- EPA's approach to improving product labeling
- History of web-based distribution of labeling
- User Acceptance Pilot
- Draft Pesticide Registration Notice
- Additional information
This “web-distributed labeling system,” initially focusing on agricultural and industrial pesticides, will provide simplified container labels and rapid distribution of up-to-date product labeling. We expect to see the following benefits from this system:
- faster access to new pesticide uses
- quicker implementation of public health and environmental protective measures
- improved compliance with label directions
- lower costs for industry and EPA
A web-based labeling distribution system is one part of our step-wise approach to improve pesticide product labeling. This approach includes three major components:
- a system that enables EPA to receive labeling submissions from pesticide companies in electronic form and to process them more efficiently and consistently;
- internal agency procedures to improve clarity and enforceability of labeling content; and
- a system for electronic dissemination of the most current approved version of product labeling to users.
The Agency established a “Web-Distributed Labeling Workgroup” in 2007 to explore the issues associated with distributing pesticide labeling via the internet. EPA engaged in informal discussions about the concept of web-distributed labeling with stakeholders. Members from the workgroup presented this topic at the Pesticide Program Dialogue Committee (PPDC) meeting in May 2008. In October 2008, a “Web-Distributed Labeling Work Group”was formed. The PPDC Workgroup provided feedback on various issues related to the potential web-distributed labeling system, such as web-distributed labeling’s lifespan, content, eligible products, benefits, website functionality, and enforcement.
On December 2010, EPA requested formal comment on the initiative to distribute labeling electronically through a Federal Register notice. The comment period closed on March 29, 2011. EPA plans to review and respond to the comments received.
Based on the input and advice of the PPDC Web-Distributed Labeling Workgroup, EPA is interested in conducting a “User Acceptance Pilot” to research the extent to which users would accept a system requiring them to obtain labeling via the Internet. The specific goal of the pilot is to determine whether the benefits of web-distributed labeling would be sufficiently appealing to users that they would be willing to visit a website to obtain labeling for a pesticide product. The pilot would demonstrate how users could access labeling information using the website and would not involve the actual distribution of pesticide product labeling.
On August 18, 2010 EPA published a Federal Register Notice inviting participation in the pilot. EPA welcomes participation by stakeholders who commit to:
- Developing a sample web-distributed labeling website per the specifications in the Federal Register Notice
- Developing a sample web-distributed labeling website that incorporates additional features covered in the Work Group’s Website Functionality Discussion Paper (7 pp, 70k, about PDF).
- Soliciting feedback from users and other stakeholders on their experience with the website
Greenbook volunteered to develop a website for users to test aspects of web-distributed labeling without requiring labeling changes in the field and made the website public in December 2010. The America Association of Pesticide Safety Educators (AAPSE), a PPDC workgroup member, developed a survey for pilot website users that was accessible through the pilot website. The pilot ran through April 2011. The draft results of the AAPSE survey are available at http://aapse.org/links.html.draft Pesticide Registration Notice outlining the process by which registrants could make a product’s labeling available via the Internet (web-distributed labeling) and asked for public comment. The comment period closed on April 16. EPA is reviewing the comments received and plans to incorporate the feedback received into a final pesticide registration notice later this year.