EPA Sets Standards for FIFRA, TSCA Lab Tests

[EPA press release - November 1, 1983]

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today set laboratory standards for testing pesticides and toxic substances under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) and the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).

These standards, called Good Lab Practices, are designed to assure that test data submitted to the agency for regulatory purposes is reliable. Good Lab Practices are those yardsticks by which EPA can determine whether laboratory studies are being properly conducted and will yield sound data. EPA's Good Lab Practices are consistent with testing procedures developed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

EPA proposed the standards after learning of allegations that Industrial Biotest Labs, a large laboratory headquartered in Chicago, had provided falsified data to the agency. Some pesticides were duly registered by EPA based on that data; many of these products subsequently required a lengthy retesting process.

Based on these allegations, on October 21 of this year, a U.S. District Court judge in Chicago found three former IBT officials guilty of mail fraud and making false statements to the government.

The rules set standards for the administration of testing labs, the control and management of laboratory test animals, the documentation of these tests and the handling of test data.

Under FIFRA, laboratory tests yield the kind of toxicology data EPA uses to make decisions on the registration of pesticides and the establishment of pesticide tolerances. Under TSCA, EPA uses laboratory tests to evaluate the health and environmental effects of new and existing chemicals.