FIFRA Scientific Advisory Panel (SAP) Basic Information
About the FIFRA SAP
The Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) Scientific Advisory Panel (SAP) is composed of biologists, statisticians, toxicologists and other experts who provide independent scientific advice to the EPA on a wide-range of health and safety issues related to pesticides.
As the nation’s primary pesticide regulatory agency, EPA makes decisions on a wide-range of pesticide uses in the United States. These decisions require that EPA review scientific data on risks that pesticides pose to wildlife, farm workers, pesticide applicators, and the general public through diet and exposure in homes, schools, parks, pools and golf courses.
The scientific data involved in these decisions is complex, so to make the best decisions possible, EPA often seeks technical advice from outside the Agency by consulting the members of the FIFRA SAP.
The FIFRA SAP, established by Congress in 1975 through the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA):
- operates in accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) of 1972;
- is composed of seven members representing a breadth of scientific disciplines;
- is augmented by additional experts (the Food Quality Protection Act Science Review Board, or FQPA SRB) who assist in reviews;
- reviews about 8 to 10 topics per year in public meetings; and
- publishes meeting minutes within 90 days of each meeting.
The scientists of the FIFRA SAP and FQPA SRB neither make nor recommend policy decisions. They provide advice on the science used to make these decisions. Their advice is invaluable to the EPA as it strives to protect the American people from risks posed by pesticides.
Panel Formation Process
The EPA receives scientific advice from the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) Scientific Advisory Panel (SAP) through deliberations of its long-term members (“the permanent panel”), who are joined by members of the Science Review Board, a pool of over 200 scientists specially selected based on expertise in the areas under discussion.
The permanent panel, as described under FIFRA Section 25(d), consists of seven members who are appointed by the EPA Administrator from nominations provided by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Science Foundation (NSF). Members serve staggered terms of appointment, generally of four-to-six years in duration. When a vacancy occurs on the panel due to expiration of a term, resignation, or any other reason, a replacement is appointed after receiving nominees from NIH and NSF.
The Science Review Board, as described under Section 104 of the Food Quality Protection Act of 1996 (FQPA), consists of scientists who are available to the FIFRA SAP on an ad-hoc basis to assist in reviews conducted by the FIFRA SAP. FQPA SRB members provide additional scientific expertise to augment the knowledge-base of the FIFRA SAP. Nominations of FQPA SRB members are provided by a number of sources including:
- the general public in response to a request for nominations published in the Federal Register notice announcing the FIFRA SAP meeting;
- members of the FIFRA SAP Permanent Panel;
- staff of Agency Program Offices;
- scientists already nominated;
- professional/scientific societies; and
- other identifiable stakeholder community representatives.
FQPA SRB members are selected by the Agency's Designated Federal Official, in consultation with the FIFRA SAP Executive Secretary and the Deputy Ethics Official for EPA's Office of Science Coordination and Policy.
Learn how panels are selected for a particular meeting or review.