HTML _ 95-514 - The Delaney Clause Effects on Pesticide Policy
13-Jul-1995; Donna U. Vogt; 5 p.

Abstract: Pesticide residues in processed foods are regulated under Section 409 of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) which pertains to ¨food additives.¨ Section 409 specifically addresses cancer-causing (carcinogens) pesticide residues in processed foods with its Delaney Clause. This Clause has a fixed risk standard, ¨zero cancer risk,¨ for food additive pesticide residue tolerances. Such a risk standard does not allow an assessment of any possible agricultural benefits from the use of pesticides. Several groups, including the pesticide and food industries, want Congress to replace the Delaney Clause with a ¨negligible risk¨ standard. The pesticide industry claims that a single ¨negligible risk¨ standard would set one risk standard for all foods and would allow newer, safer pesticides to be marketed even with some evidence of carcinogenicity. However, Delaney Clause supporters argue that Delaney reduces risks associated with carcinogenic pesticide chemicals and no carcinogenic substances should be added voluntarily to food; there are enough natural carcinogenic toxins already in the food supply. The Senate is currently considering the Comprehensive Regulatory Reform Act of 1995 (S. 343) which would replace the Delaney Clause provisions governing pesticide residues in foods (food additives), color additives, and animal drugs with a negligible risk standard. This version states:¨ No agency shall prohibit or refuse to approve a substance or product on the basis of safety where the substance or product presents a negligible or insignificant foreseeable risk to human health resulting from its intended use.¨ Critics, particularly the Administration, say this revision of the risk standard is untested and lacks the directive of being health-based. [read report]

Topics: Pesticides

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