96-759 - Pesticide Legislation: Food Quality Protection Act of 1996 (P.L. 104-170)
11-Sep-1996; Linda Jo Schierow; 32 p.
Abstract: The 104th congress enacted significant changes to the Federal Insecticide, fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), governing U.S. sale and use of pesticide products, and the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA), which limits pesticide residues on food. The vehicle of these changes was H.R. 1627, the ¨Food Quality Protection Act of 1996¨ (FQPA), enacted August 3, 1996, as Public Law 104-170. Under FIFRA, the new law will facilitate registrations and reregistrations of pesticides for special (so-called¨minor¨) uses and authorize collection of maintenance fees of support pesticide reregistration. Food safety provisions will establish a single standard of safety for pesticide residue on raw and processed foods; provide information through large food retail stores to consumers about the health risks of pesticide residues and how to avoid them; preempt state and local food safety laws if they are based on concentrations of pesticide residues below recently established federal residue limits(called¨tolerances¨); and ensure that tolerances protect the health of infants and children. Contrary to widespread reports, the FQPA does not repeal the Delaney Clause or amend FFDCA section 409: food additives that are not pesticide residues remain subject to the ¨zero-risk¨ Delaney standard. Rather, Public Law 104-170 eliminated the distinction between raw and processed food tolerances so that all pesticide residues will be regulated under and amended FFECA Section 408. New Section 408 requires all tolerances to be ¨safe,¨ ensuring a ¨reasonable certainty of no harm¨ from pesticides. It authorizes slightly higher residue concentrations on foods when pesticide use avoids greater health risks to consumers or significant disruptions to domestic production of an adequate, wholesome, and economical food supply. The FQPA, as enacted, does not address two issues that were addressed by H.R. 1627, as introduced and reported in the House, but were deleted before the House and Senate debates. The FQPA does not include a proposal to federally preempt local pesticide use regulations which was opposed by several states with laws either authorizing or preempting local regulation. the FQPA also omits a provision opposed by Indian tribes and the Administration that would have prohibited tribal enforcement of pesticide use laws on land within tribal boundaries if less than half that land were owned by the tribe or tribal members. The FQPA has widespread support in the community of growers, food processors, chemical suppliers, environmental and consumer advocacy groups, and state government agriculture officials. The Clinton Administration also generally supports its provisions. For readers not familiar with the statutes, Appendix A describes key FIFRA and FFDCA authorities and provisions. Appendix B provides a brief section-by-section summary of Public Law 104-170. [read report]
Topics: Pesticides, Agriculture