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U.S. EPA finalizes revisions to several pesticide crop groupingsqrcode

Sep. 22, 2022

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Sep. 22, 2022
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released the sixth final rule in an ongoing series of revisions to the pesticide crop grouping regulations. EPA is expanding the number of commodities in several crop groups, which benefits legume vegetable growers, cereal grain growers, and pesticide registrants while maintaining protections for human health and the environment.

Crop groups are established when residue data for certain representative crops are used to establish pesticide tolerances for a group of crops that are botanically or taxonomically related. EPA sets these tolerances, which are the maximum amount of a pesticide allowed to remain in or on a food, as part of the process of regulating pesticides that may leave residues in food. Crop grouping allows the results of pesticide residue studies for one crop to be applied to other, related crops within the group.

In January 2022, EPA issued a proposed rule for public comment to improve several pesticide crop groupings including amendments to Crop Group 6: Legume Vegetables; Crop Group 7: Foliage of Legume Vegetables; Crop Group 15: Cereal Grains; and Crop Group 16: Forage, Fodder, and Straw of Cereal Grains. This final rule incorporates comments received on the proposed rule and includes adding crop subgroups, changes to representative commodities and terminology, and the addition of commodities and modifications that increase efficiencies in assessing the risks of pesticides used on crops grown in and outside of the United States. Before this final rule, 168 commodities were part of these crop groups. Through this crop group expansion, 248 commodities will now be covered by tolerances for the new crop groups.

Benefits of this final rule include:

  • A reduction in regulatory burden and enhancement of the Agency’s ability to conduct food safety evaluations and set standards for tolerances in commodities that are consumed globally.

  • Lower registration costs, including an estimated savings of $101,700 for registrants by avoiding the cost of additional testing requirements to establish a separate tolerance, which will encourage more pesticide products to be registered on minor crops, providing more pest control tools for minor crop growers.

  • The addition of certain minor or specialty crops that have grown in popularity since the establishment of crop groupings, like amaranth, chia, prince’s feather, and quinoa, among others, will facilitate access by consumers to these crops as growers realize cost savings from new pest control tools.

  • The promotion of greater use of crop groupings when setting tolerances, both domestically and in countries that export food to the U.S., increasing global compatibility with international food safety standards.

Based on petitions submitted to EPA by the IR-4 Project, EPA has taken a phased approach towards revising the current pesticide crop grouping regulations. The remaining groups to update and expand in the future are: Root and Tuber Vegetables (Groups 1 & 2), Cucurbit Vegetables (Group 9), Grass Animal Feeds (Group 17) and Nongrass Animal Feeds (Group 18).

Read the final rule.

Source: U.S. EPA


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