Court Remands Suit over Pesticide Safety Standards

     SAN FRANCISCO (CN) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency did not adequately explain why it reduced child-safety standards for fruit and vegetable pesticides, the 9th Circuit ruled.

     The Northwest Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticides and the National Resources Defense Council claimed the EPA violated the Food Quality Protection Act by failing to provide the 10-times factor of tolerance, which is built in to the law to protect children from pesticide exposure.
     When it regulated seven pesticides from December 2001 to April 2002, the agency reduced the child-safety factor for four of the pesticides to a “three-times” factor. The other three pesticides did not have a child-safety factor.
     “The problem in this case is that the EPA’s Final Order is vague, making it impossible for us to determine whether the EPA’s deviations from the 10x child safety factor … were supported by reliable data,” Judge Pregerson ruled, remanding the case to the EPA for further explanation.

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