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Primary Federal Laws Governing Pesticides

9. What federal laws control pesticides?

There are two primary federal pesticide acts:

•    the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act of 1947, and

•    the Federal Environmental Pesticide Control Act of 1972.

Both of these acts require registration and labeling of agricultural pesticides. The EPA is directed to register those pesticides and certify that they are properly labeled, that they meet the claims made as to their effectiveness, and that they will not have unreasonable adverse effects on the environment. Further, manufacturers must label them as “general” or “restricted use” and place training requirements on applicators. The EPA can deny or suspend registration or it can halt manufacture of the product. The EPA defines what the pesticides can and cannot be used for and may seek penalties against violators.

•    Discussion: Why do you think pesticides are regulated by federal law? Do you think the requirement to register pesticide products is sufficient to protect the public and environment from adverse effects? Should the need for the pesticides be weighed against its environmental impact?

•    Practice Question: ABC Corp manufactures chemicals. It seeks to introduce a new chemical used to rid crops of specific bugs. What requirements must ABC meet before introducing the pesticide?

 

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