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Arboriculture & Urban Forestry Online
Volume 11, Issue 3 — March 1985

The U.S. Federal Pesticide Law: Why it is Not Protecting Users and the Public, and the need for Legislative Action    (View PDF)

Jay Feldman

Abstract: While pesticides have been credited with enhancing the nation's general quality of life, the dramatically rising use of toxic chemicals also irreversibly tampers with the delicate ecological balance, often threatening society's human and environmental health. The existing statutory and regulatory program governing pesticide registration and use does not assure the public, users and consumers alike, that marketed products are indeed safe. A review of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's pesticide program and its authorizing legislation, the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), reveals numerous problems such as: faulty product safety test data; inadequate health and environmental effects test data; back door product registration allowing the continual and expanded marketing of untested or poorly tested pesticides, and; poor enforcement of the law. Legislation has been introduced in the U.S. Congress, entitled the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Reform Act (H.R. 3818 and S. 1774), which would put in place a system of controls that by their very nature would provide the assurances of safety that the public wants and deserves.


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