EPA Proposes Rule To Improve Several Pesticide Crop Groupings

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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has opened a 60-day comment period requesting public comments on the sixth proposed rule in an ongoing series of revisions to the pesticide crop grouping regulations.

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.

Specifically, EPA is proposing to amend 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. The proposed rule includes changes to the terminology in the names of Crop Groups 6, 7 and 16, 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. The crop groups will now include certain minor or specialty crops, many of which have become more popular since the crop groups were first established.

With these revisions, EPA seeks to:
• Enhance the Agency’s ability to conduct food safety evaluations for tolerance-setting purposes;
• Promote global harmonization of food safety standards;
• Reduce regulatory burden; and
• Ensure food safety for agricultural goods.

The comment period for the proposed rule will be open in docket EPA-HQ-OPP-2006-0766 at www.regulations.gov.