Need for Comprehensive Pesticide Use Data

CED-80-145: Published: Sep 30, 1980. Publicly Released: Sep 30, 1980.

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The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) needs to have accurate and comprehensive information on pesticide usage to assess a pesticide's potential risks and benefits to humans and the environment and to improve the overall management of its pesticide programs. GAO examined sources of pesticide usage information were examined at EPA, other Federal and State agencies, and private organizations.

EPA does not have comprehensive information on where and in what quantities pesticides are used. Its current pesticide usage information is not sufficiently comprehensive or accurate to be used in risk/benefit analyses or for establishing priorities for major pesticide regulatory programs. Requiring pesticide producers to provide estimates of pesticide use data would give EPA much more comprehensive information upon which to base pesticide program decisions, when such information is used in combination with other sources of pesticide use information.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: The Administrator, EPA, should direct pesticide program officials to obtain comprehensive pesticide use data. The Administrator should also direct enforcement officials to work with pesticide program officials to modify current reporting requirements under section 7 of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act to require pesticide producers to submit data on pesticide usage. Further, EPA should develop collection methods and scope of producer reporting requirements in cooperation with the pesticide industry and assure the industry of safeguards to protect confidential information from public disclosure.

    Agency Affected:


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