30 Years Since Silent Spring--Many Long-standing Concerns Remain

T-RCED-92-77: Published: Jul 23, 1992. Publicly Released: Jul 23, 1992.

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GAO discussed the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) progress and effectiveness in detecting, controlling, monitoring, and registering pesticides. GAO noted that: (1) EPA reregistration of pesticides has been slow, and EPA lacks a management strategy for timely completion; (2) the EPA special review process for pesticide registration is untimely; (3) EPA tracking and data management are inadequate to ensure the accuracy of information from pesticide registrant's studies; (4) EPA emergency exemptions have become routine and economically disadvantageous to companies which complete the registration process; (5) EPA progress in evaluating potential groundwater leaching, utilization of regulatory measures, and pesticide testing to find human tolerances remains slow and ineffective; (6) the Food and Drug Administration fails to regularly test foods for a large number of pesticides and does not penalize growers or prevent the marketing of foods found to contain illegal pesticide residues; (7) the EPA foreign government notification system often fails to provide information notices and allows unregistered pesticides to be exported; (8) EPA does not adequately address farmworker safety or enforce regulations requiring agricultural employers to follow pesticide regulations; and (9) EPA lacks a reliable management identification system and a coordinated strategy for identifying, collecting, and managing pesticide data.

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