Reregistration Delays Jeopardize Success of Proposed Policy Reforms

T-RCED-94-48: Published: Oct 29, 1993. Publicly Released: Oct 29, 1993.

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GAO discussed the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) reregistration of pesticides, focusing on the administration's proposal for reforming pesticide and food safety regulations. GAO noted that: (1) EPA estimates that it will not complete pesticide reregistration until 2006; (2) EPA has only reregistered 250 of the 20,000 pesticides currently registered; (3) most of the reregistered pesticides' active ingredients are not high-priority food-use pesticides; (4) EPA failure to consider the complexity and magnitude of reregistration and the resources needed for the task has delayed the process; (5) 45 percent of the studies submitted to support reregistration have been unacceptable; (6) EPA will not be able to review all existing pesticide tolerances within 7 years; (7) the proposed reforms provide a sunset provision on pesticide registrations and strengthen regulatory agencies' ability to enforce pesticide regulations; (8) EPA has not included all costs in its estimate of the additional funds needed to complete reregistration; (9) EPA is 4 years behind schedule for reregistering lawn care pesticides; and (10) the safety of lawn care pesticides may be uncertain even after reregistration, since EPA has not developed guidelines on their post-application effects on human health.

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