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Highlights

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO: (1) identified unregistered pesticides produced for export in the United States; and (2) determined whether these pesticides are returning to the United States on imported food, based on Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Department of Agriculture (USDA) residue tests.

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Recommendations

Matter for Congressional Consideration

Matter Status Comments
To help FDA obtain the information it needs to test for pesticide residues, Congress may wish to consider amending the Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act to require manufacturers of unregistered pesticides sold to foreign purchasers to provide the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) with information on export destinations, foreign registration, pesticide reference standards, and test methods and require EPA to make this information available to FDA.
Closed - Not Implemented
Congressional priorities have changed since GAO made this recommendation. There has been no legislation introduced in the 104th Congress to implement this recommendation.

Recommendations for Executive Action

Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Environmental Protection Agency Given no statutory requirement for pesticide manufacturers to provide EPA with information on export destinations, foreign registration, and pesticide reference standards and test methods, the Administrator, EPA, should work with industry to acquire this information on a continuing basis and provide it to FDA for use in monitoring pesticide residues.
Closed - Implemented
The principal pesticide producers trade association, the American Crop Protection Association, has voluntarily provided information to FDA on unregistered exported pesticides. GAO believes that this information strengthens FDA's ability to test imported foods for compliance with the food safety standards in the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.

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