GAO’s recommendations database contains report recommendations that still need to be addressed.
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As of June 17, 2020, there are 4969 open recommendations, of which 518 are priority recommendations. Recommendations remain open until they are designated as Closed-implemented or Closed-not implemented.
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Recommendation: To better inform users of the annual monitoring report about the frequency and scope of pesticide tolerance violations, the Secretary of Health and Human Services should direct the Commissioner of FDA to disclose in the agency's annual pesticide monitoring program report which pesticides with EPA-established tolerances the agency did not test for in its pesticide monitoring program and the potential effect of not testing for those pesticides.
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services Status: Open Priority recommendation
Comments: In February 2020, FDA said that the recommendation should be closed as not implemented. FDA has previously said that it remained concerned that the disclosure of pesticides for which FDA does not test would enable users to more easily circumvent the pesticide monitoring program, which could jeopardize public health and, at a minimum, would undermine FDA's law enforcement efforts. In addition, FDA said that it discloses in its annual reports all pesticides tested for within the reports' annual scope as required by the Pesticide Monitoring Improvements Act of 1988. FDA's annual reports also clarify that not all pesticides for which EPA has established tolerances were analyzed. FDA said that the Pesticide Monitoring Improvements Act of 1988 does not specifically direct the agency to report information on untested pesticides with EPA-established tolerances. We continue to believe that disclosing the pesticides that are not included in FDA's testing program would be consistent with OMB best practices for reporting limitations relevant to analyzing and interpreting results from a data collection effort. In particular, we continue to believe that FDA should be more transparent about the potential effect of not testing for all pesticides for which EPA has established tolerances. We also note that the Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service implemented a similar recommendation to disclose information about its pesticide monitoring program. As a result, we are keeping this recommendation open.