Daily News Archive
Announces Cuts in Pesticide Regulation
California is known for having state pesticide safety restrictions that are stricter than federal regulations. However, the report claims that California’s state regulations often only duplicate federal regulations and slow the registration of new pesticides. It recommends doing away with many of California's procedures to measure the safety and efficacy of pesticides, instead relying primarily on federal testing. According to Paul Gosselin, acting director of the DPR, the changes would not compromise "the toughest pesticide health and safety standards in the nation." Yet the proposal implies widespread reductions in several of California's important regulatory measures. The plan would eliminate a mandatory requirement for manufacturers to prove the effectiveness of new pesticides; instead efficacy would be reviewed at the discretion of the DPR and products could be registered while efficacy data is still pending. Manufacturers would also no longer have to submit data on the amount of pesticide residues left on food, as federal safety standards would be used instead. These measures are intended to reduce costs and speed up the process of pesticide registration for use in California.
The changes are
particularly concerning in light of recent alterations to EPA procedure
that have also quickened the process of pesticide registration (See
Daily News 8/3/04).
It would be risky for California to rely solely on federal regulations,
which are often insufficient and inaccurate and allow the registration
of chemicals that have not been fully studied or tested for efficacy.
Four groups in California are currently drawing attention to recent cases of pesticide drift from agricultural use. Californians for Pesticide Reform, Latino Issues Forum, Redefining Progress, and the California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation say the government needs to do more, not less to regulate pesticide use. "Pesticide drift accidents continue to poison entire communities and neighborhoods in agricultural areas of California. This is a growing problem as rural areas become suburban and urban, and fields are increasingly located next to residential areas and schools," stated Paola Ramos, of the Latino Issues Forum. With these issues continually arising in California, it is extremely important not to loosen restrictions and allow more chemicals to be used, which would only further poison communities and the environment.
You can view the
California Performance Review report at the following site: http://report.cpr.ca.gov/
TAKE ACTION: California state government is seeking public comments on the Performance Review. Let the state know that you disagree with reduced state regulation of pesticides. E-mail suggestions can be submitted on the Performance Review website. A panel will be holding hearings around the state as a forum for public comments, contact Pat Dando, vice mayor of San Jose, to attend a hearing or submit comments. E-mail: [email protected] Phone: 408-277-5251.