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PA EPA SPEEDS UP ANTIMICROBIAL PESTICIDE REGISTRATIONS
Release Date: 01/09/98
FOR RELEASE: FRIDAY, JANUARY 9, 1998
EPA SPEEDS UP ANTIMICROBIAL PESTICIDE REGISTRATIONS
As part of EPA’s reinvention efforts, the Agency has streamlined its process for registering antimicrobial pesticides and successfully reduced the backlog of registration applications by 77 percent. In its first annual performance report under the l996 Food Quality Protection Act (FQPA), EPA noted that the number of 388 applications was reduced to 90 at the end of June, and that it expects to eliminate the entire backlog during l998. Registration of antimicrobial pesticides is central to protecting public health because many of these products are used to control microorganisms that cause human disease. Antimicrobial pesticides include disinfectants used in health care facilities and around the home; other public health products such as sanitizers; and products used in industry and elsewhere to control water contamination or deterioration of materials caused by bacteria, viruses, fungi, protozoa, algae or slime; and, certain antimicrobial products used to protect the food supply. FQPA requires EPA to issue an annual performance report detailing actions taken by the Agency to reduce the antimicrobial registration backlog, reform the antimicrobial pesticide registration process and make other changes. Since the FQPA was passed, EPA has established a new Antimicrobials Division to provide the structure and staff needed to respond to the new law. Among other actions, the new division has been meeting regularly with antimicrobial stakeholders to obtain their suggestions for reducing burdens on the registrants as well as the Agency. EPA and the stakeholders are developing a tiered system of required tests for antimicrobial pesticides so that results of initial tiers determine the need for additional tests. The Agency is also striving to develop faster and more dependable efficacy tests to further ensure that public health antimicrobial pesticides are effective at controlling disease-causing microorganisms. Reporters can obtain copies of the report by calling Denise Kearns at 202-260-4376. All others should contact the Communication Services Branch of the Office of Pesticide Programs at 703-305-5017.