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The Food Quality Protection Act (FQPA) Background

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In 1996, Congress unanimously passed landmark pesticide food safety legislation supported by the Administration and a broad coalition of environmental, public health, agricultural and industry groups. President Clinton promptly signed the bill on August 3, 1996, and the Food Quality Protection Act of 1996 became law (P.L. 104-170, formerly known as H.R. 1627).

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EPA regulates pesticides under two major federal statutes:

Tolerances are enforced by the Department of Health and Human Services/Food and Drug Administration (HHS/FDA) for most foods , U.S. Department of Agriculture/Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA/FSIS) for meat, poultry, and some egg products and the U.S. Department of Agriculture/Office of of Pest Management Policy.

For over two decades, there have been efforts to update and resolve inconsistencies in the two major pesticide statutes, but consensus on necessary reforms remained elusive. The 1996 law represented a major breakthrough, amending both major pesticide laws to establish a more consistent, protective regulatory scheme, grounded in sound science by:

The entire text of the FQPA (Public Law 104-170, Aug. 3, 1996 (PDF) (50 pp, 251 KB, About PDF) is available as well as an overview of the law's major highlights. More information is also available about other federal laws that direct EPA's pesticide activities.

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FQPA Amendments to FFDCA

FQPA changed the way EPA sets residue limits (tolerances) for pesticides on foods under FFDCA.

FQPA Amendments to FIFRA

FQPA changed the way EPA reviews and approves pesticides.

EPA's Implementation of FQPA

As a result of the sweeping changes FQPA required of EPA's pesticide program, the law also raised some challenging implementation issues and deadlines.

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Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA)

OPP seeks stakeholder consultation and public involvement as a critical step in making the federal pesticide programs work. A number of Federal Advisory Committees help EPA engage public stakeholders. These committees include:

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