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Maximum Pesticide Residue Limits Raised 

With Increased Pesticide Usage:

The Illusion of Safety 

Perception:  The EPA sets maximum pesticide residue limits on foods to ensure foods are safe for people to eat.

Reality: Maximum pesticide residue limits in foods can be raised by the EPA. The EPA evaluates requests and data supplied by the PESTICIDE PRODUCERS to grant higher pesticide residue limits so the pesticide producers appear to be in compliance with EPA regulations. 

Key points:

*"Pesticides are widely used in producing food. These pesticides may remain in small amounts (called residues) in or on fruits, vegetables, grains, and other foods."

*"Pesticide companies, or registrants, must submit a wide variety of scientific studies for review before EPA will set a tolerance."

Read Full Article:

Source:

United States Environmental Protection Agency, Setting Tolerances for Pesticide Residues in Foods. (2017, May 23). Retrieved from https://www.epa.gov/pesticide-tolerances/setting-tolerances-pesticide-residues-foods

Key Points:

*"A tolerance or the exemption from the requirement of a tolerance must be established for each active and inert ingredient in the formulation before a pesticide can be registered for use on a food or feed crop, or for use in a food processing or storage area."

*"In addition, an amendment to an established tolerance may be required if an amendment is proposed for a currently registered use that might result in residue levels higher than the established tolerance."

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Source:

United States Environmental Protection Agency, Requesting a New or Modified Pesticide Tolerance. (2016, October). Retrieved from https://www.epa.gov/pesticide-tolerances/requesting-new-or-modified-pesticide-tolerance

Key Points:

"New Pesticide Registrations and Amendments to Existing Registrations"

*"In addition, an amendment to an established tolerance may be required if an amendment is proposed for a currently registered use that might result in residue levels higher than the established tolerance."

*"Examples include an increase in the dosage rates and/or an increase in the frequency of application."

*"Adjuvants: If the use of an adjuvant may result in detectable residues on food, the applicant should contact the EPA product manager or registration ombudsman (Chapter 21) prior to submitting the application to discuss the potential need for a tolerance."

*"In addition, petitioners should submit pesticide validation data showing the results from their own (or a contract) laboratory, as well as the results from an additional independent laboratory that confirms those results."

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Source:

United States Environmental Protection Agency, Pesticide Registration Manual: Chapter 11-Tolerance Petitions. (2018, April 2). Retrieved from https://www.epa.gov/pesticide-registration/pesticide-registration-manual-chapter-11-tolerance-petitions

 

Key points:

*"EPA is announcing its receipt of several pesticide petitions filed under section 408 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA), 21 U.S.C. 346a, requesting the establishment or modification of regulations in 40 CFR part 180 for residues of pesticide chemicals in or on various food commodities."

*"Pursuant to 40 CFR 180.7(f), a summary of each of the petitions that are the subject of this document, prepared by the petitioner, is included in a docket EPA has created for each rulemaking."

*"New Tolerances 1. PP 2E8098. (EPA–HQ–OPP–2014– 0303). Syngenta Crop Protection, LLC., P.O. Box 18300, Greensboro, NC 27419, requests to establish a tolerance in 40 CFR part 180 for residues of the herbicide, bicyclopyrone: 4-hydroxy-3- (2-[(2-methoxyethoxy) methyl)-6- (trifluoromethyl)-3-pyridylcarbonyl) bicyclo [3.2.1]oct-3-en-2-one.], in or on sugarcane, stalks at 0.01 parts per million (ppm)."

*"Amended Tolerances:"

*"1. PP 3F8205. (EPA–HQ–OPP–2013– 0758). Syngenta Crop Protection, LLC., P.O. Box 18300, Greensboro, NC 27419, requests to amend the tolerances in 40 CFR 180.565 for residues of the insecticide, thiamethoxam (3-[(2-chloro- 5-thiazolyl)methyl]tetrahydro-5-methyl- N-nitro-4H-1,3,5-oxadiazin-4-imine) and its metabolite[N-(2-chloro-thiazol-5- ylmethyl)-N′-methyl-N′-nitro-guanidine, by increasing the existing tolerances in or on alfalfa, forage from 0.05 to 10 parts per million (ppm); alfalfa, hay from 0.12 to 8 ppm; barley, hay from 0.40 to 1.5 ppm; barley, straw from 0.40 to 3 ppm; barley, grain from 0.4 to 0.9 ppm; corn, field, forage from 0.10 to 4 ppm; corn, field, stover from 0.05 to 4 ppm; corn, sweet forage from 0.10 to 5 ppm; corn, sweet, kernel plus cob with husks removed from 0.02 to 0.03 ppm; corn, sweet, stover from 0.05 to 4 ppm; wheat, forage from 0.50 to 3 ppm; wheat, hay from 0.02 to 8 ppm; wheat, straw from 0.02 to 6 ppm. Concurrently, Syngenta Crop Protection, LLC., requests to amend the tolerances in 40 CFR 180.565 by removing tolerances for residues of the insecticide, thiamethoxam (3-[(2- chloro-5-thiazolyl)methyl]tetrahydro-5- methyl-N-nitro-4H-1,3,5-oxadiazin-4- imine) in or on grain, cereal, group 15, except barley at 0.02 ppm; sunflower at 0.02 ppm; and vegetable, legume, group 6 at 0.02 ppm, upon approval of the tolerances listed under ‘‘New Tolerances’’ for PP 3F8205."

*"2. PP 4E8236. (EPA–HQ–OPP–2014– 0134). Interregional Research Project No. 4 (IR–4), 500 College Road East, Suite 201W, Princeton, NJ 08540, requests to amend the tolerances in 40 CFR 180.245 for residues of the residues of streptomycin as follows: (1) moving the existing tolerances for streptomycin on celery, pepper, and tomato from paragraph (a)(2), and potato from paragraph (a)(3) to the table in (a)(1); (2) modifying the existing tolerance for tomato from 0.25 ppm to 0.5 ppm; (3) removing the existing time limited tolerances for grapefruit and grapefruit, dried pulp in paragraph (b) upon establishment of the permanent tolerances for grapefruit and grapefruit, dried pulp; (4) removing the existing tolerance for fruit, pome, group 11 upon establishment of the tolerance for fruit, pome, group 11–10; and (5) modifying the tolerance expression and creating a single paragraph and table under 180.245 (a) to read as follows: General. Tolerances are established for residues of the fungicide streptomycin, including its metabolites and degradates, in or on the commodities in the table below."

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Source:

Federal Register /Vol. 79, No. 172/Friday, September 5, 2014/Proposed Rules 53009. (2014, September 5). Retrieved from https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2014-09-05/pdf/2014-21101.pdf

Key Points:

*"Seed and crop management company Syngenta Crop Protection LLC has petitioned U.S. EPA to increase the legal tolerance for a neonicotinoid pesticide residue in several crops -- in one case increasing the acceptable level by 400 times, according to a notice in today's Federal Register."

*"The petition would apply to alfalfa, barley, corn and wheat, both the crop itself and the straw and stover left over after cultivation. Syngenta is seeking to increase the levels from as low as 1.5 times for stover from sweet corn to as much as 400 times for hay from wheat."

*"Syngenta is seeking to change the tolerance levels because the company wants to use thiamethoxam as a leaf spray -- rather than just a seed treatment -- to treat late- to midseason insect pests, said Ann Bryan, a spokeswoman for the company."

*"Seed treatments are systemic, meaning the insecticide travels through the entire plant, including the pollen, where it can be toxic to bees."

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Source:

Stecker,Tiffany. (2014, September 5). E & E News, Pesticides, Syngenta asks EPA to raise tolerance level for ‘bee-killing’ chemical. Retrieved from https://www.eenews.net/stories/1060005321

Key Points:

 1997 Glyphosate Residue Limits:                                                                  

Corn, field, forage:                          1.0 ppm                                           

Corn, field, grain:                            1.0 ppm                                            

Grain crops                                      0.010 ppm                                       

(except wheat, corn, oats, and grain sorghum):                                     

Read Full Article:

Source:

EPA Glyphosate; Pesticide Tolerances. (1997, April 11). Retrieved from https://www3.epa.gov/pesticides/chem_search/reg_actions/reregistration/tred_PC-417300_11-Apr-97.pdf

Key Points:

  2018 Glyphosate Residue Limits:

 Corn, field, forage                                        13 ppm

Corn, field, grain                                            5 ppm

Grain, cereal, group 15                               30 ppm

(except field corn, popcorn, rice, sweet corn, and wild rice)

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Source:

Cornell Law School, 40 CFR § 180.364-Glyphosate, Tolerances for residues. Retrieved from https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/40/180.364

Key Point:

*”The accepted regulatory stance is that glyphosate is relatively benign; indeed, in 2015 the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency increased threshold levels in both oats and wheat; in the case of oats, the allowable threshold for final processed grain was raised from 0.1 parts per million (ppm) to 30 ppm.”

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Source:

Hewitt, Ben. (2017, December 19). Why Farmers Are Using Glyphosate to a kilo Their Crops-And What It Might Mean For You. Retrieved from https://ensia.com/features/glyphosate-drying/

Key Points:

*p.4 "The use of a pesticide may result directly or indirectly, in residues in food."

*p. 6"The nature of the residue in plants and animals is adequately understood and consists of the parent, glyphosate. The Agency has decided that only glyphosate parent is to be regulated in plant and animal commodities and that the major metabolite, AMPA (aminomethylphosphonic acid) is not of toxicological concern regardless of its levels in food."

*p.6 "The increased tolerances now being proposed on corn and sorghum are based on new preharvest uses of glyphosate in the United States."

*p.10 "Endocrine effects. No specific tests have been conducted with glyphosate to determine whether the chemical may have an effect in humans that is similar to an effect produced by a naturally occurring estrogen or other endocrine effects."

*p.10 "Based on the information cited above, the Agency has determined that the establishment of these tolerances by amending 40 CFR part 180 will be safe, therefore the tolerances are established as set forth below."

*p.10 "EPA response. Approval of these tolerances may lead to higher exposure the glyphosate residues. That is the case when ever EPA approves a new tolerance."

*p.11"Due to the use pattern of glyphosate, secondary residues in animal commodities are expected."

*p.12 "The mode of action for glyphosate does involve interference with enzymes that result in the death of plants by inhibiting the biosynthesis of aromatic amino acids which along with other biochemical changes results in the death of plants."

Read Full Article:

Source:

Glyphosate; Pesticide Tolerances, Environmental Protection Agency, Glyphosate; Pesticide Tolerances.,(1997, April 11). Retrieved from https://www3.epa.gov/pesticides/chem_search/reg_actions/reregistration/tred_PC-417300_11-Apr-97.pdf

Key Points:

                 Atrazine Residue Tolerance Levels 1988:                                                                 

Wheat, grain                         .002 ppm                                                                     

Corn, grain                           .10 ppm                                                                       

Sweet Corn, fresh                .10 ppm                                                                                  

                                                                                                                                                  

  Macadamia Nuts                 .10 ppm                                                                      

Read Full Articles:

 

Sources:

United States Environmental Protection, Office of Pesticides and Toxic Substances, Subject: Atrazine Special Review: Dietary Exposure Assessment. (1988 September 14). Retrieved from https://www3.epa.gov/pesticides/chem_search/cleared_reviews/csr_PC-080803_14-Sep-88_119.pd

                                                                    

Key Points:

Atrazine Residue Tolerance Levels 2018:

Wheat, grain                              .10 ppm

Corn, grain                                 .20 ppm

Corn, sweet, kernel plus cob  with husks removed     .20  ppm

Macadamia Nuts                        .20 ppm       

Read Full Article:

Source:

Cornell Law School, Legal Information Institute, 20 CFR 180.220-Atrazine; tolerances for residues. (2018). Retrieved fromhttps://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/40/180.220    

Key Point:

*"Much of the scientific evidence and data that EPA reviews and relies upon in making its decision during the risk assessment are provided by the companies seeking pesticide registration.55 And it is that initial submission of evidence and data that will continue to form the basis for re-evaluations and reviews in the future, despite the potential for the data to become outdated as scientific techniques and our understanding of pesticide toxicity evolves.56"

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Source:

Consumer Reports, From Crop to Table Pesticide Report. (no date listed). Retrieved from https://article.images.consumerreports.org/prod/content/dam/cro/news_articles/health/CR_FSASC_FromCroptoTablePesticides_Mar2015.pdf

Key Points:

*”Many of the foods analyzed limited to 1 or 2 samples.”

*”2015 sampling / testing carried out with the support of 10 states 10,187 samples (76.1% domestic; 23.0% imports; 0.9% unknown)

Limited to 11 fruits (apples, cherries, grapefruit, grapes, nectarines, oranges, peaches, pears, strawberries, tomatoes, watermelon); 6 vegetables (cucumbers, green beans, lettuce, potatoes, spinach, sweet corn); and peanut”

*”Pesticide use/presence on any crop limited to:

A pesticide exempt from tolerances

Tolerance established for that pesticide on that crop

Crop in a crop group with tolerance for that pesticide on that crop group FDA action level = 0.01 ppm (10 ppm)”

*”Consideration of general tolerances

Consider a mechanism to create default tolerances which would apply to “all other crops” whenever a pesticide is registered in the U.S. for use on one or more food crops or when an import tolerance has been established. The default tolerance for any food in the “all other crops” category should be calculated, based on the expected annual consumption of the food, to result in an exposure that is trivial compared to the exposures that EPA knows will result from the use of the pesticide as registered in the U.S.

Consider establishment of a single tolerance level that would safely cover numerous pesticides on a wide variety of foods that form a trivial part of the diet. For example, EPA could issue a regulation that sets a tolerance of 0.1 ppm for all pesticides residues for all commodities in Crop Group 19 (herbs and spices). If the Agency had special risk concerns about some pesticides these substances could be specifically excluded from such regulation.

Read Full Article:

Source:

McGuffin, Michael. (2018, March 27). Pesticide Residues in Food. Retrieved from http://www.ahpa.org/Portals/0/PDFs/2018%20PDS/18_0321_McGuffin_GMA_Pesticides_residues_in_food_FINAL.pdf