Food Quality Protection Act (FQPA) Index

What is FQPA?

Summary of EPA FQPA Implementation

Pesticides Perceived as Most Risky Due to the FQPA

Response to Farm Bureau Request for Information on Potential Impact of FQPA on South Carolina Farmers

Pesticide Reregistration Status for Organophosphates

Selected FQPA-Related web sites

What is FQPA?

Food Quality Protection Act of 1996 (FQPA)

       The pesticide reregistration program acquired significant new dimensions on August 3, 1996, when the Food Quality Protection Act was enacted. FQPA, which amends both FIFRA and the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA), establishes a new safety standard for pesticide residues in food and emphasizes protecting the health of infants and children.
       Under FQPA, all pesticide food uses must be "safe"; that is, EPA must be able to conclude with "reasonable certainty that no harm will result from aggregate exposure" to each pesticide from dietary and other sources. In determining allowable levels of pesticide residues in food, the Agency must conduct a comprehensive assessment of each pesticide's risks, considering:
  • Aggregate exposure of the public to residues from all sources including food, drinking water, and residential uses;
  • Cumulative effects of pesticides and other substances with common mechanisms of toxicity;
  • Special sensitivity of infants and children to pesticide; and
  • Estrogen or other endocrine effects.

Within ten years of enactment of the new law, EPA must reassess all existing "tolerances" (maximum limits for pesticide residues in foods) and exemptions from the requirement of a tolerance, for both the active and inert ingredients in pesticide products. The Agency must consider the pesticides posing the greatest potential risks first, to ensure that they meet FQPA's new safety standard.

EPA is using reregistration to accomplish tolerance reassessment, the cornerstone of the FQPA. Once reregistration is completed in about 2002, all pesticides will be re-examined periodically in the future through registration review. This new program created by FQPA requires EPA to review every registered pesticide on a suggested 15-year cycle.

Looking to the future, then, the public will have assurance that all registered pesticides are being reviewed periodically and updated to meet current scientific and regulatory standards.

Selected FQPA-Related web sites:

  1. EPA's Food Quality Protection Act web site
  2. Pesticide Tolerances - Tolerances are the maximum allowed level of pesticide residues in food.
  3. Office of Pesticide Programs Biennial Report for 1998 and 1999 - EPA biennial pesticide report provides an overview of the initiatives and accomplishments achieved during 1998 and 1999 in implementing the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA), and the Food Quality Protection Act (FQPA). (1.7 MB, PDF).
  4. Crop Profiles - Crop pest management profiles. Crop Profiles Database from NSF Center for Integrated Pest Management.
  5. EPA's Pesticide Right-to-Know web site
  6. EPA FQPA Tolerance Reassessment Advisory Committee (TRAC)
  7. Pesticide Reregistration Eligibility Decisions (REDs) - Reregistration Eligibility Decision (RED) documents contain the results of EPA's regulatory reviews of pesticides initially registered before November 1, 1984. REDs and fact sheets are in PDF format.
  8. NPIC's Pesticides and Food - National Pesticide Information Center site has links to information on Pesticides and Food.
  9. Impacts of Eliminating Organophosphates and Carbamates from Crop Production - Texas A&M Agricultural and Food Production Center.
  10. Food Insight website - nutrition and food safety resource from the International Food Information Council (IFIC)
  11. USDA/AMS Pesticide Data Program (PDP) - A USDA/AMS program to collect data on pesticide residues in food. Click on Pesticide Data Program under Programs & Services.
  12. FDA Center for Food Safety & Applied Nutrition
  13. Joint Institute for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition
  14. Agricultural Impact of the Sudden Elimination of Key Pesticides under the FQPA - CAST Issue Paper Number 11 (IP11), March 1999.
  15. Consumers Union FQPA web site
  16. How Much Punch does a Peach Pack? - in the April 1999 (Issue No. 156) issue of Washington State Extension's newsletter "Agrichemical & Environmental News".
  17. Pesticide Reregistration Status for Organophosphates - EPA
  18. Potential FQPA Impacts - (PDF) The Uses and Benefits of Organophosphate and Carbamate Insecticides in U.S. Crop Production (5/97), an article by Leonard P. Gianessi, National Center for Food and Agricultural Policy.