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USDA, EPA SIGN AGREEMENT TO REDUCE PESTICIDE USE AND PROMOTE FOOD PRODUCTION

Release Date: 08/19/94
Contact Information:

FOR RELEASE: AUGUST 15, 1994

USDA, EPA SIGN AGREEMENT TO REDUCE PESTICIDE USE
AND PROMOTE FOOD PRODUCTION

EPA Contact: Al Heier 202-260-4374
USDA Contact: Tom Amontree 202-720-4623

U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Mike Espy and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Carol M. Browner today signed a Memorandum of Understanding committing their agencies to providing the agricultural community with pest management techniques and tools that reduce pesticide risks to public health and the environment, while ensuring economically sound agricultural production.
Joining Espy and Browner at the signing ceremony was Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee.

"This is another example of the Clinton Administration's commitment to interagency cooperation," Espy said. "This agreement will enable EPA to speedup the registration process for pesticide alternatives developed by USDA. This is good news for producers, consumers and the environment."

Administrator Browner said, "Today Secretary Espy and I signed an agreement that will ensure that farmers have the tools necessary for the production of an abundant, affordable and safe food supply through pest control methods that reduce risks to human health and the environment. This commitment builds on our earlier pledge to reduce the overall use of pesticides."

The agreement includes provisions to increase research for alternative and effective pest control management techniques and practices that will help reduce unacceptable risks to farmworkers and consumers. The agreement establishes practical avenues for transferring these pest control management tools to the nation's commodity producers. Within six months, USDA and EPA will identify those cases where producers will face lack of pest management tools due to pending regulatory action. USDA will work with the agriculture and research communities to identify and develop alternative pest control methods. In looking for alternatives, EPA will seek pest control methods that significantly reduce risks to human health and the environment. If it is determined that the alternative pest control method requires an EPA registration, EPA will expedite review of that application.

Today's agreement complements a detailed pesticide and food safety reform package presented by the Clinton Administration to Congress in the spring. The reform package is based upon a strong health-based standard.

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