CropLife International is a global federation representing the plant science industry. CLI addresses international developments in the area of crop protection (pesticides), biotechnology (GMOs) and sustainable agriculture. CLI is committed to the safe and responsible use of the industry's products in order to provide safe and abundant food as well as other benefits back to the consumer.
Today, growers of many U.S. crops hire independent professional consultants to manage their product use and only request applications of crop protection products when a problem arises. They also use products that are specific to the pests present. This has led some crops, like cotton, to reduce product applications from 20 or 40 applications per year down to 4 or 5.
Pesticide Regulation Facts
- Products that protect America’s food crops must undergo some 120 health, safety and environmental tests to ensure their safety and effectiveness before being granted a pesticide registration by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
- Pesticide development and testing by the crop protection industry, and EPA registration, take an average of nine years and costs pesticide manufacturers $152 million to $256 million for each crop protection product introduced to market.
- On average, only one in 139,000 potential pesticide products successfully makes it through the regulatory process from the chemist’s or biologist’s discovery laboratory to the farmer’s field.
Pesticide use and development are regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under several different U.S. laws, including the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act and the Pesticide Registration Improvement Act.
Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA)
The Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) is the federal law governing Unites States pesticide regulation. First passed in 1947, FIFRA originally gave the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) authority for regulating pesticides. EPA took over this responsibility in 1972.
FIFRA-established regulation of pesticides includes:
- Registration for all pesticides (after a period of data collection to determine the effectiveness for its intended use, appropriate dosage, and hazards) and the labels instructing proper and acceptable use. All pesticide applicants must show that the pesticide "will not generally cause unreasonable adverse effects on the environment'' when used properly, according to specifications. ''Unreasonable adverse effects on the environment’’ is defined as “any unreasonable risk to man or the environment…” or “a human dietary risk from residues that result from a use of a pesticide in or on any food…”
- Which pesticides are for general use and which are restricted to certified applicators.
Pesticide Registration Improvement Act (PRIA)
The Pesticide Registration Improvement Act of 2003 (PRIA I) amended the FIFRA-authorized fees for certain pesticide products, extended and improved the collection of maintenance fees, and established decision review periods by year in an effort to streamline the evaluation process for pesticide decisions, along with their associated fees. The 2007 Pesticide Registration Improvement Renewal Act (PRIA II) reauthorized PRIA I until 2012.
Learn more about CLA’s position on pesticide registration requirements and PRIA.