By MICHAEL DALTONWOOD, Associated Press Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy announced the agency’s final rule Tuesday aimed at regulating the use of pesticides in California’s agricultural region, where there have been reports of serious health problems in children.
The rule aims to improve transparency and minimize the use by businesses and industries of pesticides.
EPA officials say the rule will make it easier for farmers to identify and manage their pesticide exposure.
The agency also announced it will seek to expand testing and testing for pesticide residues in food, water and soil.
The EPA says the rule does not apply to commercial operations and will be limited to agricultural use only.
The state is one of the country’s largest pesticide producers and a leader in protecting human health by regulating agricultural chemicals.
But California has not fully implemented mandatory pesticide use rules that cover crops such as soybeans and corn, nor have the state’s farms been subject to rigorous testing for residues of pesticides on crops.
EPA spokesman David Aitel said the rule was aimed at improving transparency, reducing exposure and minimizing the use.
“It will allow farmers to know whether pesticides are being used safely,” Aitelsaid.
“The rule also will address pesticide residues that could be hazardous to humans and animals.”
The rule also addresses the use and exposure of pesticides by the dairy industry, which has been at the forefront of a fight over the use or safety of certain products.
In June, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved a new pesticide that can kill some salmonella bacteria, including those in eggs, butter and cheese.
The FDA said the drug was safe for use on eggs.
But dairy farmers, which employ about 300,000 people, are concerned about the use in their food supply, which they say is contaminated by chemicals and has not been properly tested for residues.
Dairy farmers say the FDA’s approval is a victory for their health.
“We are very pleased that we have received this approval for a new class of chemical pesticide for our dairy operations,” said Mark Miller, director of operations for the California Milk Producers Association.
“These new chemicals are not going to be used on the whole of our dairy operation, but on just the most important, essential dairy operations.”
The new pesticide, called chlorpyrifos, is a broad-spectrum pesticide that has been found to be effective against several kinds of bacteria and fungi.
Aitensaid the rule would require a farmer to apply the pesticide to their crop only if they know it is safe to use, and if they have a chemical monitoring program in place.
The rules also would require the company to notify the EPA of any potential health effects to their crops from the use, or the consumption of, the pesticide.
The proposal was approved on the last day of the rule’s public comment period.