EPA Allegedly Refuses to Address Toxic Pesticide Ingredients

The Center for Food Safety and other non-profit organizations dedicated to environmental advocacy brought suit against the EPA, claiming that the Agency fails to assess the full environmental and health impacts of pesticides in its approval process. Current EPA regulations require pesticide producers to submit toxicity data on active ingredients as part of the registration process.  However, such data is not required for inert ingredients. Active ingredients are those designed to harm the targeted pests, while inert ingredients, which can also be toxic, are used for other purposes, such as acting as a solvent to help the active ingredient penetrate a plant’s leaf surface, preventing foaming or caking, and extending a product’s shelf life. EPA is required to determine the safety of all active and inert pesticide ingredients. Petitioners argue this isn’t achievable without toxicity data for inert ingredients. This is not the Center for Food Safety’s first plea to the Agency to address this issue; in 2017, it filed a petition with EPA requesting a rulemaking change for pesticide regulations, but the Agency never responded.