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Pesticide News Story: EPA Seeks to Disclose Hazardous Pesticide Inert Ingredients

For Release: September 30, 2009

The Environmental Protection Agency is moving forward with a plan to disclose the identities of all inert ingredients in pesticides including those that are potentially hazardous.  This increased transparency will assist consumers and users of pesticides in making informed decisions and will better protect public health and the environment.  Pesticide manufacturers typically disclose their inert ingredients only to EPA.  Currently, EPA evaluates the safety of all active and inert ingredients in a product’s formulation when determining whether the pesticide should be registered. 
The Agency anticipates publishing its proposed rulemaking in the Federal Register within the next few months.  In it, EPA will discuss ideas for greater disclosure of inert ingredient identities, including inerts associated with various hazards, as well as inerts in general.  EPA believes one way of discouraging the use of the more hazardous inert ingredients in pesticide formulations is by making their identities public.  In addition to pursuing regulatory action for inert disclosure, EPA is considering encouraging voluntary initiatives to achieve this broader disclosure.

On September 30, EPA responded to two petitions (one by Northwest Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticides, and a second by certain State Attorneys General), that identified over 350 inert pesticide ingredients as hazardous.  The petitioners asked EPA to require these inert ingredients be identified on the labels of products that include them in their formulations.  Copies of the petitions and EPA’s response can be found on the Web site.

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