As per the law prevailing in the United States, a pesticide is any substance or mixture intended for use as a plant regulator, desiccant or defoliant. Pesticide policy in the United States is governed by the EPA. The Environment Protection Agency (EPA) along with states’ agricultural offices register pesticides, and only registered pesticides can be used in the US.
The Federal Insecticide Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) gives authority to the EPA to register pesticides. States are authorized to regulate pesticides that are being used under FIFRA and their respective state pesticide laws. It has been seen that states have even a more stringent pesticide policy than the EPA. All pesticides have to be registered with the state and EPA before they can be sold and distributed.
EPA’s pesticide policy is to first ensure that the pesticide does not harm human health and the environment as long as it is used as per the directions printed on the label. The EPA requires applicants to do more than 100 different scientific studies and tests before registering a new pesticide. If pesticides are meant for food or crops, there are maximum pesticide reside levels that the EPA sets.
Many pesticide users do not know this but pesticides add to the greenhouse effect by depleting the ozone layer. A good example of this is methyl bromide, which is a commonly available pesticide.It is quite possible that the EPA might have to take a relook at their pesticide policy because of the increase in the greenhouse effect in recent times.
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