No Change Needed in U.S. Food Safety Law Declares EPA

Environmental Protection Agency official's announced yesterday that there is no need for Congress to dilute a key U.S. food safety law by calling for more study before a pesticide is suspended for use, stated a Reuters report. Legislation was pending that would direct EPA to consider additional data and the public interest before deciding to suspend use of a pesticide.

Sponsors said they acted because of concern among farmers that EPA would ban important pesticides under the 1996 Food Quality Protection Act, according to Reuters. The law modernized U.S. food and safety rules and ordered review of pesticide safety.

"At this time we need no amendments," James Adiala, associate assistant EPA administrator, said at a House Agriculture subcommittee hearing. "One of our principles" was amassing enough information for a wise decision.

Another sponsor, Washington State Republican Richard Hasting, warned that higher cost, less effective chemicals would reduce U.S. competitiveness while "imports of food grown the pesticides banned in this country will increase."