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A Practitioner's Guide to the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act: Part I

August 1994

Citation: ELR 10449

Author: Linda J. Fisher, Peter L. Winik, Carolyne R. Hathaway, Ann Claassen, Jeffrey Holmstead

Editors' Summary: Since 1910, the federal government has played a role in regulating pesticides. At first the motive was to fight fraud, but as pesticides became more sophisticated and as environmental concerns grew, the government's regulatory efforts became more comprehensive. Now, near the dawn of bioengineered pesticides, with society confronting and reevaluating environmental risks, and with agencies facing fiscal challenges, pesticide regulation continues to evolve. It is a field of concern to the pesticide industry, of course, but in U.S. society, pesticides have a marked impact on almost everyone's food supplies, water, housing, and health.

This Article is the first of a three-part series explaining pesticide regulation. This installment gives a capsule history and overview of FIFRA, followed by discussions of federal jurisdiction over pesticides, labeling and packaging requirements, and the overarching requirement of pesticide registration. Future installments will examine end-user requirements, food tolerance regulations, state authority, emerging biotechnology regulation, and other issues.

Linda J. Fisher, former Assistant Administrator of EPA for Prevention, Pesticides, and Toxic Substances, is Environmental Counsel at the Washington, D.C., office of the national law firm of Latham & Watkins. Peter L. Winik is a partner and Carolyne R. Hathaway and Jeffrey Holmstead are senior associates with that firm. Ann Claassen is a senior associate with the firm of Weinberg, Bergeson & Neuman in Washington, D.C. The authors acknowledge contributions to the manuscript from Mark E. Newell, partner, and Donna J. Williams, Christopher J. Peters, Chad Johnson, and Jeffrey L. Hallos, associates, of Latham & Watkins. The authors also thank reviewers James V. Aidala Jr. and William L. Jordan for their thoughtful comments on the manuscript.