EPA to respond to 2017 petition on pesticide-treated seeds

On August 31, 2022, the EPA settled a long-running dispute between the agency and the Center for Food Safety over an exemption for pesticide-coated seeds from federal pesticide regulations. Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California signed off on the parties’ consent decree, paving the way for the EPA to review the exemption by September 30, 2022.

Regulatory Background

  • The EPA is tasked with regulating pesticides in the United States under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act ( FIFRA). FIFRA controls the manufacture, sale, and use of a broad range or chemicals and biological pest controls, and its primary purpose is to protect human health and the environment.
  • The EPA broadly defines “pesticide” as “any substance or mixture of substances intended for preventing, destroying, repelling, or mitigating any pest.” “ Pest” is also broadly defined, including insects, rodents, nematodes, fungus, weeds, or any other aquatic or terrestrial plant or animal life which the EPA Administrator deems to be a pest.

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