The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates the use of pesticides under the authority of two federal statutes: the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) and the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA). The Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act provide the basis for regulations, sale, distribution, and uses of pesticides in the U.S. Also, FIFRA authorizes EPA to review and register pesticides for specific applications. The EPA has the authority to suspend or cancel the registration of a pesticide if subsequent information shows the continued use would pose unreasonable risk.
The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) authorizes the EPA to set maximum residue levels or tolerances for pesticides used in or on foods or animal feed. The Food Quality Protection Act of 1996 amended FIFRA and FFDCA by setting stricter safety standards for pesticides in processed and unprocessed food. Lastly, the Endangered Species Act (ESA) requires EPA to cancel any pesticide registration, where it can be shown that pesticides endanger protected species.
The U.S. EPA has relegated enforcement of FIFRA to individual states. In Ohio, the Department of Agriculture enforces the FIFRA regulations, as well as licenses all those individuals who may purchase, use, or provide advice relative to restricted use pesticides. All Ohio State University employees that are involved with using or providing advice on pesticides, are licensed and expected to participate in mandatory training and retention of licensing credentials.
NOTE: The Ohio State University promotes the concept of Integrated Pest Control (ICP) management. This concept requires pesticide applicators to initially consider physical or non- chemical means to control pests. When such means prove ineffective, pesticides may then be considered for use as a means of controlling unwanted pests. In addition, consideration should always be given for using the lowest quantity of pesticide product to reduce human exposure, destruction of non-target organisms or harm to the environment.