Food & Beverages | EPA & Pesticide Regulations

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates the use of pesticide chemicals in foods through a regulatory tolerance publication process. Under EPA regulations, certain pesticide chemicals may be used in specific foods, for particular reasons, and at particular exposure levels. The amounts and kinds of pesticide residues permitted to remain on food vary according to pesticide residue tolerance levels published by EPA, which specify the maximum amount of pesticide residue permitted to remain on a food approved for pesticide application. Pesticide residues without pesticide tolerances are not permitted at all. Pesticides that have EPA pesticide residue tolerances for some foods but not others may only be used on those foods on which the pesticides are EPA approved for use and in a way that the residues remain at or below the published pesticide residue tolerances.

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Although EPA approves pesticide usage on foods and establishes pesticide residue tolerances by regulation, FDA enforces pesticide regulations. The majority of FDA enforcement surrounding pesticide use in foods is focused upon imported raw agricultural commodities and imported processed foods.

When FDA determines that a food was exposed to a pesticide for which EPA has not established a tolerance, or if a residue exceeds the EPA’s pesticide residue tolerance level, the imported food will be subject to FDA import detention, FDA Import Alerts, and FDA import refusal of admission. FDA will often place the specific grower or food processor and the specific imported food on FDA Import Alert. As a result, FDA will automatically detain future imported foods shipped by that grower or processor until FDA receives evidence that establishes future shipments are not likely to contain the illegal pesticide or pesticide residues above the EPA pesticide residue tolerance., LLC assist clients in complying with FDA and EPA requirements related to pesticide application and pesticide chemical residues.

Recently, Founder Benjamin England worked with FDA and EPA to amend a regulation that was causing imported processed foods to be automatically detained because FDA was requiring the reporting of pesticide chemical residue analyses on an “as is” basis (that is, on a concentrated or processed basis) rather than on a “ready to eat” basis. The result of FDA’s misapplication of the EPA and FDA laws and regulations was that imported shipments of processed foods were being improperly refused admission by FDA. In addition, the food processors were being placed on FDA Import Alert based upon this reporting error.

If you find you are affected by one of these FDA import alerts, contact us for assistance in obtaining removal from the Import Alert.

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At, LLC we make certain our importing clients understand the importation process and assist our clients in identifying appropriate actions and responses should Customs demand redelivery of a conditionally released product, or should that agency issue a demand for payment of liquidated damages pursuant to the importation bond. It is important for your company to know and follow the laws, regulations, and procedures when importing products into the United States. Get Started.