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Meridian Institute

Tolerance Reassessment Advisory Committee

Related: Climate Change and Energy, Health, Science and Technology

In May 1998, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) formed a 55-member federal advisory committee—the Tolerance Reassessment Advisory Committee (TRAC). TRAC was designed to provide advice to the agencies regarding a strategic approach for issues associated with the tolerance reassessment process for pesticides under the 1996 Food Quality Protection Act (FQPA). TRAC members included representatives of the pesticide industry, the food processing industry, farmworker organizations, environmental and consumer groups, and state agencies, as well as academics. Meridian Institute staff facilitated the process.

Between May 1998 and the final meeting in October 1999, TRAC members met in seven plenary meetings and numerous workgroup sessions. The committee advised the EPA and the USDA on appropriate processes for reassessing pesticide tolerances for more than 30 organophosphates. Specifically, TRAC helped the EPA and USDA to initiate a pilot approach for obtaining public comment on preliminary risk assessments for pesticides, and increased attention on the need to assist growers with potential changes in pesticide use that might occur as a result of FQPA implementation. As a result of TRAC, the tolerance reassessment process is now more transparent.