EPA is proposing to more clearly describe the active and inert ingredients permitted in products eligible for the exemption from regulation for minimum risk pesticides. EPA is proposing to reorganize these lists by adding specific chemical identifiers. The identifiers would make it clearer which ingredients are permitted in minimum risk pesticide products. EPA is also proposing to modify the label requirements in the exemption to require the use of specific common chemical names in lists of ingredients on minimum risk pesticide product labels, and to require producer contact information on the label. Comments on the proposed rules must be received on or before April 1, 2013.

The primary goal of this proposal is to clarify the conditions of exemption for minimum risk pesticides by making clearer the specific ingredients that are permitted in minimum risk pesticide products. According to EPA, the existing regulatory structure leads to confusion as to which ingredients are exempt and how they should be labeled on products.

Under FIFRA section 25(b)(2), EPA may exempt from the requirements of FIFRA any pesticide that is “of a character unnecessary to be subject to FIFRA”. EPA has exempted any pesticide product consisting solely of specified ingredients that EPA judged to pose minimum risk to humans and the environment. To meet the criteria for the minimum risk exemption, a pesticide must:

  • Contain only specified active and inert ingredients.
  • List active ingredients on the label by name and percent weight in the formula.
  • List inert ingredients on the label by name.
  • Not bear claims either to control or mitigate microorganisms that pose a threat to human health,
  • Not include false or misleading labeling statements.
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