corn, potatoes, snap beans, soy beans, sugar beets, sunflowers, tomatoes, sod, apples, and grapes. Other crops are considered minor crops, and pesticide usage on them thus constitutes “minor use”. This NRC committee is using similar criteria to distinguish between major and minor uses.
FQPA requires review of all tolerances on a 10-year schedule, with 33% completed in 3 years (by August 1999), 66% within 6 years, and 100% within 10 years. EPA has met the initial 3-year goal, in part because of the substantial number of voluntary cancellations of potential reregistration candidates (EPA 1999). In this process, the priority for EPA review has been given to pesticides that pose the greatest risk to public health (organophosphates, carbamates, and B2 carcinogens) —a “worst-first” approach.
One of the most important aspects of FQPA is the requirement of tolerances for emergency exemptions. Section 18 of FIFRA authorizes EPA to allow state and federal agencies to permit the unregistered use of a pesticide for a limited time if EPA determines that emergency pest conditions exist and no registered pesticide would be effective. This means that FQPA required not only immediate implementation of all its new requirements, but also their application to emergency exemptions. Of all the changes in the act, this had the most profound effect on the ability of the agency to meet its deadlines, and it is responsible in part for the reduced number of new uses and new active ingredients. In its amendments to FIFRA, FQPA authorizes collection of fees from industry to complete the review of all current tolerances, thus ensuring that these chemicals meet current EPA standards; establishes minor-use programs in both EPA and USDA, including a USDA revolving-grant program to support data-collection requirements and other procedural provisions to assist minor-use pesticide applications; and reforms the antimicrobial-registration process to shorten regulatory review and decision times.
In addition to toxicity, human risks, cumulative effects, aggregate exposure, and variabilities among subgroups, FQPA requires that EPA consider endocrine effects for reregistration and re-evaluation of tolerances and assessment of risks. An environmental endocrine disrupter is defined as an exogenous agent that interferes with the synthesis, secretion, transport, binding, action, or elimination of natural hormones in the body that are responsible for maintenance of homeostasis, reproduction, development, or behavior (EPA 1997b). These agents can include chemicals with hormone-like effects that can mimic natural estrogens and chemicals with antihormone effects, which bind to androgen receptors and block testosterone-mediated cell responses. FQPA includes consideration of chemicals that might interact with pesticides to pose risks for humans and the environment. Both human effects (such as decreased sperm counts, testicular and prostatic abnormalities, skin cancer, breast