Last week, BPIA participated in the Spring 2016 Pesticide Program Dialogue Committee (PPDC) Meeting at the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA). The PPDC is a Federal Advisory Committee created under the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA). The meeting opened with remarks by Jim Jones, Assistant Administrator (AA) for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention. AA Jones praised the PPDC’s twenty years of effort and reaffirmed USEPA’s commitment to having sound science be the driver for regulatory decisions.

The remainder of the meeting was led by Jack Housenger, Director of the Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP). The meeting included discussion of the following topics: School IPM, WPS Implementation Activities, Cumulative Risk Assessment, Human Health Risk Assessment Approach for Chlorpyrifos, Endangered Species Act Activities, Pollinator Protection Activities, Current Tools and Future Needs for the Zika Virus, Pesticide Incidents Workgroup, Resistance Management, and International Activities.

Director Housenger indicated that the PPDC plays an essential role in providing advice and recommendations to the OPP on a variety of topics, and the workgroups operating under the full PPDC have been productive in helping the PPDC move issues forward. However, five of the PPDC existing workgroups have met their original charges and have been sunset. They are 21st Century Toxicology, Comparative Safety Statements, Integrated Pest Management, Pollinator, and Public Health. Only the recently created Incidents Workgroup will continue until its charge is completed. Consequently, a request was made to identify topics that may merit the creation of new workgroups.

BPIA recommended that a new workgroup be created to help encourage the international acceptance of reduced-risk products through harmonization of MRLs and exemptions from tolerances. Such an effort would be consistent with OPP’s goals of international acceptance of safer products and minimizing trade barriers related to pesticide regulatory requirements to facilitate trade and fair competition.