Last week, EPA released interim guidance on the agency’s toxicology data requirements for antimicrobial pesticides on food contact surfaces. The interim guidance clarifies that the 200 parts per billion (ppb) threshold that triggers different data requirements is based on “total estimated daily dietary intake” for an individual and not the total amount of residue on a food item, which interpretation is in line with the policy of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Generally, if pesticide residues from food contact services are found in food at 200 ppb or less, EPA requires the submission of certain toxicology data, and additional data may be required if residues are greater than 200 ppb.
The interim guidance was issued as part of a March 2, 2015 settlement reached between the EPA and the American Chemistry Council (ACC) resolving the trade group’s challenge of EPA’s 2013 Final Rule on “Data Requirements for Antimicrobial Pesticides.” The settlement also requires that EPA propose, by July 2, 2015, a guidance document called the “Antimicrobial Pesticide Use Site Index,” which will be subject to public comment. In addition, by September 2, 2017, the agency must propose a “correction” to 40 C.F.R. § 158.2230(d) clarifying that the 200 ppb level relates to total estimated daily dietary intake, consistent with the FDA policy.