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Laws & Regulations

Summary of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act

7 U.S.C. §136 et seq. (1996)

The Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) provides for federal regulation of pesticide distribution, sale, and use. All pesticides distributed or sold in the United States must be registered (licensed) by EPA. Before EPA may register a pesticide under FIFRA, the applicant must show, among other things, that using the pesticide according to specifications "will not generally cause unreasonable adverse effects on the environment.''

FIFRA defines the term ''unreasonable adverse effects on the environment'' to mean: ''(1) any unreasonable risk to man or the environment, taking into account the economic, social, and environmental costs and benefits of the use of any pesticide, or (2) a human dietary risk from residues that result from a use of a pesticide in or on any food inconsistent with the standard under section 408 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.''

Compliance and Enforcement

History of this Act

Offices that Administer this Act

The Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP)  regulates the use of all pesticides in the United States and establishes maximum levels for pesticide residues in food, thereby safeguarding the nation's food supply.

  • The Food Quality Protection Act of 1996 (FQPA) amended FIFRA. Read EPA's FQPA summary.
  • The Pesticide Registration Improvement Act of 2003 (PRIA) amended FIFRA. Read more at EPA's Pesticides website.