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Choosing a Percentile of Acute Dietary Exposure as a Threshold of Regulatory Concern

EPA is responsible for regulating the nature and amount of pesticide residues in food under the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA). FFDCA sec. 408 authorizes EPA to set a tolerance or an exemption from the requirement of a tolerance if the Agency determines that the residues would be “safe.” The Agency performs various types of risk assessments to evaluate the safety of pesticides in food, including analyses to determine the nature and the amounts of pesticides that people might be exposed to over a single day. This paper discusses how EPA generally applies the statutory safety standard to acute dietary risk assessments as to pesticide residues in foods. 

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