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Burden Reduction Comes in All "Spices"

For Release: November 6, 2020

Today, EPA announced a final rule revising pesticide crop grouping regulations for herbs and spices, resulting in significant burden reductions and cost savings to growers of nearly $52 million annually while maintaining current protections for human health and the environment.

This rule is based on petitions submitted to EPA by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Interregional Research Project Number 4 and reflects input the agency received on its proposal. Through this final action, EPA is revising one commodity definition, adding three new commodity definitions, and amending the current herbs and spices crop group currently provided in Crop Group 19. The estimated cost savings for this final rule is $51.8 million annually. With this final rule, some of the herbs and spices with medicinal and nutritional value included in this grouping now have the potential to be grown at a larger scale.


EPA sets tolerances, which are the maximum amount of a pesticide allowed to remain in or on a food, as part of the process of regulating pesticides that may leave residues in food. 

Crop grouping allows the results of pesticide exposure studies for one crop to be applied to other, related crops within the group. By creating new crop groupings, adding new subgroups, and expanding existing crop groups by adding new commodities, EPA can efficiently provide growers of a certain crop group with more pest management options. Pesticide registrants also benefit from reduced data generation costs and EPA can save time and resources by facilitating regulatory review. Crop groupings also enhance the agency’s ability to conduct food safety evaluations and set standards for tolerances in commodities that are enjoyed globally.

Starting in 2007, EPA has taken a phased approach towards revising the current pesticide crop grouping regulations with today’s final rule representing the fifth phase of this effort. The sixth phase will begin shortly.

The final rule and related documents are available in docket EPA-HQ-OPP-2006-0766 at