During a recent pesticide advisory committee meeting, EPA's Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP) announced it is planning to revise controversial label language proposed earlier in a draft pesticide registration notice meant to address pesticide drift. The proposed revision is in response to industry and grower concerns over the proposed language.

Instead of directing agricultural users to not apply a pesticide "in a manner that results in spray [or dust] drift that could cause an adverse effect to people or any other non-target site," OPP has suggested directing such users not to apply a pesticide "in a manner that results in spray [or dust] drift that harms people or any other non-target organisms or sites."

EPA’s original proposal was issued in Nov. ’09, and industry and grower stakeholders immediately took issue with the "could cause" language, arguing it resulted in a de facto no drift policy given that it suggests all drift could cause adverse effects. Furthermore, they argued the language departed from FIFRA, which authorizes the registration and use of pesticides in a manner that doesn't cause "unreasonable adverse effects on the environment," while taking into account the costs and benefits of a pesticide's use.

EPA believes its revised language is consistent with the FIFRA unreasonable adverse effects standard.