February 10, 2022

FDA Releases Enforcement Guidance for Human Food with Chlorpyrifos Residues

Yesterday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a guidance document titled Questions and Answers Regarding Channels of Trade Policy for Human Food Commodities with Chlorpyrifos Residues: Guidance for Industry. The guidance is intended to help food producers and processors who handle foods that may contain residues of the pesticide chemical chlorpyrifos. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a final rule on August 30, 2021, revoking all tolerances for chlorpyrifos; these tolerances are set to expire on February 28, 2022.

The FDA is responsible for enforcing the EPA pesticide tolerances for domestic and imported foods, with the exception of meat, poultry, Siluriformes fish and fish products (catfish), and certain egg products that are regulated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

According to the FDA, under the channels of trade provision, after the EPA tolerances expire, a food that contains chlorpyrifos residues is not deemed unsafe solely based on the presence of the residue as long as the chlorpyrifos was applied lawfully and before the tolerance expired, and the residue does not exceed the level permitted by the tolerance that was in place at the time of the application.

The FDA has a public docket to receive comments on this guidance. You may submit electronic comments or written comments at any time to Docket ID: FDA-2016-D-4484.

Please reach out to the Western Growers Science team if you have any questions at [email protected].