University of California

Food Quality Protection Act launches search for pest management alternatives


Robert A. Van Steenwyk

Author Affiliations

R. A. Van Steenwyk is Cooperative Extension Entomologist, Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management, UC Berkeley; and F.G. Zalom is Entomologist, Agricultural Experiment Station, and Cooperative Extension Entomologist, Department of Entomology, UC Davis. We gratefully acknowledge the California Department of Food and Agriculture for financial support in the development of the base document, and in publication of this special issue. We also thank the many UC Cooperative Extension Specialists and Farm Advisors who provided technical expertise in the development of alternative scenarios for the specific crops studied.

Publication Information

Hilgardia 59(1):7-10. DOI:10.3733/ca.v059n01p7. January 2005.

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Insecticides have long been important tools for California farmers to combat agricultural pests. By 1995, organophosphate (OP) insecticides such as chlorpyrifos, azinphos-methyl, methamidophos, phosmet and diazinon accounted for an estimated 34% of worldwide insecticide sales, and they are widely credited with allowing large yield increases in commercial agriculture. The U.S. Food Quality Protection Act (FQPA), signed into law in 1996, established a new human health-based standard that “reasonable certainty of no harm will result from aggregate exposure to the pesticide chemical residue.” When the FQPA was passed, 49 OP pesticides were registered for use in pest control in the United States; since then, many uses have been canceled and others are expected to be lost, with particular significance for California growers. A number of alternative pest-control products and strategies are available, with varying degrees of effectiveness and cost. Research and development of control measures to replace OP insecticides must be pursued to maintain an economically viable state agricultural industry.


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Van Steenwyk R. 2005. Food Quality Protection Act launches search for pest management alternatives. Hilgardia 59(1):7-10. DOI:10.3733/ca.v059n01p7
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