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ISSA has been appointed to serve on a work group that will focus on the possibility of establishing an U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) policy that would allow claims of environmental preferability, including the possible use of eco-labels, in conjunction with the marketing of disinfectants, sanitizers, and other pesticide products.

“ISSA is delighted that the Agency recognizes that its current policy that precludes ‘green’ claims or the use of eco-labels in connection with EPA registered products is out of synch with the needs of today’s marketplace,” stated ISSA Director of Legislative Affairs Bill Balek, who was appointed to serve on the work group July 18. “The mere formation of the Work Group on Comparative Safety Statements or Logos for Pesticide Product Labeling is a positive step forward, and we look forward to working with EPA and others in carving a reasonable path forward,” said ISSA’s Balek.

ISSA and industry representatives also met with EPA Antimicrobial Division officials on Thursday, July 17 to discuss the need to establish a policy that would allow suppliers and purchasers to readily identify those disinfectants and sanitizers with a preferred environmental and safety and health profile.

Frank Sanders, Director, Antimicrobial Division acknowledged that EPA’s policy is out of step with the needs of institutional purchasers to be able to easily identify with a reasonable level of assurance disinfectants and sanitizers with reduced risks. On the other hand, Sanders indicated that current regulations preclude the Agency from allowing claims of environmental preferability in regard to EPA registered products. Consequently, Mr. Sanders stated that the pesticide work group on eco-labels was the appropriate vehicle to devise a reasonable solution.

The pesticide work group on eco-labeling is comprised of representatives from industry, state and local governments, various federal agencies including EPA and the FTC, and environmental and public health organizations. The work group’s first meeting is tentatively scheduled for late August/early September with a follow up meeting set for sometime in October.

According to EPA, the objective of the work group will be to address interest that is being expressed by the public for possible development of an Agency or third party endorsements, statements or logos in regard to “comparative product safety.” Ultimately, it will be the goal of the work group to make recommendations as to whether EPA should pursue a policy and/or regulatory change in order to develop or allow these types of statements or logos.