AHPA President Michael McGuffin and Chief Science Officer Holly Johnson, Ph.D. presented at the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) Science Forum held this week in Washington, DC.
McGuffin presented on a panel titled Pesticide Residues in Food which addressed current and emerging issues for pesticide residues, including challenges faced by the food industry due to a lack of import tolerance. McGuffin provided an overview of suggestions for pesticide regulation improvements that AHPA submitted to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) last year.
In those comments, AHPA outlined the disconnect between the occurrence of detectable but trace pesticide residues on foods with no tolerance or a tolerance exemption and the technical requirements of existing enforcement policies. AHPA encouraged EPA to reform current regulations to maintain protections for consumers and the environment while also reducing burdens on food companies that use specialty or minor crops such as herbs and spices in their products. Specifically, AHPA advocated EPA use its existing authority by setting practical regulatory definitions and default limits for trace levels of pesticides, expand and finalize the "herbs and spices" crop group, and harmonize U.S. pesticide tolerances with those set by international standard setting organizations like the Codex Alimentarius Commission.
Dr. Johnson presented on a panel that explored the evolving scope of issues and approaches to assess and prevent fraud and related concerns (EMA, authenticity, integrity, crime, etc.) for food, personal care and household products and similar experiences with product fraud from the food and pharmaceutical industries. Dr. Johnson emphasized the importance of authentication and prevention strategies to protect consumers and brands amid increasingly complex domestic and global supply networks and regulatory requirements.