IDFA and other members of the Food Industry Dioxin Working Group have formally asked the Environmental Protection Agency to withdraw its draft dioxin risk reassessment from interagency review and remove it from EPA's regulatory schedule. This is the third action taken by IDFA in recent months to deter EPA from issuing a flawed assessment that could mislead and frighten consumers about the safety of their food and trigger negative responses from global trading partners.
EPA has been working on the draft reassessment for more than 20 years and recently announced plans to issue the final reassessment sometime this month.
"We believe it is possible for EPA to achieve its goal of remediating past dioxin contamination without crippling the nation's agricultural sector," said the letter sent to EPA last week by the coalition of agriculture, processing and retail food organizations. "However, it is imperative EPA work with the ag/food sector to determine the impact of the agency's approach on stakeholder groups."
The coalition also urged EPA to consult with the National Academy of Sciences before issuing its risk reassessment to ensure that the final report is based in science and supported by accepted international standards. NAS conducted an independent review of EPA's 2003 assessment and "found it seriously flawed," the letter said.
The term dioxin refers to a group of chemicals that are byproducts of natural and industrial processes involving combustion, such as forest fires and backyard burning. They are introduced to animals through the air, soil and plants.
For more information, contact Clay Detlefsen, IDFA vice president of regulatory affairs, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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