1. Request is submitted to IR-4.
You must make your pest control needs known to IR-4 through a Pesticide Clearance Request (PCR). After a PCR has been submitted, a selection process begins for the projects that will be studied.
2. IR-4 selects projects for research.
Each PCR is reviewed at the annual Food Use Workshop sponsored by IR-4. Priority rankings are given to each by state and federal minor crop pest control experts, growers, commodity organizations, and representatives from EPA and industry. Priority is based on the importance of the pest problem, the availability of alternatives, the existence of data gaps, and the value to integrated pest management programs. Only those projects with high priorities that include products with acceptable environmental and toxicological profiles are put into research trials.
3. Research is conducted.
If performance data on the product is lacking, IR-4 may initiate studies to evaluate efficacy of the product. If adequate performance data is available, those request with the highest priority will go into testing for residues on the requested crop(s). The number and location of trials is determined by EPA based on production regions of the crop(s) in question. These requirements are aligned with IR-4 testing locations. All residue trials are conducted according to Good Laboratory Practices (GLP) mandated by EPA. These regulations help to assure consistency of trial execution across all trial locations.
4. IR-4 writes the petition to EPA.
All of the data generated during the field and laboratory phases of research are sent to IR-4 Headquarters. The data are reviewed by scientists at IR-4 and written in final format for submission to EPA. For food crops, the final format is a petition request for either the establishment of a tolerance (the legally allowable maximum amount of pesticide residue on a crop at harvest), or an exemption from the tolerance requirement. Ornamentals do not require residue tolerance information.
5. EPA makes a decision.
EPA carefully reviews the IR-4 petitions and data packages. If EPA approves the petition, registration occurs after the registrant requests EPA's approval of the specific directions for use which will appear on the label. The product may be made available for national use, be confined to a limited geographical region, or be identified for Special Local Need (24c) in a specific state or states.