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Pesticide Regulation and Monitoring

Federal, state, and local regulations and regulatory agencies play an important role in ensuring safe pesticide use in California.

The Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act requires that all pesticides sold or distributed in the United States be registered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).  The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act requires the EPA to establish a maximum permissible level for pesticide residues allowed on food for human consumption and animal feed.

At the state level, the California Department of Pesticide Regulation regulates the sales, use, monitoring, and enforcement of pesticides used in California. Existing regulations determine how pesticides are tested for safety, how pesticide residues on food are monitored, how pesticide applicators and the public are kept safe, and how pesticide use and illness data are reported.  

In California, County Agricultural Commissioners (CACs) serve as the primary enforcement agents for state pesticide laws and regulations. CACs are often the best resource for understanding local pesticide regulations, as permitted uses may vary by county.