Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Clinton's Pesticide Bill Aims to Protect Children

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Clinton's Pesticide Bill Aims to Protect Children

Article excerpt

PROTECTING the safety of children is a key goal in pesticide-control bills introduced April 26 for the Clinton administration.

Seven months after describing its proposals, the administration has put them into bills that will be considered by four congressional committees.

The proposals will run up against a less-restrictive bill, supported by the food industry and American Farm Bureau Federation, which has 220 sponsors - a majority - in the House and 20 in the Senate.

The administration proposal would curtail the system of considering economic impact on farmers in deciding whether a pesticide should be allowed in the food supply.

The health-based standard would be the only one used. It would replace often-conflicting standards in food-safety laws, some of which allow several levels of pesticide residue, while others allow none at all. The tolerances would have to recognize the eating habits and size of infants and children, who, for their body weight, eat more fruits and vegetables than do adults.

The proposal says the Environmental Protection Agency would allow some pesticide residue in foods unless the chemicals posed "a potential dietary risk of cancer in humans."

When setting levels, the EPA would have to consider "all other anticipated consumer exposures for which there is reliable information" - such as exposure through drinking water, lawn chemicals, and household bug killers. The changes would require a wealth of new data from the government and from the pesticide industry, which would have seven years to demonstrate that 9,000 pesticide tolerances fit the new standards. Battle over Nixon papers

THE fight that President Nixon began 20 years ago for control of his presidential papers and tapes will continue despite his death.

The late president's lawyer, R. Stan Mortensen, said April 25 the fight would continue, but he would not say whether the legal pursuit was requested by Nixon before his death, or if the heirs or estate had requested it. …

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