U.S. Team of Pesticide Experts to Visit Taiwan, Exchange Information with Taiwan Counterparts Regarding Pesticide Use on Fresh Fruits and Vegetables, Headed by U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Glickman's Chief Science Advisor
PR9930E | Date: 1999-06-08
A team of U.S. experts on the subject of pesticide use on fresh fruits and vegetables will visit Taiwan from June 8 to 11. The group will be headed by Dr. Robert Epstein, Chief Science Advisor to Secretary Glickman, the current head of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (UDSA). Other members of the team include: Mary Frances Lowe, who is responsible for issues involving international trade and regulatory policy in the Office of Pesticide Programs at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA); Dr. Hugh W. Ewart, who is a member of the U.S. Delegation to the United Nations Codex Committee on Pesticide Residues, and who is also the Northwest Horticultural Council's Vice President for Scientific Affairs; Joe Hain, who is the Taiwan Desk Officer for the International Trade Policy Division of the USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS); and Lisa Anderson, who is responsible for issues involving fresh fruits and vegetables in the Commodity and Marketing Programs Division of the USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service.
While in Taiwan, the team will meet with counterparts in the Taiwan Department of Health; the Council of Agriculture; the Bureau of Standards, Metrology and Inspection; and the Board of Foreign Trade.
The purpose of the meetings is twofold: First, to learn about Taiwan's regulations governing pesticide residues on imported fresh fruits and vegetables; and second to explain the U.S. legal and regulatory system that ensures the safe use of agricultural chemicals on fresh fruits and vegetables in the United States.
Team members have indicated that while in Taiwan they hope to allay any concerns that Taiwan authorities and consumers may have concerning the healthiness of U.S. fresh fruit and vegetables that are exported to Taiwan. In the United States, pesticide use is controlled by a comprehensive system of laws and regulations. Pesticides are used solely to eliminate insect infestations and plant diseases that are harmful to fruits and vegetables and to consumers. Only registered pesticides are used, and then only on fruits and vegetables for which specific maximum residue levels have been established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Chemical residue levels on fresh fruits and vegetables are closely monitored by the U.S. Government. Produce that exceeds residue limits is removed from the market, and offenders are sanctioned. Because of this system of stringent regulations and controls, the U.S. has the safest food supply in the world.