Key Federal Laws

Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA)


(as amended)

FIFRA governs commercially produced pesticides intended for a single use. The requirements are largely federal, with little delegation of authority to the states.  FIFRA was first passed in 1947.  It was extensively amended in 1972, and has subsequently been amended several more times, most recently by the Food Quality Protection Act of 1996.

FIFRA requires that each manufacturer register each pesticide and its label with EPA before it can be manufactured for commercial use. Prospective pesticide manufacturers are required to submit a registration application to EPA, a proposed label, a statement of all claims to be made for the pesticide, directions for its use, a confidential statement of the formula, and a description of the tests which provide the basis for the manufacturer’s claims. The proposed label must be written in such a way as to be understood by the ordinary individual under customary conditions of purchase and use.   The manufacturer must avoid making false or misleading statements.   Distribution of any pesticide that is not registered or that is improperly labeled is prohibited.

In determining whether to register a pesticide, EPA considers economic, social, and environmental costs and benefits of use of the pesticide. Registrations are for a five year period. Reregistration is possible, but will be considered by EPA in light of current data regarding the pesticide.

Pesticide registration regulations can be found at 40 CFR 152-186.

Program office links:
FIFRA and related regulatory details
EPA Pesticide Registration Kit
Details on the Food Quality Protection Act

40 CFR 152-186


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