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Notice

Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for Office of Management and Budget Review; Comment Request; Channels of Trade Policy for Commodities With Residues of Pesticide Chemicals, for Which Tolerances Have Been Revoked, Suspended, or Modified by the Environmental Protection Agency Pursuant to Dietary Risk Considerations

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AGENCY:

Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

ACTION:

Notice.

SUMMARY:

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is announcing that a proposed collection of information has been submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and clearance under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.

DATES:

Fax written comments on the collection of information by September 22, 2014.

ADDRESSES:

To ensure that comments on the information collection are received, OMB recommends that written comments be faxed to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, OMB, Attn: FDA Desk Officer, FAX: 202-395-7285, or emailed to oira_submission@omb.eop.gov. All comments should be identified with the OMB control number 0910-0562. Also include the FDA docket number found in brackets in the heading of this document.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

FDA PRA Staff, Office of Operations, Food and Drug Administration, 8455 Colesville Rd., COLE-14526, Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002 PRAStaff@fda.hhs.gov.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

In compliance with 44 U.S.C. 3507, FDA has submitted the following proposed Start Printed Page 49779collection of information to OMB for review and clearance.

Channels of Trade Policy for Commodities With Residues of Pesticide Chemicals, for Which Tolerances Have Been Revoked, Suspended, or Modified by the Environmental Protection Agency Pursuant to Dietary Risk Considerations (OMB Control Number 0910-0562)—Extension

The Food Quality Protection Act of 1996, which amended the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) and the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (the FD&C Act), established a new safety standard for pesticide residues in food, with an emphasis on protecting the health of infants and children. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is responsible for regulating the use of pesticides (under FIFRA) and for establishing tolerances or exemptions from the requirement for tolerances for residues of pesticide chemicals in food commodities (under the FD&C Act). EPA may, for various reasons, e.g., as part of a systematic review or in response to new information concerning the safety of a specific pesticide, reassess whether a tolerance for a pesticide residue continues to meet the safety standard in section 408 of the FD&C Act (21 U.S.C. 346a). When EPA determines that a pesticide's tolerance level does not meet that safety standard, the registration for the pesticide may be canceled under FIFRA for all or certain uses. In addition, the tolerances for that pesticide may be lowered or revoked for the corresponding food commodities. Under section 408(l)(2) of the FD&C Act, when the registration for a pesticide is canceled or modified due to, in whole or in part, dietary risks to humans posed by residues of that pesticide chemical on food, the effective date for the revocation of such tolerance (or exemption in some cases) must be no later than 180 days after the date such cancellation becomes effective or 180 days after the date on which the use of the canceled pesticide becomes unlawful under the terms of the cancellation, whichever is later.

When EPA takes such actions, food derived from a commodity that was lawfully treated with the pesticide may not have cleared the channels of trade by the time the revocation or new tolerance level takes effect. The food could be found by FDA, the Agency that is responsible for monitoring pesticide residue levels and enforcing the pesticide tolerances in most foods (the U.S. Department of Agriculture has responsibility for monitoring residue levels and enforcing pesticide tolerances in egg products and most meat and poultry products), to contain a residue of that pesticide that does not comply with the revoked or lowered tolerance. We would normally deem such food to be in violation of the law by virtue of it bearing an illegal pesticide residue. The food would be subject to FDA enforcement action as an “adulterated” food. However, the channels of trade provision of the FD&C Act addresses the circumstances under which a food is not unsafe solely due to the presence of a residue from a pesticide chemical for which the tolerance has been revoked, suspended, or modified by EPA. The channels of trade provision (section 408(l)(5) of the FD&C Act) states that food containing a residue of such a pesticide shall not be deemed “adulterated” by virtue of the residue, if the residue is within the former tolerance, and the responsible party can demonstrate to FDA's satisfaction that the residue is present as the result of an application of the pesticide at a time and in a manner which were lawful under FIFRA.

In the Federal Register of May 18, 2005 (70 FR 28544), we announced the availability of a guidance document entitled “Channels of Trade Policy for Commodities With Residues of Pesticide Chemicals, for Which Tolerances Have Been Revoked, Suspended, or Modified by the Environmental Protection Agency Pursuant to Dietary Risk Considerations.” The guidance represents FDA's current thinking on its planned enforcement approach to the channels of trade provision of the FD&C Act and how that provision relates to FDA-regulated products with residues of pesticide chemicals for which tolerances have been revoked, suspended, or modified by EPA pursuant to dietary risk considerations. The guidance can be found at the following link: http://www.fda.gov/​Food/​GuidanceRegulation/​GuidanceDocumentsRegulatoryInformation/​ChemicalContaminantsMetalsNaturalToxinsPesticides/​ucm077918.htm. We anticipate that food bearing lawfully applied residues of pesticide chemicals that are the subject of future EPA action to revoke, suspend, or modify their tolerances, will remain in the channels of trade after the applicable tolerance is revoked, suspended, or modified. If we encounter food bearing a residue of a pesticide chemical for which the tolerance has been revoked, suspended, or modified, we intend to address the situation in accordance with provisions of the guidance. In general, we anticipate that the party responsible for food found to contain pesticide chemical residues (within the former tolerance) after the tolerance for the pesticide chemical has been revoked, suspended, or modified will be able to demonstrate that such food was handled, e.g., packed or processed, during the acceptable timeframes cited in the guidance by providing appropriate documentation to FDA as discussed in the guidance document. We are not suggesting that firms maintain an inflexible set of documents where anything less or different would likely be considered unacceptable. Rather, we are leaving it to each firm's discretion to maintain appropriate documentation to demonstrate that the food was so handled during the acceptable timeframes.

Examples of documentation which we anticipate will serve this purpose consist of documentation associated with packing codes, batch records, and inventory records. These are types of documents that many food processors routinely generate as part of their basic food-production operations. Accordingly, under the PRA, we are requesting the extension of OMB approval for the information collection provisions in the guidance.

Description of Respondents: The likely respondents to this collection of information are firms in the produce and food-processing industries that handle food products that may contain residues of pesticide chemicals after the tolerances for the pesticide chemicals have been revoked, suspended, or modified.

In the Federal Register of June 3, 2014 (79 FR 31944), FDA published a 60-day notice requesting public comment on the proposed collection of information. No comments were received.

We estimate the annual burden of this collection of information as follows:Start Printed Page 49780

Table 1—Estimated Annual Reporting Burden 1

ActivityNumber of respondentsNumber of responses per respondentTotal annual responsesAverage burden per responseTotal hours
Submission of Documentation11133
1 There are no capital costs or operating and maintenance costs associated with this collection of information.

We expect the total number of pesticide tolerances that are revoked, suspended, or modified by EPA pursuant to dietary risk considerations in the next 3 years to remain at a low level, as there have been no changes to the safety standard for pesticide residues in food since 1996. Thus, we expect the number of submissions we will receive pursuant to the guidance document will also remain at a low level. However, to avoid counting this burden as zero, we have estimated the burden at one respondent making one submission a year for a total of one annual submission.

We based our estimate of the hours per response on the assumption that the information requested in the guidance is readily available to the submitter. We expect that the submitter will need to gather information from appropriate persons in the submitter's company and to prepare this information for submission to FDA. The submitter will almost always merely need to copy existing documentation. We believe that this effort should take no longer than 3 hours per submission.

Table 2—Estimated Annual Recordkeeping Burden 1

ActivityNumber of recordkeepersNumber of records per recordkeepingTotal annual recordsAverage burden per recordTotal hours
Develop documentation process1111616
1 There are no capital costs or operating and maintenance costs associated with this collection of information.

In determining the estimated annual recordkeeping burden, we estimated that at least 90 percent of firms maintain documentation, such as packing codes, batch records, and inventory records, as part of their basic food production or import operations. Therefore, the recordkeeping burden was calculated as the time required for the 10 percent of firms that may not be currently maintaining this documentation to develop and maintain documentation, such as batch records and inventory records. In previous information collection requests, this recordkeeping burden was estimated to be 16 hours per record. We have retained our prior estimate of 16 hours per record for the recordkeeping burden. As shown in Table 1, we estimate that one respondent will make one submission per year. Although we estimate that only 1 out of 10 firms will not be currently maintaining the necessary documentation, to avoid counting the recordkeeping burden for the 1 submission per year as 1/10 of a recordkeeper, we estimate that 1 recordkeeper will take 16 hours to develop and maintain documentation recommended by the guidance.

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Dated: August 19, 2014.

Peter Lurie,

Associate Commissioner for Policy and Planning.

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[FR Doc. 2014-19957 Filed 8-21-14; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4164-01-P