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August 18, 1993

Pesticides Pose Concern About Children's Diet

JAMA. 1993;270(7):802-805. doi:10.1001/jama.1993.03510070024006

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IN THE LIGHT of "potential concern" that some children may be exposed to unsafe amounts of pesticides in the foods they eat, a committee of the National Research Council is recommending that changes be made in regulating pesticides used on food products to reflect the "unique characteristics of the diets of infants and children."

As the council's report was being unveiled last month, the government announced that it intends to reduce the use of pesticides in food products. Three federal agencies are being charged with carrying out this task: the Department of Agriculture, Environmental Protection Agency, and Food and Drug Administration.

In its report, the council notes that the exposure of infants and children to dietary pesticides differs both qualitatively and quantitively from that of adults. Consequently, the question is whether the present regulatory approach to controlling residual pesticides in foods is adequate to protect this particularly vulnerable group. The