[Released by EPA 11/15/2023]. The U.S. Environmental Protection agency is requesting feedback on its plan to adopt digital pesticide labels that will make labeling information clearer, more consistent, and more accessible to users. The Agency is specifically requesting feedback on the proposed organization of digital labels and the proposed phases of developing these labels.
EPA’s plan for digital labels covers the creation of both a structured label—which would provide a framework for consistently placing and ordering label information—and a digital label, which would organize the label information as electronic data. Currently, the pesticide product label registration process is mostly manual, with EPA staff reading through long, detailed label submissions to pull out specific information, like application rate, to enter into the EPA’s Pesticide Product and Label System. This has led to time consuming reviews and high cost to registrants and regulators. Further, the increasing complexity of pesticide labels and lack of standardized label format and language can create challenges for pesticide users and the public seeking information about which products to use and how to use them. The easier it is for users to find and understand label information, the better they can follow instructions to protect their safety and health and their environment.
Moving from traditional labels to digital labels and providing a database of accepted label language would make submitting label content simpler and more consistent for all pesticide registrants and would improve the Agency’s ability to review and access submissions efficiently.
EPA is requesting public comment on all aspects of structured digital labels, including:
- anticipated benefits
- risks and challenges
- key information fields (such as pesticide use site, formulation, and maximum application rate), and
- potential phases of adoption.