The text of a bill being pushed by Rep. Richard Pombo (R-Calif.) that would weaken regulation of pesticides is almost a word-for-word duplicate of a draft written by a consulting firm working for a coalition of pesticide manufacturers, agricultural organizations, and food processors. A landmark 1996 law set a new, stringent safety standard for using pesticides, requiring a reasonable certainty that the chemicals would not harm children. Pombo’s bill would essentially reverse the burden of proof, requiring the EPA to provide detailed justification before it could restrict pesticides to protect children, and the measure would make it easier for manufacturers to introduce new pesticides. The bill has backing from a majority in the House and 38 senators, but no immediate hearings on it are planned.