All of the environmental, consumer, and public interest groups on a food safety panel advising the EPA resigned in protest yesterday, accusing the Clinton administration of letting pesticide and agribusiness interests “hijack” a 1996 law aimed at protecting children from pesticides. The seven groups say the EPA won’t meet an August deadline set by the law for reassessing the permissible levels of pesticides that pose serious threats to children, farm workers, and the environment. For its part, the EPA says it remains committed to reviewing the pesticides and removing them from the market or changing allowable residue levels by the deadline. Vice Pres. Al Gore created the advisory panel last year after agriculture interests complained the EPA was not taking their views into account.

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