To the dismay of pesticide-makers, a federal judge on Wednesday approved a settlement between enviros and the U.S. EPA that will speed up a review of the safety of pesticides in the food supply. The agency now has until next August to assess the risks of 39 commonly used organophosphates, a class of highly toxic pesticides that accounts for about half of the insecticides sold in the U.S. The EPA will also be required to protect farm workers from the effects of three insecticides and to reevaluate the health threats posed to children by pesticides. The settlement came in a lawsuit filed in 1999 by the Natural Resources Defense Council and other groups to force the agency to meet deadlines set by Congress to review pesticide safety.

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