Washington, D.C. – Today, Oregon’s U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden announced Oregon State University (OSU) will receive $1.5 million from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to administer the National Pesticide Information Center (NPIC), and provide the public with unbiased, accurate, and science-based information on a broad range of pesticide-related issues. The Center will ensure this information is easily accessible, especially for people who speak languages other than English, through a website, toll-free telephone service, outreach, and training.
“Having accurate and science-based knowledge on pesticides benefits everyone and helps keep Oregonians safe,” said Merkley. “The National Pesticide Information Center at OSU will ensure people have access to easy-to-understand information, no matter the language they speak or where they are located.”
“Folks in Oregon and across the nation deserve to know how the food they eat is grown and what is used to help that food grow,” Wyden said. “OSU’s National Pesticide Information Center will inform consumers about what is in the products they buy and how pesticides may affect their daily lives.”
Trained experts at NPIC will respond to questions on the risks associated with pesticide use, restrictions on pesticide use, who to contact for regulatory enforcement, how to report information on a potential incident, and more. Secondarily, staff will collect information on suspected incidents volunteered by callers. With this project, EPA partners and stakeholders will advance the protection of humans, ecosystems, and the environment from the risk of pesticide poisonings, illness, and injury.
“Central to National Pesticide Information Center mission is to deliver objective, science-based information about a variety of pesticide-related issues to the public and professionals,” said Dr. Serhan Mermer, Assistant Professor and NPIC Assistant Director. “Our OSU team is pleased to receive this opportunity to continue our work with the EPA to help support informed decision making and public access to information.”
With this funding, the NPIC at OSU, expects to accomplish the following:
- Serve as a source of factual, unbiased information for diverse audiences.
- Inform the public and professionals on a wide variety of pesticide-related subjects;
- Support education and outreach efforts by federal, state, and local agencies on pesticide safety topics;
- Provide education and outreach to the public and professionals;
- Provide accurate, unbiased scientific information in a manner understandable to a lay audience;
- Collect and disseminate quality pesticide incident data via a rigorous and well-defined data collection system; and
- Provide exceptional customer service.