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US government establishes ban on pesticide EDB

The federal government has declared an emergency ban on the use of the pesticide ethylene dibromide (EDB) on grains in an effort to remove the chemical from the nation's food supply.

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William Ruckelshaus, administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), said the government also set strict restrictions on how much EDB would be allowed in food products. That move was expected to trigger recalls of items such as cold cereals, baked goods, and various baking mixes from grocery store shelves.

The EPA actions drew strong criticism from environmental groups demanding a ban on all uses of EDB.

Mr. Rucklelshaus said the EPA four days ago received information showing EDB levels that were ''higher than we expected in some imported citrus.'' He said he would announce ''in just a few weeks'' what EPA plans to do about it.

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