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Abstract

EPA has the authority to ban pesticides to reduce health risks to consumers from food residues. Such bans influence the price of fruits and vegetables, and the resulting consumption shifts impact consumer health. We develop a framework to compare the direct and indirect health effects of pesticide regulation, and investigate the distribution of these effects across social groups. Under some plausible scenarios, the increased incidence of disease from reduced fruit and vegetable consumption outweigh the direct benefits of regulation. Furthermore, high income consumers receive the greatest direct health benefit from pesticide cancellations, whereas low and medium income consumers are most hurt by the resulting dietary changes.

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