The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have agreed to share data on pesticides and toxic substances.

The two agencies said on Monday that they have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding to establish a process of disclosure and sharing of their respective databases. This will better inform their assessments of risks to the public and the environment, facilitating the decisions of each agency related to food safety, veterinary medicine and cosmetics.

Sharing data in this way is expected to provide the most up-to-date information and also assist in coordinating reviews when a substance is regulated by both agencies.

For example, a manufacturer of an antimicrobial food wash is required to demonstrate to the FDA that its use is safe and does not adulterate food. Additionally, the manufacturer may be required to demonstrate to the EPA that use of the substance (labeled as a pesticide) will not hurt the environment.

Although they oversee different things, the FDA and EPA have complementary roles in their regulatory authority for certain substances incorporated into food (including animal food and feed), as well as animal drugs and cosmetics.

The FDA is responsible for protecting and promoting public health by enforcing the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, and other related public health laws. Meanwhile, the EPA is responsible for managing the pesticides and toxic substances programs under the Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act, the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, and the Toxic Substances Control Act.