[X] CLOSEMAIN MENU

  • Archives

  • Categories

    • air pollution (8)
    • Announcements (603)
    • Antibiotic Resistance (41)
    • Antimicrobial (18)
    • Aquaculture (30)
    • Aquatic Organisms (37)
    • Bats (7)
    • Beneficials (51)
    • Biofuels (6)
    • Biological Control (34)
    • Biomonitoring (40)
    • Birds (26)
    • btomsfiolone (1)
    • Bug Bombs (2)
    • Canada (10)
    • Cannabis (29)
    • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (9)
    • Chemical Mixtures (7)
    • Children (113)
    • Children/Schools (240)
    • cicadas (1)
    • Climate (30)
    • Climate Change (85)
    • Clover (1)
    • compost (5)
    • Congress (18)
    • contamination (154)
    • deethylatrazine (1)
    • Disinfectants & Sanitizers (18)
    • Drift (15)
    • Drinking Water (15)
    • Ecosystem Services (15)
    • Emergency Exemption (3)
    • Environmental Justice (167)
    • Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) (527)
    • Events (89)
    • Farm Bill (22)
    • Farmworkers (196)
    • Forestry (5)
    • Fracking (4)
    • Fungal Resistance (6)
    • Fungicides (25)
    • Goats (2)
    • Golf (15)
    • Greenhouse (1)
    • Groundwater (15)
    • Health care (32)
    • Herbicides (41)
    • Holidays (38)
    • Household Use (9)
    • Indigenous People (6)
    • Indoor Air Quality (6)
    • Infectious Disease (4)
    • Integrated and Organic Pest Management (71)
    • Invasive Species (35)
    • Label Claims (49)
    • Lawns/Landscapes (249)
    • Litigation (344)
    • Livestock (9)
    • men’s health (2)
    • metabolic syndrome (3)
    • Metabolites (4)
    • Microbiata (22)
    • Microbiome (28)
    • molluscicide (1)
    • Nanosilver (2)
    • Nanotechnology (54)
    • National Politics (388)
    • Native Americans (3)
    • Occupational Health (15)
    • Oceans (11)
    • Office of Inspector General (3)
    • perennial crops (1)
    • Pesticide Drift (162)
    • Pesticide Efficacy (10)
    • Pesticide Mixtures (12)
    • Pesticide Regulation (780)
    • Pesticide Residues (184)
    • Pets (36)
    • Plant Incorporated Protectants (2)
    • Plastic (7)
    • Poisoning (20)
    • Preemption (43)
    • President-elect Transition (2)
    • Reflection (1)
    • Repellent (4)
    • Resistance (119)
    • Rights-of-Way (1)
    • Rodenticide (33)
    • Seasonal (3)
    • Seeds (6)
    • soil health (17)
    • Superfund (5)
    • synergistic effects (22)
    • Synthetic Pyrethroids (16)
    • Synthetic Turf (3)
    • Take Action (592)
    • Textile/Apparel/Fashion Industry (1)
    • Toxic Waste (11)
    • Volatile Organic Compounds (1)
    • Women’s Health (25)
    • Wood Preservatives (36)
    • World Health Organization (11)
    • Year in Review (2)
  • Most Viewed Posts

Daily News Blog

20
May

House Republican Farm Bill Draft Would Cripple Pesticide Restrictions, Advocates Say

(Beyond Pesticides, May 20, 2024)  (Beyond Pesticides, May 20, 2024) The Republican Farm Bill draft in the U.S. House of Representatives, released on Friday, May 17, is a broad attack on pesticide restrictions and the right to sue chemical manufacturers and allied users of pesticides when harmed. “This legislation is a complete nonstarter for the millions of people who want stronger pesticide restrictions, democratic decision making on toxic chemicals in communities, and the right to sue manufacturers and pesticide users when harmed and misled on the hazards of pesticides,” said Jay Feldman, executive director. “We vehemently oppose this Republican legislation with the understanding and experience—bridging farmers, medical practitioners, land managers, local policy makers, and families—that we can and must transition to safe practices and products that protect our health, biodiversity, and climate,” Mr. Feldman continued.

The Farm Bill attack takes place on many critical fronts. The draft legislation:

1. Takes away the right to sue for failure to warn when harmed by pesticides. The language says: “prohibit. . .a court from directly or indirectly imposing or continuing in effect any requirements for, or penalize or hold liable any entity for failing to comply with requirements with respect to, labeling or packaging that is in addition to or different from the labeling or packaging approved by the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.” (SEC. 10204. UNIFORMITY OF PESTICIDE LABELING REQUIREMENTS, p790).

This language shields (gives immunity to) the producers and users of toxic pesticides from liability lawsuits associated with the harm that their products cause. The provision will block lawsuits like those successfully advanced against Bayer/Monsanto for adverse health effects, like cancer, associated with exposure to their products and companies’ failure to warn about these effects on EPA-approved product labels.

2. Prohibits the rights of states and local governments to restrict pesticides and protect public health and the environment. That language says, “prohibit any State, instrumentality or political subdivision thereof. . . from directly or indirectly imposing or continuing in effect any requirements for, or penalize or hold liable any entity for failing to comply with requirements with respect to, labeling or packaging that is in addition to or different from the labeling or packaging approved by the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.” (SEC. 10204. UNIFORMITY OF PESTICIDE LABELING REQUIREMENTS, p790).

In addition, the language says: “A political subdivision of a State shall not impose, or continue in effect, any requirement relating to the sale, distribution, labeling, application, or use of any pesticide or device. . .” (SEC. 10205. AUTHORITY OF STATES, p791)

The attack on local and state authority to restrict pesticides is a bottom-line issue. As momentum builds for local restrictions on pesticide use in the face of ongoing poisoning and contamination, it is clear that effective land management does not require toxic pesticide use. Historically, localities have exercised their democratic right to protect public health and safety where state and federal standards are not adequately protective of their residents. Local governments have exercised this right in many areas affecting the health of people and the environment, such as with smoking, recycling, dog waste, and other standards.

3. Allows plants genetically engineered with pesticides to be exempt from regulation. The language says, “[P]lant-incorporated protectants [PIPs] resulting from endogenous genetic material found within or that could arise from the plant’s gene pool are exempt from the requirements of this Act.” PIPs are defined as “a substance or mixture of substances intended to be produced and used within a living plant, or in the produce thereof, and the genetic material necessary for its production.” (Subtitle C—Regulatory Reform PART I—FEDERAL INSECTICIDE, FUNGICIDE, AND RODENTICIDE ACT, SEC. 10201. EXCLUSION OF CERTAIN SUBSTANCES, pp781-784)

PIPs are created when scientists take the gene for a specific pesticidal protein from an organism and introduces the gene into the plant’s genetic material. Then the plant continuously expresses the pesticidal protein that kills the pest when it feeds on the plant. Classified by EPA as “biopesticides” and marketed as a silver bullet for pest control, PIPs are showing insect resistance to this technology and threatening the efficacy of natural microbial organisms used as a part of an organic system, which is focused on soil health and ecosystem balance. (See more.)

4. Broadens exemption of pesticides from regulation. The language says, “Section 25(b) of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (7 U.S.C. 136w(b)) is amended to read as follows: ‘‘(b) EXEMPTION OF PESTICIDES.— ‘‘(B) to be of a character which is unnecessary to be subject to this Act in order to carry out the purposes of this Act.” (Subtitle C—Regulatory Reform PART I—FEDERAL INSECTICIDE, FUNGICIDE, AND RODENTICIDE ACT, SEC. 10201. EXCLUSION OF CERTAIN SUBSTANCES (b) EXEMPTION FROM REGULATION, p781)

The Farm Bill is being debated as advocates call for a global transition to organic agriculture and land care that seriously takes on the challenges of the public health crisis, biodiversity collapse, and the climate emergency. Approximately every five years, Congress passes a Farm Bill, a comprehensive omnibus bill setting policy and funding for agricultural and food programs. The chemical industry and companies that use their products see the adoption of the bill as an opportunity to adopt amendments to a range of statutes, including pesticide law, to advance its economic interests, not necessarily what is good for people and the environment

>>Tell your U.S. Congressional Representative and Senators to support organic agriculture in the Farm Bill, but not at the expense of undermining local and state authority to enact more stringent restrictions of pesticides.

While Farm Bill negotiations have been stalled for months, the Democrat-led Senate and Republican-led House of Representatives presented their respective visions to amend the 2024 Farm Bill. The office of U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee, released an initial Senate framework for the (now 2024) Farm Bill. At the same time, U.S. Representative Glenn Thompson (R-PA), chair of the House Agriculture Committee, released an outline of the House version, then followed up with more details and legislative language (“Farm, Food, and National Security Act of 2024.”

While advocates say that anti-democratic Republican language in the House makes the overall bill unacceptable for advocates, the Senate Democrats’ proposal includes robust support for expanding and strengthening organic product supply chains and domestic production, recognizing their economic, ecological, and public health benefits. House Republican language in support of organic is undermined, according to advocates, by its broad attack on pesticide restrictions and the right to sue chemical manufacturers and allied users of pesticides when harmed. The language, if adopted, is viewed as a crippling setback for efforts to meet the existential health and environmental threats of the day.

While advocates object to the Republican Farm Bill moving forward because of provisions they say will weaken protections from pesticides and undermine local democratic decision making and the right to sue chemical companies when harmed, there are elements in the Senate and House framework that would help nurture the growth of organic agriculture by:

  • Addressing organic certification costs;
  • Funding organic oversight and enforcement;
  • Supporting organic transition;
  • Addressing bottlenecks in organic regulatory actions;
  • Providing mandatory funding for organic research and data collection;
  • Making organic programs work for organic farmers; and
  • Establishing an Organic Agriculture Research Coordinator who will coordinate and establish annual strategic priorities.

The bipartisan consensus that organic supply chains and markets must continue to be nurtured as recognition of their importance to sustainability, rather than put on the legislative chopping block, is welcomed. Certified organic agriculture has grown over the past four decades from a voluntary standard organized by farmers and grassroots consumers and organizations representing farmers, environmentalists, community leaders, physicians, and rural and urban communities to a $70 billion industry. In the same period, considerable scientific literature continues to underscore the significance of a wholesale transition to organic from chemical-intensive food systems to adequately address the cascading crises of climate change, biodiversity loss, and public health.

>>Tell your U.S. Congressional Representative and Senators to support organic agriculture in the Farm Bill, but not at the expense of undermining local and state authority to enact more stringent restrictions of pesticides.

Letter to U.S. Senators and Representatives:

I am writing to ask you to support a Farm Bill that helps to grow organic agriculture, but not undermine, or preempt, state and local authority to restrict toxic pesticides. A global transition to organic methods is necessary if we are to seriously take on the challenges of the public health crisis, biodiversity collapse, and the climate emergency. We cannot achieve these changes with organic if preemption language in the House Republican bill is adopted.

The attack on local and state authority to restrict pesticides is a bottom-line issue. As momentum builds for local restrictions on pesticide use in the face of ongoing poisoning and contamination, it is clear that effective land management does not require toxic pesticide use. Historically, localities have exercised their democratic right to protect public health and safety where state and federal standards are not adequately protective of their residents. Congress should not be stepping into states to tell local governments that they cannot exercise this right, as they have done with smoking, recycling, dog waste, and other standards. The House Republican bill states boldly that, “A political subdivision of a state shall not impose any requirement relating to the sale, distribution, labeling, application, or use of any pesticide or device,” challenging the right of states and localities to exercise local governance and the democratic process. This language, at this point, is not in the Senate Democrats’ bill.

While the anti-democratic Republican language in the House makes the overall House bill unacceptable, the Senate Democrats’ proposal includes robust support for expanding and strengthening organic product supply chains and domestic production, recognizing its economic, ecological, and public health benefits. House Republican language in support of organic is undermined by a framework that preempts local restrictions of pesticides.

Please seek to eliminate provisions in the House Republican bill that preempt the state and local government’s right to restrict pesticides while supporting the following elements in the Senate and House framework that nurtures the growth of organic agriculture by:

  • Addressing organic certification costs;
  • Funding organic oversight and enforcement;
  • Supporting organic transition;
  • Addressing bottlenecks in organic regulatory actions;
  • Providing mandatory funding for organic research and data collection;
  • Making organic programs work for organic farmers; and
  • Establishing an Organic Agriculture Research Coordinator who will coordinate and establish annual strategic priorities.

Let’s make the Farm Bill a bipartisan consensus bill that builds a positive future, by growing organic supply chains and markets with the recognition of their importance to sustainability. Certified organic agriculture has grown over the past four decades from a voluntary standard organized by farmers and grassroots consumers and organizations representing farmers, environmentalists, community leaders, physicians, and rural and urban communities to a $70 billion industry. In the same period, considerable scientific literature continues to underscore the significance of a wholesale transition to organic from chemical-intensive food systems as a way to adequately address the cascading crises of climate change, biodiversity loss, and public health.

Please support organic agriculture in the Farm Bill and reject language that undermines, or preempts, local and state authority to enact more stringent land management policies that protect health and the environment.

Thank you.

 

 

Share

Leave a Reply

  • Archives

  • Categories

    • air pollution (8)
    • Announcements (603)
    • Antibiotic Resistance (41)
    • Antimicrobial (18)
    • Aquaculture (30)
    • Aquatic Organisms (37)
    • Bats (7)
    • Beneficials (51)
    • Biofuels (6)
    • Biological Control (34)
    • Biomonitoring (40)
    • Birds (26)
    • btomsfiolone (1)
    • Bug Bombs (2)
    • Canada (10)
    • Cannabis (29)
    • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (9)
    • Chemical Mixtures (7)
    • Children (113)
    • Children/Schools (240)
    • cicadas (1)
    • Climate (30)
    • Climate Change (85)
    • Clover (1)
    • compost (5)
    • Congress (18)
    • contamination (154)
    • deethylatrazine (1)
    • Disinfectants & Sanitizers (18)
    • Drift (15)
    • Drinking Water (15)
    • Ecosystem Services (15)
    • Emergency Exemption (3)
    • Environmental Justice (167)
    • Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) (527)
    • Events (89)
    • Farm Bill (22)
    • Farmworkers (196)
    • Forestry (5)
    • Fracking (4)
    • Fungal Resistance (6)
    • Fungicides (25)
    • Goats (2)
    • Golf (15)
    • Greenhouse (1)
    • Groundwater (15)
    • Health care (32)
    • Herbicides (41)
    • Holidays (38)
    • Household Use (9)
    • Indigenous People (6)
    • Indoor Air Quality (6)
    • Infectious Disease (4)
    • Integrated and Organic Pest Management (71)
    • Invasive Species (35)
    • Label Claims (49)
    • Lawns/Landscapes (249)
    • Litigation (344)
    • Livestock (9)
    • men’s health (2)
    • metabolic syndrome (3)
    • Metabolites (4)
    • Microbiata (22)
    • Microbiome (28)
    • molluscicide (1)
    • Nanosilver (2)
    • Nanotechnology (54)
    • National Politics (388)
    • Native Americans (3)
    • Occupational Health (15)
    • Oceans (11)
    • Office of Inspector General (3)
    • perennial crops (1)
    • Pesticide Drift (162)
    • Pesticide Efficacy (10)
    • Pesticide Mixtures (12)
    • Pesticide Regulation (780)
    • Pesticide Residues (184)
    • Pets (36)
    • Plant Incorporated Protectants (2)
    • Plastic (7)
    • Poisoning (20)
    • Preemption (43)
    • President-elect Transition (2)
    • Reflection (1)
    • Repellent (4)
    • Resistance (119)
    • Rights-of-Way (1)
    • Rodenticide (33)
    • Seasonal (3)
    • Seeds (6)
    • soil health (17)
    • Superfund (5)
    • synergistic effects (22)
    • Synthetic Pyrethroids (16)
    • Synthetic Turf (3)
    • Take Action (592)
    • Textile/Apparel/Fashion Industry (1)
    • Toxic Waste (11)
    • Volatile Organic Compounds (1)
    • Women’s Health (25)
    • Wood Preservatives (36)
    • World Health Organization (11)
    • Year in Review (2)
  • Most Viewed Posts