[X] CLOSEMAIN MENU

  • Archives

  • Categories

    • air pollution (8)
    • Announcements (604)
    • Antibiotic Resistance (41)
    • Antimicrobial (18)
    • Aquaculture (30)
    • Aquatic Organisms (37)
    • Bats (7)
    • Beneficials (52)
    • Biofuels (6)
    • Biological Control (34)
    • Biomonitoring (40)
    • Birds (26)
    • btomsfiolone (1)
    • Bug Bombs (2)
    • Cannabis (30)
    • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (10)
    • Chemical Mixtures (8)
    • Children (113)
    • Children/Schools (240)
    • cicadas (1)
    • Climate (30)
    • Climate Change (86)
    • Clover (1)
    • compost (6)
    • Congress (20)
    • contamination (155)
    • deethylatrazine (1)
    • diamides (1)
    • Disinfectants & Sanitizers (19)
    • Drift (17)
    • Drinking Water (16)
    • Ecosystem Services (15)
    • Emergency Exemption (3)
    • Environmental Justice (167)
    • Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) (535)
    • Events (89)
    • Farm Bill (24)
    • Farmworkers (198)
    • Forestry (5)
    • Fracking (4)
    • Fungal Resistance (6)
    • Fungicides (26)
    • Goats (2)
    • Golf (15)
    • Greenhouse (1)
    • Groundwater (16)
    • Health care (32)
    • Herbicides (43)
    • Holidays (39)
    • 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 (251)
    • Litigation (344)
    • Livestock (9)
    • men’s health (4)
    • metabolic syndrome (3)
    • Metabolites (4)
    • Microbiata (22)
    • Microbiome (28)
    • molluscicide (1)
    • Nanosilver (2)
    • Nanotechnology (54)
    • National Politics (388)
    • Native Americans (3)
    • Occupational Health (16)
    • Oceans (11)
    • Office of Inspector General (4)
    • perennial crops (1)
    • Pesticide Drift (163)
    • Pesticide Efficacy (10)
    • Pesticide Mixtures (14)
    • Pesticide Regulation (783)
    • Pesticide Residues (185)
    • Pets (36)
    • Plant Incorporated Protectants (2)
    • Plastic (8)
    • Poisoning (20)
    • Preemption (45)
    • 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 (23)
    • Synthetic Pyrethroids (16)
    • Synthetic Turf (3)
    • Take Action (596)
    • Textile/Apparel/Fashion Industry (1)
    • Toxic Waste (12)
    • U.S. Supreme Court (1)
    • Volatile Organic Compounds (1)
    • Women’s Health (26)
    • Wood Preservatives (36)
    • World Health Organization (11)
    • Year in Review (2)
  • Most Viewed Posts

Daily News Blog

03
Jun

House Agriculture Farm Bill Escalates Climate Disasters Then Requires Taxpayers to Pay for It, Advocates Say

Environmental advocates continue to raise concerns about the House Farm Bill with provisions they say will allow the escalation of environmental threats and then insure big agriculture commodity producers for losses attributable to those environmental disasters through an expansion of USDA’s crop insurance program.

(Beyond Pesticides, June 3, 2024) Environmental advocates continue to raise concerns about the Farm Bill (H.R.8467Farm, Food, and National Security Act of 2024) that emerged from the House Agriculture Committee on May 23 with provisions they say will allow the escalation of environmental threats and then insure big agriculture commodity producers for losses attributable to those environmental disasters through an expansion of USDA’s crop insurance program. Through this taxpayer supported program, USDA covers farm revenue losses due to “natural causes such as drought, excessive moisture [e.g., floods], hail, wind, frost, insects, and disease. . .” Petrochemical pesticide and fertilizer use in chemical-intensive land management and agricultural production contributes to the climate emergency and associated weather, insect, and plant disease threats.

Advocates point out that the House Agriculture Committee Farm Bill reduces environmental protections by (i) preempting local and state government authority to allow more restrictive standards at the municipal level, (ii) taking away the right to sue pesticide manufacturers and allied companies for a failure to fully disclose adverse effects of the products they produce or use, and (iii) weakening the regulatory process intended to protect endangered species and biodiversity from pesticides.  

Tell Your U.S. Representative and Senators To Support a Farm Bill that Promotes a Sustainable Future.

The frequency of climate disasters can no longer be attributed to “natural causes.” Climate change contributes to “natural” disasters including storms, drought, wildfires, extreme temperatures, and more—including earthquakes and volcanic activity. Agriculture is a major contributor to climate change. In a recent article in Science, Clark et al. show that even if fossil fuel emissions were eliminated immediately, emissions from the global food system alone would make it impossible to limit warming to 1.5°C and difficult even to realize the 2°C target. According to the International Panel of Climate Change, agriculture and forestry account for as much as 25% of human-induced GHG emissions. Last year was a historic year of billion-dollar weather and climate disasters.

In addition, the increase in commodity crop subsidies reliant on expensive pesticides and chemicals (accumulating $59.7 billion in production expenses for farmers as of 2022) will continue to be a significant factor in federal spending on interest payments on the national debt in the years ahead unless the Farm Bill stops propping up agricultural production systems that are contributing to costly environmental and revenue crises.

The same industry interests that seek to increase federal spending on crop insurance for chemical-intensive agriculture are also in support of weakening local democratic institutions and decision-making processes with federal preemption language that directly impacts the ability of local governments and the courts to protect the public, including farmers, from associated harms. There are two central critiques of the House Farm Bill relating to federal preemption of local authority to restrict pesticides and the ability to litigate on harm caused by pesticides. The legislation:

  1. Takes away the right to sue for failure to warn when harmed by pesticides. In Section 10204 of the House Farm Bill, 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. Eliminates the rights of states and local governments to restrict pesticides and protect public health and the environment. In Sections 10204 and 10205, the attack on local and state authority to restrict pesticides is a bottom-line issue. Local restrictions on pesticide use in the face of ongoing poisoning and contamination have shown 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.

The House Farm Bill also threatens to undermine rulemaking and administrative accountability under provisions of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) that are intended to protect biodiversity and provide for public participation in decision making.

For example, the bill removes the requirement for reinitiation of consultation on an approved land management plan when new threatened or endangered species or habitats are designated or new information becomes available about them—which would undermine protection for such species and habitats. The House Farm Bill would also expand the U.S. Forest Service’s ability to exclude destructive practices like logging or road building from environmental review pursuant to National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) on 3,000 to 10,000 acre projects.

Another provision would open the door for federal agencies to declare industry interests more valid than the interests of organizations fighting for stringent pesticide regulations that impact public health, biodiversity, and climate.

The House bill contains additional problematic provisions undermining ecosystems and public health, including the continuation of a decade-long attack on the Clean Water Act (CWA) permitting program under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) that threatens local governments’ ability to regulate pesticide discharge into waterways.

The House Farm Bill fails on numerous levels to protect public health, ecosystems health, and long-term stability of the U.S. agricultural economy. Investing the same amount of funding and political will into the National Organic Program would not only ensure financial stability for farmers across the spectrum of markets, but also serve as a bulwark against the impending crises of climate change, biodiversity loss, and public health exacerbated by intervention from the toxic pesticide industry and their allies.

Tell Your U.S. Representative and Senators To Support a Farm Bill that Promotes a Sustainable Future.

Letter to U.S. Representatives and Senators:

The House Agriculture Committee voted on May 23 to move the Farm, Food, and National Security Act (House Farm Bill) out of committee along with amendments undermining ecosystem health and local democratic authority. The enthusiastic applause from industrial agriculture reveals its support for a system that relies on petrochemical-based pesticides—leading to economic instability, ecosystem collapse, and the degradation of democratic institutions.

The Federal Crop Insurance Program—which protects chemical-intensive farmers from the economic consequences of their actions—illustrates the problem. With support for entrenched dependency on petrochemical pesticides and fertilizers, the committee’s bill requires taxpayers to pay through the government’s crop insurance program for escalating losses caused by chemical-intensive farming practices, contributing to yield losses that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) says are due to “natural causes such as drought, excessive moisture [e.g., floods], hail, wind, frost, insects, and disease. . .”

These climate disasters can no longer be attributed to “natural causes.” Climate change contributes to disasters such as storms, drought, wildfires, extreme temperatures, and more. Agriculture is a major contributor to climate change. In a recent article in Science, Clark et al. show that even if fossil fuel emissions were eliminated immediately, emissions from the global food system alone would make it impossible to limit warming to 1.5°C and difficult even to realize the 2°C target.

The same industry interests that seek to increase federal spending on crop insurance for chemical-intensive agriculture are also in support of weakening local democratic institutions and decision-making processes with federal preemption language that directly impacts the ability of local governments and the courts to protect the public, including farmers, from associated harms. The House Farm Bill takes away the right to sue for failure to warn when harmed by pesticides and eliminates the rights of states and local governments to restrict pesticides and protect public health and the environment. 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—a right exercised in many areas affecting the health of people and the environment, such as smoking, recycling, and dog waste. It is essential to maintain these rights.

The House bill also threatens to undermine rulemaking and administrative accountability under provisions of the Endangered Species Act and Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act that are intended to protect biodiversity and provide for public participation in decision making, such as removing the requirement to reinitiate consultation on an approved land management plan when new threatened or endangered species or habitats are designated, or new information becomes available about them and expanding the U.S. Forest Service’s ability to exclude destructive practices from environmental review under the National Environmental Policy Act.

The House bill contains additional problematic provisions undermining ecosystems and public health, including the continuation of a decade-long attack on the Clean Water Act permitting program under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) that threatens local governments’ ability to regulate pesticide discharge into waterways.

The House Farm Bill fails to protect public health, ecosystems health, and long-term stability of the U.S. agricultural economy. Investing funding and political will into the National Organic Program would not only ensure financial stability for farmers across the spectrum of markets, but also serve as a bulwark against the ongoing crises of climate change, biodiversity loss, and public health exacerbated by the toxic pesticide industry and their allies.

Thank you.

Share

One Response to “House Agriculture Farm Bill Escalates Climate Disasters Then Requires Taxpayers to Pay for It, Advocates Say”

  1. 1
    Cathie Wanner Ernst Says:

    This is ridiculous. Why can’t government ever just protect people and stop the hyperbole.

Leave a Reply

  • Archives

  • Categories

    • air pollution (8)
    • Announcements (604)
    • Antibiotic Resistance (41)
    • Antimicrobial (18)
    • Aquaculture (30)
    • Aquatic Organisms (37)
    • Bats (7)
    • Beneficials (52)
    • Biofuels (6)
    • Biological Control (34)
    • Biomonitoring (40)
    • Birds (26)
    • btomsfiolone (1)
    • Bug Bombs (2)
    • Cannabis (30)
    • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (10)
    • Chemical Mixtures (8)
    • Children (113)
    • Children/Schools (240)
    • cicadas (1)
    • Climate (30)
    • Climate Change (86)
    • Clover (1)
    • compost (6)
    • Congress (20)
    • contamination (155)
    • deethylatrazine (1)
    • diamides (1)
    • Disinfectants & Sanitizers (19)
    • Drift (17)
    • Drinking Water (16)
    • Ecosystem Services (15)
    • Emergency Exemption (3)
    • Environmental Justice (167)
    • Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) (535)
    • Events (89)
    • Farm Bill (24)
    • Farmworkers (198)
    • Forestry (5)
    • Fracking (4)
    • Fungal Resistance (6)
    • Fungicides (26)
    • Goats (2)
    • Golf (15)
    • Greenhouse (1)
    • Groundwater (16)
    • Health care (32)
    • Herbicides (43)
    • Holidays (39)
    • 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 (251)
    • Litigation (344)
    • Livestock (9)
    • men’s health (4)
    • metabolic syndrome (3)
    • Metabolites (4)
    • Microbiata (22)
    • Microbiome (28)
    • molluscicide (1)
    • Nanosilver (2)
    • Nanotechnology (54)
    • National Politics (388)
    • Native Americans (3)
    • Occupational Health (16)
    • Oceans (11)
    • Office of Inspector General (4)
    • perennial crops (1)
    • Pesticide Drift (163)
    • Pesticide Efficacy (10)
    • Pesticide Mixtures (14)
    • Pesticide Regulation (783)
    • Pesticide Residues (185)
    • Pets (36)
    • Plant Incorporated Protectants (2)
    • Plastic (8)
    • Poisoning (20)
    • Preemption (45)
    • 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 (23)
    • Synthetic Pyrethroids (16)
    • Synthetic Turf (3)
    • Take Action (596)
    • Textile/Apparel/Fashion Industry (1)
    • Toxic Waste (12)
    • U.S. Supreme Court (1)
    • Volatile Organic Compounds (1)
    • Women’s Health (26)
    • Wood Preservatives (36)
    • World Health Organization (11)
    • Year in Review (2)
  • Most Viewed Posts