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PLNA Opposes Legislation that Would Gut FIFRA

Thursday, September 10, 2020   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Gregg Robertson
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The PLNA board of directors last week voted to support the existing Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) and expressed its opposition to the Protect America’s Children from Toxic Pesticides Act of 2020 (PACTPA, H.R. 7940, S. 4406), now being considered in Congress.  The new legislation would undermine 70 years of regulatory advancement based on best available science. 

PLNA Joins Wide Group of Partners

PLNA joined a wide range of groups in opposition to PACTPA, including AmericanHort, who rely on the availability of safe and effective pesticides in diverse settings to produce America’s food and specialty crops, fiber, and biofuel and to protect our public health and infrastructure.

FIFRA is a Strong Regulatory Program

FIFRA has been amended by Congress on several occasions to strengthen the regulatory standard for safety – most recently by the Food Quality Protection Act that added specific protections for infants and children among other things.  FIFRA provides for federal regulation of pesticide distribution, sale, and use and establishes stringent safety standards and oversight. 

All Pesticides Must be Registered Under FIFRA

All pesticides distributed or sold in the United States must be registered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and then reregistered every fifteen years.  EPA rigorously reviews scientific and health data for all pesticide products before they are made available for sale and use, and the data must show products work as intended on their target pest and can be used safely.  Label restrictions and instructions are designed to ensure a product is used effectively and safely in a manner that mitigates any identified risks.

FIFRA Requires Consideration of Economic, Social, and Environmental Benefits and Risks

FIFRA already requires EPA to consider economic, social, and environmental benefits and risks, and FQPA requires special considerations for risks to infants and children, when determining if a product can be registered. While reregistration is required to occur at least every fifteen years, it can and often does occur more frequently. 

EPA can initiate a review if scientific data becomes available that questions the safety of a product.  For example, some of the organophosphate products specifically mentioned in H.R. 7940 and S. 4406 have undergone multiple EPA risk assessments since 1996. 

PACTPA Would Gut Decades of Scientific Progress

The PACTPA legislation as introduced would gut decades of federal regulation and scientific progress, undermining the work of EPA’s career scientists in the evaluation of pesticide safety and oversight of pesticide registration and use.  The bills would jeopardize the continued availability and innovation of pesticide products by imposing an unscientific and unbalanced process that could unnecessarily remove pest control options from those who need them to safely grow crops, protect homes and infrastructure, control pathogens and disease vectors, and maintain green spaces such as parks and golf courses.

PLNA Remains Committed to Pesticide Safety

Pesticide manufacturers, pesticide users, and the public all have an interest in ensuring that the pesticide regulatory process imposes stringent regulatory controls on pesticide use based on the principles of sound science, transparency, and broad stakeholder engagement.  PLNA remains committed to protecting human health and the environment while maintaining America’s important food, fiber, and biofuel production and protecting its public health and infrastructure. 

Please Call Your Legislators

Members are urged to call their US. Senators and members of Congress expressing opposition to the PACTPA bills, H.R. 7940 and S. 4406.

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