The issue of pesticide regulation came up a few times during the House Agriculture Committee Member Day Hearing last week. Representative Dan Newhouse (R-WA) was the first to give comments at the hearing and the first to broach the subject. He said state pesticide regulations need to fall in line with federal controls.
“The ability to produce abundant feed, food, and fiber relies on access to safe and effective pesticides,” he said. “However, some states have begun to regulate pesticides in a manner counter to the decades of scientific guidance from the EPA.”
He said there are consequences to having different standards between the states and federal regulations.
“The lack of certainty on EPA-approved, science-based labels will erode access to current and future pesticides,” he said. “It will threaten crops, grower incomes, conservation practices, public health, vital infrastructure, and ultimately raise food prices for families amidst record high inflation.”
Newhouse said though he understands the rights of the states to each have their pesticide regulations, he supports the Agricultural Label Uniformity Act to reaffirm pesticide label consistency.
Congressman Rick Allen (R-GA) also discussed state pesticide offices but with a different take.
“State-led agencies for pesticides who often fly over the radar work hard every day to keep homes, schools, and businesses pest and rodent-free,” he said. “Forty-six states including Georgia have one-led agencies for pesticides. We need to support and codify that each state should have a robust state-led pesticide agency in the next farm bill.”
He said states don’t need multiple agencies overseeing pesticide regulations. “This is an initiative I have continued to build support for over the last two congresses, and I have seen firsthand how well the Georgia Department of Agriculture alongside key Georgia industries keep our public safe,” he said. “Having multiple regulatory bodies in a state does not work and is not effective for protecting public health and the environment.”
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National Correspondent / AgNet Media, Inc.
Sabrina Halvorson is an award-winning journalist, broadcaster, and public speaker who specializes in agriculture. She primarily reports on legislative issues and hosts The AgNet Weekly podcast. Sabrina is a native of California’s agriculture-rich Central Valley.