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CropLife America strongly opposing Booker pesticide bill

The CEO of CropLife America says a recent bill introduced by Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey regarding pesticide regulation is a blow to the ag industry.

The “Protect America’s Children from Toxic Pesticides Act” would make changes to the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) including a ban on pesticides deemed unsafe in the EU and Canada like organophosphate and neonicotinoid insecticides.

Chris Novak tells Brownfield It would override the countless hours of regulatory work put forth by the US EPA- noting that it takes at least 10 years for a chemistry to be selected, evaluated, and approved for commercial use.

“The US system of regulating pesticides is based upon an analysis of the risk those pesticides pose but also balancing the benefits that those pesticides bring forward. It is an extensive regulatory process, but I don’t know that Senator Booker really understands that process today.”

Novak says having a strong federal regulatory system is important to their members, but this legislation would grant more regulatory power to local governments.

“We have almost 700 scientists at EPA evaluating pesticides day in and day out, yet if you go to a county or city government there probably isn’t anybody within that governmental structure who has a real understanding of the nature of the chemistry, the human implications, and certainly cannot look at all of the environmental implications that EPA does.”

Brownfield interviewed Novak at the 2022 Illinois Fertilizer and Chemical Association Convention in Peoria, where members expressed concern and opposition to the bill.

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