H.R. 7940 and S. 4406 have recently been introduced in Congress and would jeopardize the continued innovation and availability of pesticide products. These bills impose an unscientific, unbalanced, politically driven process which would unnecessarily remove pest control options from those who need them to safely grow crops, perform golf course management, protect schools and hospitals, and control pathogens and disease vectors.
GCSAA and over 70 of its affiliated chapters has joined the members of the Pesticide Policy Coalition to officially oppose the Protect America’s Children from Toxic Pesticides Act of 2020 in a formal letter to members of Congress, which undermines 70 years of regulatory advancement based on best available science. Specific provisions in the bill include:
- Implies that FIFRA is insufficient, and this bill attempts to “better protect people and the environment from the harms caused by dangerous pesticides.”
- Suspends the use of pesticides deemed unsafe by the E.U. or Canada until they are thoroughly reviewed by the EPA.
- Creates a petition process to enable individual citizens to petition the EPA to identify dangerous pesticides so that the EPA would no longer be able to indefinitely allow dangerous pesticides to remain on the market.
- Enables local communities to enact protective legislation and other policies without being vetoed or preempted by state law.
- Closes dangerous loopholes that have allowed the EPA to issue emergency exemptions and conditional registrations to use pesticides before they have gone through full health and safety review by the agency.
- Bans some of the most damaging pesticides which are scientifically known to cause significant harm to people and the environment, including…neonicotinoid insecticides, which have contributed to pollinator collapse around the world and have recently been shown to cause developmental defects, heart deformations, and muscle tremors in unborn children.
- Banning some of the most damaging pesticides which are scientifically known to cause significant harm to people and the environment.
GCSAA’s Government Affairs team will be doing direct outreach to members of Congress in the months ahead to talk to them about the importance of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), the most important federal environmental law regulating the registration and use of pesticides in the country. Pesticides are among the most highly regulated products in the U.S. through FIFRA, and the Environmental Protection Agency, with over 600 career employees dedicated to pesticide review, is assigned authority for registering or reregistering pesticides under FIFRA which governs the sale, distribution, and use of pesticides.
GCSAA’s Government Affairs team will also be working with GCSAA members on direct outreach to Congress to explain what professional land management entails. Be on the lookout for a chance to educate members of Congress on this important issue.
Read the Senate letter
Read the House letter