by Michael Lee, senior manager, government affairs
Bob Helland and I recently returned from the joint CropLife America and RISE annual meeting. It was an enjoyable few days of panel discussions, committee meetings, and industry networking events, the likes of which I hadn’t experienced since early 2020.
As the leading advocacy associations for crop and plant protection products, CLA and RISE value GCSAA as a member and appreciate the viewpoint we bring from a golf industry perspective. Professional applicators, such as golf course superintendents, benefit from the research and policy work conducted by CLA and RISE, which strive to keep pesticide products on the market, support innovation of new products, and ensure and improve regulatory and registration processes.
Shifting and ever evolving political landscapes at the state and federal level present numerous challenges, but with environmental topics at the forefront of political dialogue, green industry partners and affiliates feel well positioned to educate lawmakers and regulators on the important role pesticide, fertilizer, and biostimulant products play in promoting soil and plant health, habit for diverse species, and pollinator habitat.
Although we often find ourselves working in a political environment driven more by emotion and fear than science, it’s critical to recognize public polling data that shows “pesticide” is not a dirty word. Indeed, 80% of the general public understands that specialty use of these products in our homes and communities is necessary for safety and human health. Polling also shows the EPA is still a trusted regulatory agency and that, when advocating, educating lawmakers on basic product information and ensuring they have an understanding of existing regulatory frameworks in place is important.
To learn more about public perception, regulatory information, or for the latest news and resources, be sure to check out Croplifeamerica.org and RISE’s pestfacts.org.