More Than 350 Organizations Voice Support for Existing Pesticide Law

Controlling pathogens and disease vectors (Jenna Martin photo)
Jan 12, 2022
WASHINGTON, DC – USA Rice and rice state organizations joined more than 350 organizations representing pesticide users, applicators, regulators, researchers, and registrants in a letter sent to members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives that affirms support of the pesticide regulatory system in place today under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) and the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA).  The letter is in response to recently introduced legislation (S. 3283) that would undermine the science-based standards contained within our nation’s pesticide laws.  This is the second time these organizations have reached out to Congress to voice concern over versions of this proposed legislation.  

FIFRA and FFDCA have been amended by Congress several times to strengthen the regulatory standard for safety – most recently through the Food Quality Protection Act (FQPA) that added specific protections for infants and children.  Under the provisions of current law, pesticides that are approved for use are subject to continuous review whenever new scientific data becomes available.  Officially, federal regulators must review each pesticide approved for use in the U.S. every 15 years, but the reality is that the pace of scientific development means regulators are making formal assessments much more frequently as more data becomes available.

Among the numerous troubling provisions of this legislation, S. 3283 would arbitrarily ban several pesticides and replace the existing risk-based review process with the European style precautionary principal.  This would, by design, eliminate tools available to rice farmers to manage crop pests and diseases, and eliminate the use of pest control products that protect children from harmful, disease-carrying mosquitos and ticks.

“Rice farmers rely on crop protection products to produce a safe, high quality, and affordable product for consumers here in the U.S. as well as around the world,” said David Petter, Arkansas rice farmer and chair of the USA Rice Regulatory Affairs and Food Safety Committee.  “The U.S. rice industry is proud to join these other organizations in opposition to S. 3283 and relaying our support for the sound, science-based standards already existing in pesticide laws to Congress.”