Washington, D.C. (June 13, 2012)—The National Council of Farmer Cooperatives (NCFC) today expressed its strong support for two farm bill amendments to the eliminate costly and duplicative pesticide permitting requirements that are a result of a misguided decision by the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in National Cotton Council v. EPA.
Two amendments offered to S. 3240, The Agriculture, Food and Jobs Act, would add the text of House-passed H.R. 872 to the Senate version of the farm bill to amend both the Clean Water Act and the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) Act to clarify congressional intent and eliminate the requirements of a Clean Water Act permit for the use of FIFRA-registered pesticides. Senator Mike Johanns (R-Neb.) has introduced one of the amendments, while Senators Kay Hagan (D-N.C.) and Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) have introduced the other.
“I strongly urge the Senate to take up and approve either the Johanns amendment or the Hagan-Crapo amendment to ease the tremendous costs, resource burdens, and regulatory uncertainty caused by the Circuit Court ruling,” said Chuck Conner, president & CEO of NCFC. “It is clear that Congress always intended the FIFRA to be the law of the land, as pesticides were specifically not included in the Clean Water Act when it was written.”
“This farm bill provides us all a chance to make sure that America’s farmers and ranchers have the tools that they need to meet the challenge of feeding a global population that will reach 9 billion by mid-century,” continued Conner. “Including the Hagan-Crapo or Johanns amendment in the bill will help further this goal by removing regulations that add cost and destroy productivity.”
NCFC is a national association representing America’s farmer cooperatives. There are nearly 3,000 farmer cooperatives across the U.S. whose members include a majority of our nation’s more than 2 million farmers, ranchers and growers. These farmer cooperative businesses handle, process, and market agricultural commodities and related products; furnish farm supplies; and provide credit and associated financial services. Earnings from these activities are returned to their members on a patronage basis. Farmer cooperatives also provide jobs for nearly 250,000 Americans, many in rural areas, with a combined payroll of over $8 billion.