Washington, D.C. (March 5, 2013)—The National Council of Farmer Cooperatives (NCFC) praised efforts by a bipartisan group in the House of Representatives to eliminate the costly and duplicative pesticide permitting requirements imposed on producers by a misguided decision of the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in National Cotton Council v. EPA.
The legislation, H.R. 935, the Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act of 2013, was introduced by Representatives Bob Gibbs (R-Ohio), Austin Scott (R-Ga.), Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.) and Mike McIntyre (D-N.C.). The bill is identical to legislation in the 112th Congress, H.R. 872, which was passed by the House in March 2011 and was approved by the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry.
“Congressmen Gibbs, Scott, Schrader and McIntyre should be commended for their leadership in re-introducing this legislation in the 113th Congress,” said Chuck Conner, president & CEO of NCFC. “The time for action on this issue is long overdue—farmers, growers and ranchers across the country are facing burdensome and redundant regulations and tremendous uncertainty for absolutely no environmental benefit.”
“It is clear that Congress always intended the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) to be the law of the land on these sorts of pesticide applications, as pesticides were specifically not included in the Clean Water Act when it was written,” continued Conner. “I hope that the House will once again take up and pass this legislation, as it did in 2011, and I urge members of the Senate to do so as well.”
The bill would amend the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) and the Clean Water Act to clarify congressional intent and eliminate the requirements of a Clean Water Act permit for the use of FIFRA-registered pesticides. NCFC strongly supports the registration and re-registration of pesticide products under FIFRA, Conner noted, since the act is founded on robust science, ensuring that products in the marketplace can be used while offering the desired protections for human health and the environment.
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.
Additional information about NCFC can be found at http://www.ncfc.org.