More than 350 pesticide user organizations — including the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), RISE and United Producers, Formulators & Distributors Association (UPFDA) — sent a letter this week to all members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives stressing their support for Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA).
They took action in response to proposed S. bill 3283, which is known as the “Protect America’s Children from Toxic Pesticides Act” or PACTPA, that would amend FIFRA, thereby undermining its science-based standards and threatening the availability of pesticides that have been proven safe and effective. FIFRA governs the registration, distribution, sale and use of pesticides in the United States.
PACTPA would jeopardize the availability of certain U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered pesticides, including neonicotinoids, and limit the products pest management professionals can use to treat residential and commercial structures. It will be among the issues discussed at the NPMA’s Legislative Day event this year.
If enacted, the bill would amend several sections of FIFRA. Among the changes would be allowing people to petition the EPA to designate an active ingredient or pesticide product as a dangerous pesticide; repealing pesticide preemption in states where it currently exists, and allowing local governments to regulate pesticides instead; immediately suspending in the U.S. any pesticide that had been banned or suspended in the European Union or Canada; and limiting emergency exemptions for the same active ingredient or pesticide in the same location to two years in a 10-year period.
“The NPMA remains committed to pursuing science-based pesticide policy, and looks forward to engaging with offices on both sides of the aisle on legislation that will support, not undermine FIFRA,” said Ashley Amidon, VP of public policy for the NPMA.
Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) introduced the bill in November. It is co-sponsored by Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Alex Padilla (D-CA) and Ed Markey (D-MA). In 2020, the bill was introduced by Senators Joe Neguse (D-CO) and Tom Udall (D-NM), but did not move out of committee.
“Our members’ role is to protect public health and safety, infrastructure and the environment, so we must have the assurance of a federal regulatory process that supports science and innovation, along with safety and efficacy,” RISE President Megan Provost said. “The federal regulatory process established under FIFRA gives us this certainty with its robust scientific backing. Senator Booker’s bill rejects 50 years of established federal and state regulation and science in favor of an approach where science is absent.”