March 09, 2005

Crapo, Craig Push For Faster Pesticide Review

Legislation garners support from wide range of groups

Washington, DC â?? Legislation supported by Idaho Senators Mike Crapo and Larry Craig will aid farmers in crop production. The measure, introduced this week in the U.S. Senate, would provide the Environmental Protection Agency with the resources needed to reduce the backlog of registration applications for pesticides. It sets up a timeline for EPA review of the pesticide and also ensures that the fees collected for pesticide registration are used for their intended purpose of pesticide review. Under current law, companies must register all pesticides with the EPA before marketing the pesticide. The EPA presently has a large backlog of registrations. This bill, S. 1664, amends the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act and has been referred to the Senate Agriculture Committee for further consideration.Crapo, a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, said, â??The measure sets up a responsible process to review and register pesticides. With the current backlog at the EPA, there is no telling when some pesticides will be made available for use. Our growers and the environmental community need clarity in this process as well as certainty that pesticides will be reviewed in a timely manner. This does not abrogate any environmental concerns, but rather strengthens the ability of the EPA to review pesticides that have been registered. It also ensures that the fees collected for these registrations will go right back into the registration process.â??â??This legislation is a successful product of all interested parties coming to the table to provide a workable, long-term solution to an ongoing problem,â?? Craig said. â??It is imperative that our producers have timely access to these critical resources, and that the agencies have adequate tools to provide a thorough review of these items. This proposal satisfies those goals, and uses a responsible approach to maintain consistency, transparency, and safety. It's time to speed up what has become a frustratingly slow process, and I believe this legislation allows that to happen.â??The bill has garnered support from the following industry, agricultural, and environmental organizations: the American Farm Bureau Federation, the Natural Resources Defense Council, the American Sugarbeet Growers Association, the National Restaurant Association, the Farm Work Justice Fund, Inc., the National Association of Wheat Growers, the U.S. Apple Association, the Consumer Specialty Products Association, the Chemical Producers and Distributors Association, as well as a host of others.# # #