Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Just in from Washington

Redundant Rules Make Life Hard for Farmers

Washington--This week members of the House Agriculture and Natural Resources committees will be asking questions about rules on pesticide use, particularly when they deal with the Endangered Species Act. Tyler Wegmeyer, American Farm Bureau Federation regulatory specialist, says redundant rules make life hard for farmers, but don’t help preserve endangered species.

“We have three government agencies that are responsible for pesticide registrations to protect the endangered species and this process is broken,” Wegmeyer said. “It’s dysfunctional. It’s duplicative. It’s going to cost farmers money and it’s going to cost farmers the ability to put crop protectants on their products, which ultimately could increase food costs.”

Wegmeyer said the Environmental Protection Agency already conducts thorough studies about potential impacts on humans and wildlife before registering any pesticide, and it’s a waste of taxpayer dollars to have the departments of Interior and Commerce do the same thing. And all the additional red tape causes problems for farmers.

“Farmers should not be unnecessarily handicapped in order to use a crop protection product that’s gone through the proper registration process. They are directly impacted if they can’t use that product when a weed infestation pops up or a disease pops up. They need to be able to use the product how it was registered to be used,” Wegmeyer said

AFBF Newsline

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