Wednesday, June 1, 2016

EPA shifting from science to 'public perception' model on pesticides? Organizations say adversarial relationship becoming strained May 19, 2016 Forrest Laws | Delta Farm Press

Farmers are losing crop protection chemicals at an alarming rate, often due to what are being called increasingly arbitrary decisions by the Environmental Protection Agency acting outside of FIFRA. But what’s even more disturbing is the chilling effect these actions are having on the development of much-needed new herbicide and insecticide compounds — products which can now cost nearly $300 million each to register with the agency. EPA has had an adversarial relationship with crop protection chemical manufacturers and other groups since it was created during the Nixon administration in 1972. But some industry and related organization observers say their dealings have become much more strained and antagonistic in recent months. The National Cotton Council is one of those saying it sees disturbing trends in the way the agency regulates pesticides under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act — or doesn’t. The NCC’s American Cotton Producers segment devoted nearly 90 minutes to discussion of current regulatory issues at its spring meeting in Birmingham, Ala.“You saw at the ACP that we have been providing numerous comments to EPA on multiple products, and we also have some concerns about the procedures EPA is following,” said Dr. Don Parker, the NCC’s manager of integrated pest management. “Within the agricultural community as a whole, there seems to be a growing consensus EPA is deviating from the FIFRA process and moving toward the precautionary principle that you see in Europe. And rather than relying on science they are being driven by political action and lawsuits.” For more of this article go to.

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