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In Touch 5/28/24

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Rep. Johnson seeks more uniformity in agricultural labeling

Today, U.S. Representative Dusty Johnson (R-S.D.) and Jim Costa (D-CA) introduced the Agricultural Labeling Uniformity Act to ensure uniformity of labeling standards for pesticides that are backed by sound science and approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Doing so would provide certainty and stability for agriculture producers and consumers.

“Political agendas in states like California are causing confusion in the ag industry,” said Johnson. “Labeling decisions must be based on sound science, not unsupported claims that instill fear in consumers. This bill would make it clear there is only one standard to follow.”

“Growers depend on resources like herbicides to manage pests and disease prevention, which threatens our food supply chain,” said Costa. “Amidst a global food crisis, we need to avoid any market challenges that will threaten our food security. This bill will assure uniformity in the national pesticide labeling under federal law, which will result in a more sustainable and secure food supply.”

“On behalf of the National Corn Growers Association, we thank Reps. Johnson and Costa for their leadership on this important issue. Federal law places the authority in EPA to make foundational, science-based decisions on how pesticides can be labeled and used. State labels that conflict with EPA’s scientific guidance threaten public confidence in the agency’s authority and science-based regulation and undermine the critical role pesticides play in sustainably feeding a growing world,” said Tom Haag, President of the National Corn Growers Association.

“The American Soybean Association applauds the introduction of the FIFRA labeling legislation and the certainty it would bring to farmers. If growers lose access to tools due to an unworkable patchwork of state or local labels, it will only harm their ability to protect crops and maintain important conservation practices. We thank Representatives Johnson and Costa for working to ensure commerce is not disrupted and that farmers can continue to access the products they need to grow productively and sustainably,” said Daryl Cates, Illinois soybean farmer and President of the American Soybean Association.

“CropLife America supports the Agricultural Labeling Uniformity Act because the federal regulation of pesticides and the labels that guide the usage of these products are paramount to growing our food and keeping communities safe. EPA’s career scientists thoroughly review and approve each pesticide, and while administrations come and go, career EPA employees with years of expertise continue to do this important work. It is also important to note that the current regulatory structure is set up to facilitate a ‘team’ approach between both federal and state regulators. EPA works to create a label that helps ensure a pesticide can be used safely, and state agencies work with EPA to monitor compliance on the ground,” said Chris Novak, President and CEO of CropLife America.

“ARA strongly supports Congressman Johnson’s legislation to provide national uniformity for pesticide labeling and packaging requirements. The FIFRA statute places the responsibility for creating these requirements in the hands of EPA because EPA has the scientific expertise to conduct these evaluations; most states and virtually all other political subdivisions do not. This bill will reiterate federal supremacy in this area and hopefully prevent a patchwork system where states impose label requirements that are inconsistent with EPA’s findings. We’ve seen exactly that situation happen in California where the state still wanted to apply its Prop 65 ‘everything causes cancer’ label to glyphosate despite the consensus of global pesticide regulators including EPA that it is safe,” said Daren Coppock, President & CEO of Agricultural Retailers Association.

The Agricultural Labeling Uniformity Act is supported by 360 organizations.

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