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CropLife America reports:

Washington, D.C. - CropLife America (CLA), joined by more than 300 agriculture and conservation organizations, sent a letter to all members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives affirming their support for pesticide regulations in place today under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). The letter is in response to recently introduced legislation (H.R. 7940, S. 4406) that would undermine the science-based standards contained within our nation's pesticide laws.

"The legislation, as introduced, would undermine the work of EPA's career scientists in the evaluation of pesticide safety and oversight of pesticide registration and use," said Chris Novak, CLA president and CEO. "Within our current regulatory system, only about one in 10,000 discoveries makes the long journey from the lab to the farmer's field-a process that can take up to 12 years. The evaluation of each pesticide requires the agency's career scientists to review hundreds of studies to determine whether and/or how a pesticide can be safely used," Novak continued.

"This risk-based approach is necessary to ensure that farmers have new tools to combat the weeds and insects that threaten the safety and productivity of our food supply. The organizations that joined us today support a predictable regulatory process that does provide the public confidence in the pesticide registration process."

FIFRA has been amended by Congress several times to strengthen the regulatory standard for safety - most recently by the Food Quality Protection Act (FQPA) that added specific protections for infants and children. Under the provisions of the current law, pesticides that are approved for use are subject to continuous review whenever new scientific data becomes available. Officially, federal regulators must review each pesticide approved for use in the U.S. every 15 years, but the reality is that the pace of scientific development means regulators are making formal assessments much more frequently as more data becomes available.

"The proposed legislation puts science in the backseat and lets politics drive decisions on the safe use of pesticides. Pesticides are a necessary tool to protect our fields, our homes, our health and the sustainability of our food supply. The organizations joining our letter represent millions of stakeholders who are committed to defending a regulatory system built on the principles of sound science, transparency, and broad stakeholder engagement."

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