The battle against activists who would like to ban the use of pesticides isn’t ending anytime soon. In fact, it is expected to become even more pronounced, and there is concern that the Biden EPA will not be as supportive of the safe and effective use of pesticides as the EPA under the Trump administration.
The challenges aren’t going away because pesticides have a mostly negative perception by the general public. Jeff Case, senior director of government affairs for CropLife America, is concerned because science-based decisions are fading, and more and more decisions are being dictated by politics
“The opposition we are experiencing is greater than we have ever seen. There are groups out there that have a pronounced part of their mission to reduce the use of pesticides and to take on our industry. They are very well resourced and are coordinated in their activities “ Case said in a talk to the virtual North Carolina Crop Protection School Dec. 2.
“Activists are targeting both old and new pesticides. They are challenging new pesticide registrations in the courts. Even if a company has checked all the boxes and got an approval from EPA, it’s still subject to potential litigation which is kind of a new thing and a new strategy that our adversaries are taking on,” Case says.
Case hopes the pendulum under the Biden administration won’t swing more toward the activist agenda and away from the sound science approach to regulating pesticides. “We are actively working with the transition people in the Biden administration just to make sure they are aware of some or our priorities and our willingness to try and work with them. Hopefully we will find there is an openness to some of our concerns and our issues as the new administration comes in,” he says.
CropLife America, Farm Bureau and the commodity groups certainly face a daunting task in convincing the Biden administration, Congress, state governments and indeed the public at large that the safe and effective use of pesticides is a must for producing crops. It’s a battle agriculture can’t afford to lose.