The American Farm Bureau Federation is in yet another fight with EPA. This one over a tentative proposal to post pesticide labels on the internet and possibly take them off containers.
AFBF's Ty Wegmeyer says EPA's proposal is not yet in formal rulemaking, although a preliminary comment period ends next Tuesday. But Wegmeyer suggests, just the idea sends shivers up your spine.
"Maybe in 20 or 30 years this may be practical when everybody has access to high speed internet and maybe have computers on their belt buckles," Wegemeyer said. "Right now that's not the case and we cannot have all these labels on the internet and not have it actually on the product; that's just not going to work."
EPA argues internet distribution would boost label compliance and speed updates, but Wegmeyer says that to download the labels high-speed internet would be needed, which less than a quarter of farms have. He says the proposed rule is just not practical
"We've spent a lot of time and effort educating farmers and farmers know to apply a product correctly you have to follow the directions on the label," Wegmeyer said. "The label is very handy on the product when they apply the product and we need to keep it there, we need to keep it as handy and accessible as possible."
Also Wegmeyer says there's a privacy concern in having to answer EPA questions online to get a label, and then exposing that information to environmentalists and others.