WASHINGTON, Sept. 13, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- In an effort to protect the rights of communities nationwide, over 60 local officials from across the country sent a letter to Congress today opposing a farm bill provision that takes away local governments' authority to restrict hazardous pesticides. The signatories are urging the farm bill conference committee to reject a "poison pill" rider that will preempt local governments, making the entire legislation unacceptable.
Section 9101 of the House version of the farm bill will institute federal preemption of local pesticide policies, a move that will overturn a decades-old Supreme Court decision and prevent communities from adopting protective laws that meet the needs of their residents or unique local environment.
The letter urges the conference committee to reach an agreement on a final 2018 farm bill that does not include this rider. It was signed by over 60 local officials in 39 communities from 15 different states, ranging from North Miami, FL to South Euclid, OH, West Hollywood, CA and Maui, HI. The County Council of Montgomery County, MD, which passed a landmark policy on toxic pesticides, also sent a letter to the farm bill conference committee.
"The pesticide industry's attempts to stymie a national grassroots movement against their toxic products is only serving to elevate the voices of local leaders that have seen their communities successfully transition to safer land care practices, in many cases organic land management," said Drew Toher, Community Resource and Policy Director with Beyond Pesticides. "The farm bill's preemption provision represents an unacceptable federal overreach into community parks, playing fields, and natural spaces."
Mayor Ethan Strimling of Portland, ME, said, "At a time when the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has failed to act, and follow sound science on toxic pesticides like bee-killing neonicotinoids or the probable carcinogen glyphosate, it is critically important that local governments retain the right to protect their citizens and environment."
"The Farm Bill should not be a tool for stripping city and county officials of their ability to protect their citizens from pesticides," said Jason Davidson, Friends of the Earth's Food and Agriculture Campaign Associate.
CONTACT: Drew Toher
SOURCE Beyond Pesticides