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ACGA supports Pesticide Harmonization Act

(June 15, 2002 – CropChoice news) – The following is from an American Corn Growers Association press release.

Keith Dittrich, President of the American Corn Growers Association (ACGA), has endorsed the Pesticide Harmonization Act (S. 532) introduced by Senator Byron L. Dorgan, D-N.D. The bill will amend the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) to permit a State to register a Canadian pesticide for distribution and use within that State and thereby provide equitable treatment for U.S. farmers in the pricing of agricultural chemicals.

"This legislation, when enacted, will help level the playing field for American farmers in the arena of international competition which has been forced upon us by recent trade agreements," said Dittrich, a corn farmer from Tilden, Neb. "Farmers have been both victims and, occasionally, victors in the forced pursuit to harmonize trade of the products we raise and sell. Now it is time for the same harmonization of trade for the products we need and buy."

In addition to Dorgan, the measure already has bipartisan support from nine other U.S. Senators, including Max Baucus, D-Mont., Conrad Burns, R-Mont., Max Cleland, D-Ga., Kent Conrad, D-N.D., Michael Crapo, R-Idaho, Thomas Daschle, D-S.D., Mark Dayton, D-Minn., Tim Johnson, D-S.D., and Carl Levin, D-Mich.

Many times, agricultural chemicals sold in Canada, identical to those in the United States, can cost farmers south of the border as much as twice as much as their Canadian counterparts. Such disparity in price gives Canadian farmers an economic advantage. Trade harmonization has already reached the point that most food products inspected in Canada and exported to the U.S. are accepted with little or no further inspection.

"If the inspection of the foods imported from Canada, eaten by U.S. citizens everyday, is sufficient, then why would we ever doubt their pesticide regulation?" asked Dittrich. Multinational companies that produce the crop protection products in question, are the very same companies that were extremely aggressive in their support of recent international harmonization trade agreements. "They asked to get the governments out of production agriculture and allow producers to compete in the international marketplace. They should now stop hiding behind government regulations to protect their profits. It is time to put such hypocrisies aside."