Wheat growers urge USDA consultation in review of glyphosate labeling case

From the National Association of Wheat Growers

As the U.S. Supreme Court prepares to decide whether to review a case that threatens federal preemption in the regulation of crop protection technologies, the National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) reiterates the need for the administration to consult with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on the policy changes and the far-reaching agriculture implications of the case.

On May 10, the U.S. Solicitor General (USG) issued a brief urging the U.S. Supreme Court to deny review of a case involving glyphosate labeling, arguing that federal pesticide registration and labeling requirements do not preclude states from imposing additional labeling requirements, even if those requirements run counter to federal findings. The new policy, as articulated by the USG, reverses longstanding federal policy.

On May 26, while testifying before the U.S. Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee, Secretary Tom Vilsack confirmed USDA had not been consulted on the Solicitor General’s brief before it was issued.

“We believe it would be useful if the administration consults with USDA on the ramifications of a patchwork approach to crop protection products,” said NAWG President and Washington wheat farmer Nicole Berg. “We encourage the Solicitor General to withdraw the brief and consult with USDA.”

The dangerous reversal in position defies this federal statute; decreases access for farmers and other users to much-needed tools to produce food, fiber and fuel safely and sustainably; and presents threats to science-based regulation and international trade.

In a letter, NAWG and more than 50 other organizations stated strongly urged the administration to withdraw the brief and to consult with the U.S. Department of Agriculture regarding the implications of this decision for food production, environmental sustainability and science-based regulation.

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