A large array of the nation’s agricultural organizations want Congress to step in and remind states of the limitations they have to regulate pesticide products within their borders and underscore the importance of the federal law on the subject.

In a letter to congressional leaders, more than 330 groups discuss their concerns about changes in the interpretation of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act. That shift has led to recent actions taken by states to enforce their own statutes on pesticide products, including through the use of labeling on certain products and other regulations. Those actions, the groups contend, “risk creating an unworkable, inconsistent patchwork of state or municipal pesticide labels that can quickly disrupt commerce and access to these much-needed tools.” Furthermore, the groups argue state-by-state rulemaking “threatens to jeopardize public confidence in EPA’s authority and science-based regulation under FIFRA, as well as the continued availability of individual tools on which there are contradictory claims.”

To rectify, the groups say lawmakers need to “seriously consider the far-reaching implications should this tension go unaddressed by federal policymakers.

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“The ability of farmers, land managers, and other users to produce an abundant food, feed, and fiber supply, combat public health threats, implement important conservation practices, and maintain vital transportation and utility infrastructure will be significantly impaired,” the letter adds.

The message carries the signature of national heavy hitters like the American Soybean Association, American Farm Bureau Federation, National Corn Growers Association and many of their respective state affiliates. Western powers like California Citrus Mutual, the Almond Alliance of California, Western Growers and many others are also among the signatories.

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