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Agrimarketing : March 2009
CROPLIFE AMERICA UPDATE 2009LEGISLATIVEOUTLOOK C by the AgriMarketing Editors ropLifeAmerica (CLA) is opti- mistic over the foundation it has built for a goodworking relation- shipwith theObama administration. CLAengaged earlywith the peo- plewhowill shape the future of American agriculture over the next four years. InAugust 2008, the associ- ation hosted representatives from both theMcCain and Obama cam- paigns to share and discuss their respective positions on a variety of issues affectingAmerican agriculture. Itwelcomed the official start of the 2008 general election campaign by attending the Democratic and RepublicanNational Conventions to communicate key industry issues. CLAorganized events at each convention highlighting the critical rolewhich state agriculture depart- ments performin the careful regula- tion of pesticides and the overall pro- motion ofAmerican agriculture in suchmatters asworker protection, and soil andwater conservation and outreach initiatives on the impor- tance of following label directions. Looking forward, the association anticipates opportunities to advance the conversations begun during the campaign season on key legislative and regulatory issues impacting our industry and to promote solid policy solutions for growers and their agribusiness partners. FOOD SAFETY In light of recent food safety crises involving tomatoes and, peanut but- ter, food safetywill be a top issue this year as bills to strengthen regu- latory and oversight functions of U.S. food production, distribution and imports are introduced.While taking varied approaches to regula- tory,administrative and preventative measures, the overall goal of these bills is to protect the consumer and restore public confidence inAmeri- can food safety. Any newlegislation addressing food safetywill have a substantial impact onAmerican agriculture. 60 AgriMarketing s March 2009 CLA’ssenior staff leadersmetwith top leaders of the Obama Administration TransitionTeamfor EPA. (Fromleft): Doug Nelson, Jay Vroom, Bob Sussman, Chuck Fox (EPATransitionTeamRepresentatives forwater issues) and Beau Greenwood. This provides the agricultural com- munitywith an important opportu- nity to engage local, state, and fed- eral health authorities on food safety requirements, inspection, research, and risk assessment issues. Coordination among all stake- holders and agencieswill serve to strengthen efforts to protect the pub- lic health, avoid duplicative efforts and ensure that agricultural concerns are appropriately addressed. CLA will closelymonitor food safety related issues and proposed legisla- tion as part of the 111th Congress. CHEMICAL SITE SECURITY The crop protection chemicals indus- tryworks closelywith theDepart- ment ofHomeland Security to address concerns around chemical site security through implementation of the Chemical FacilityAnti-Terror- ismStandards (CFATS) rule. This collaborative effort helps protect chemicals andmanufacturing facili- ties and identifiesmechanisms to further safeguard sites andmaterials. Legislative efforts to enhance secu- rity at chemical facilitieswill surface on the Congressional agenda since existing authority over thismatter sunsets inmid-2009. CLAwill interactwith Congres- sional oversight committees to ensure that the special needs of the agri-business and commercial distribution/manufacturing sector are considered as chemical site secu- rity legislation is further debated. However,CLAbelieves CFATS should be fully implemented first before rushing aheadwith newregu- lation. CLAsupportsmaking the CFATS rule permanent and giving it a chance towork. STOCKHOLMCONVENTION Ratifying the StockholmConvention on PersistentOrganic Pollutants (POPs) is a priority as the global com- munity takes action on chemical sub- stances, affecting both basicmanufac- turers in theU.S., aswell as, foreign manufacturers.CLAsupports theU.S. becoming a party to the convention through ratification,whichwould require Congress to pass POPs imple- menting amendments to the Toxic SubstancesControlAct and the Fed- eral Insecticide, Fungicide and Roden- ticideAct. Congress is considering these nec- essary statutory reforms.CLAplans to work closelywith policymakers, fed- eral and state on all the issues thatwill determine agriculture and environ- mental policies critical to farmers’ and ranchers’ access to chemical crop pro- tection products. AM