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Agrimarketing : Crop Life America
CropLife America Supplement AgriMarketing 5 The impacts of the transforma- tions in pesticide regulation and industry consolidation over the past 20 years have had both positive and negative consequences for the indus- try. "At CLA we always strive to advocate policy that affords oppor- tunity for forward-looking compa- nies to keep advancing scientific and technological solutions, to improve our farm customer 's economic out- comes and enhance safety and envi- ronmental protection," says Vroom. Looking forward, the only cer- tainty is much more change is proba- bly on the way. It is also certain that the executives who led CLA precur- sor groups in the '20s, '30s and '40s never could have imagined the regulatory challenges faced by their successors. THE BEGINNING CLA officially evolved from the Agricultural Insecticide and Fungicide (AIF) Association which was formed by the Insecticide Com- mittee of the Agricultural Insecti- cides and Manufacturers Associa- tion (AIFMA) in 1933. Lee Hitchner was elected as the first Pres and served in that capacity until 1962. To date, Hitchner is the longest-tenured Pres of the association and its most acclaimed annual award is named for him. FIFRA '47 The modern era of pesticide regula- tion started in 1947, with the passage of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). The law granted the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) the authority to regulate pesticides at the national level and, for the first time, required all pesticide products to be registered and labeled with much more information. Because FIFRA was to be admin- istered by a federal agency, the AIF relocated to Washington, D.C., and changed its name to the National Agricultural Chemicals Association (NACA). However, it was actually the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) which elicited the lion's share of NACA's attention during the 1950s. It was then that, for the first time, pesticide residue tolerances were established for agricultural commodities. NACA had suc- cessfully lobbied Congress to include language requiring a scien- tific basis for toler- ances in the enabling legisla- tion of 1954, and NACA coordi- nated industry input into the tol- erance regulation eventually issued by FDA. NACA had supported the tol- erance legislation. However, in 1958, an amendment to the Federal Food, Drug and Cos- metic Act directed FDA to prohibit the use of any known, or suspected, carcinogens, as food additives. NACA's lobbying efforts precluded the application of this amendment, known as the Delaney Clause, to pesticide residues in crops, although the use of specific pesticides on some processed, or semi-processed food and feed prod- ucts triggered a Delaney requirement for tolerances. Delaney would remain in place, and cause a great deal of contro- versy, for the next 38 years. "SILENT SPRING" In the early 1960s, NACA launched a major pesticide safety campaign, including a new iteration of its 1943 "Read the Label" campaign. The out- reach effort included posters, leaflets, special product labels, TV and radio announcements, and newspaper editorials. But, the campaign was overshad- owed by the publication of "Silent Spring," a book which sparked pub- lic fears about pesticides and led to a series of Congressional hearings and federal studies. The book also led, if indirectly, to the tougher data requirements mandated in the 1972 amendments to FIFRA. FIFRA '72 The Environmental Pesticide Control Act of 1972 shifted the regulatory purview over pesticides and pesticide tolerances from USDA and FDA, respectively, to the newly established Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The law ushered in a period of intense activ- ity at NACA because so many things changed and no one knew how the law would affect the industry. The '70s and '80s were formative and formidable times for NACA because the association was part of the process to implement and under- stand FIFRA '72. There was a lot of brainstorming going on and varying expectations among different mem- ber companies regarding ultimate interpretation of the new law. NEW LEADERSHIP Parke Brinkley was Pres of NACA at this time, having succeeded Lea Hitchner who retired in 1962. Brink- ley was approaching retirement him- self and industry leaders decided to bring aboard an experienced indus- try scientist and regulatory expert, Jack Early, from the Monsanto Company. PATENTS AND DATA Early faced a host of difficult issues, particularly the lobbying effort to increase patent life for novel mole- cules. For the crop protection indus- try, the plea for patent restoration was driven by the uncertain, and often extremely long, approval 2008-2009 CLA Chairman Eric Wintemute (r), Pres/CEO, AMVAC Chemical Corp., Newport Beach, CA, and CLA Pres/CEO Jay Vroom. (more on page 5)
January February 2008