ASA, ag groups argue before court in chlorpyrifos case

December 15, 2022 / Categories: Uncategorized

The Minnesota Soybean Growers Association joined the American Soybean Association and 18 other agricultural groups that argued before the Eight Circuit Court of Appeals on Dec. 15 in Red River Valley Sugarbeet Growers Association, et al. v. Michael Regan, et al. (Eighth Cir. 22-1422).

The groups urged the court to reinstate chlorpyrifos tolerances that the Environmental Protection Agency has found safe. EPA arbitrarily revoked those safe tolerances for chlorpyrifos, which effectively ended agricultural uses of the important pesticide. The decision has inflicted enormous costs on thousands of farmers across the country and undermined their ability to protect their crops from devastating insect pests.

“MSGA was happy to join in this effort,” MSGA President Bob Worth said. “It is important for us to stand up and hold agencies accountable for their actions and to protect these important crop production tools.”

At the heart of the lawsuit is EPA’s arbitrary and capricious rule revoking all chlorpyrifos tolerances despite finding on multiple occasions that at least 11 high-benefit crop uses, including for soybeans, could be maintained safely. To attempt to justify this unscientific, unlawful rule, EPA has attempted to contort its statutory obligations under the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act.

“Farmers rely on federal regulators to follow the law. Congress wrote pesticide laws the way they did to provide growers access to the tools they need to be successful and to ensure those tools can be used safely and effectively,” ASA President Daryl Cattes said. “When EPA violates the law and refuses to follow its own science to inappropriately deny access to safe, important tools, there needs to be accountability to protect the nation’s farmers and our operations.”

The groups are asking the court to vacate the revocation of the tolerances for the safe uses and remand with instructions for EPA to enter the corresponding safety findings based on the available science-based evidence. They are hopeful the court will rule on this matter in the coming months.

“Chlorpyrifos is a critical tool in the toolbox for Minnesota farmers, especially in the fight against pests such as soybean aphids and spider mites,” Minnesota Soybean Director of Research David Kee said.

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