CropLife America Co-Hosts Event to Commemorate 20 Years of Food Quality Protection Act

WASHINGTON, DC – Yesterday, CropLife America (CLA) was pleased to co-host a special roundtable discussion, in collaboration with the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) and the Pesticide Policy Coalition, to commemorate the anniversary of the signing of the Food Quality Protection Act (FQPA). Held at the offices of AFBF, the discussion opened with remarks from two members of Congress who were essential in the passage of FQPA and its subsequent implementation: Senator Pat Roberts of Kansas and former Congressman Charlie Stenholm of Texas.

In his remarks, Senator Roberts focused on the bipartisan support that lead to the unanimous passage of FQPA two decades ago. “During our days on the [House agriculture] committee, we really endeavored to work together.” He recalled that staff from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was “working right alongside [the committee].”  He closed his opening remarks imploring, “You have to have everyone under the banner of sound science” and stated that “innovations and elbow grease” will bring the agriculture industry forward.

Congressman Stenholm pointed out four major points of the ultimate, successful implementation of FQPA: transparency, sound science, stakeholder input, and reasonable transition if products need to be adjusted or removed from the market. “The importance of technology to agriculture has never been greater than it is today,” he stated. “There’s no reason why we can’t return to at least a 21st-century version of working together on issues…We have got to look for better ways to communicate with the 98% of people who aren’t farmers, aren’t ranchers….”

Passed unanimously two decades ago, FQPA enhanced the science-based risk assessment system for crop protection products in the U.S. The legislation, based in solid toxicological data, plays a critical role in giving Americans confidence that the food they eat will help them live long and healthy lives. The guidelines laid out by FQPA are sensitive to and protective of all populations, including infants and children, and have made the U.S. the leader in safe and sustainable agricultural production.

In addition to comments from event attendees, Jay Vroom, president and CEO of CLA, shared his thoughts on the need for unwavering support for farmers, including ensuring that they have access to the most advanced crop protection products available. “I am proud to have been a part of the effort to write and get FQPA passed twenty years ago. Crop protection products continue to be a vital part of the food production process and have played a large role in reducing food loss on the farm. We must all join in the effort to make sure that tomorrow’s farmers can use the best tools possible to grow food for our children’s and grandchildren’s future.”

CLA has developed a number of materials for use on social media that communicate how technological advancements have helped make the U.S. a leader in sustainable food production, such as:

For more information on the benefits of crop protection products and the science behind the development of pesticide technology, visit www.CropLifeAmerica.org.

Michael Leary