FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, May 11, 2017
Office of Communications
Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture Calls for Dependable Pesticide Registration Process
Gary Black, Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Agriculture, testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry today on the opportunities for the Pesticide Registration Improvement Act (PRIA) to provide regulatory certainty for pesticide registration under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA).
In his remarks, Black addressed how his department, which is one of forty-three state lead agencies with FIFRA responsibilities, serves as a co-regulator with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The Georgia Department of Agriculture supports the delivery of new technologies to farmers by providing state-specific registrations to products after the rigorous EPA risk assessment process.
“It is essential for state departments of agriculture and the producers we serve to have a robust, transparent, and scientifically-sound FIFRA process to deliver new technologies and critical crop protection tools in a timely and predictable manner,” said Black.
Cooperative federalism is a NASDA priority, emphasized Commissioner Black. NASDA is calling for an institutionalizing the unique role and authorities of states as co-regulators – not simply stakeholders.
“Communication, cooperation and coordination shouldn't be a goal, they should be a given. We feel there are opportunities to strengthen this regulatory partnership between EPA and the state departments of agriculture, and we would welcome the opportunity to explore these possibilities with the Committee going forward.”
During the hearing, Black encouraged the Senate to reauthorize PRIA, which is set to expire on September 30. PRIA has attracted wide, bipartisan support due to its unique success of good government. H.R. 1029, a reauthorizing bill introduced by Representative Davis of Illinois, was recently passed by unanimous voice vote in the House of Representatives.
“PRIA provides a stable and predictable funding source for the EPA…and to the states to conduct pesticide education, training, and worker protection activities. NASDA asks that the Senate swiftly pass this important legislation and send this to the President for his signature.”
About the GDA The Georgia Department of Agriculture (GDA) is the voice of the state’s agriculture community. The department's mission is to provide excellence in services and regulatory functions, to protect and promote agriculture and consumer interests, and to ensure an abundance of safe food and fiber for Georgia, America, and the world by using state-of-the-art technology and a professional workforce. For more information, visit www.agr.georgia.gov.