Rep. Austin Scott, Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee's Subcommittee on Horticulture, Research, Biotechnology and Foreign Agriculture, held a public hearing to review the impact of enforcement activities by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) on specialty crop growers. Specifically, Subcommittee Members addressed growing concerns that DOL is using the "Hot Goods" provision under the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (FLSA) in an arbitrary manner against producers of perishable agricultural commodities without regard for the inevitable destruction of the product and significant economic hardship inflicted on farmers and their employees.
Committee Reviews Bill to Ratify Pesticide Regulating Treaty
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Chairman Bob Goodlatte today chaired a hearing to review H.R. 3849, legislation necessary to ratify three international treaties regulating the use of chemicals to protect human health as well as environmental health. Until the U.S. ratifies the treaty, which is dependent on passage of H.R. 3849, U.S. negotiators cannot participate in the discussions currently underway to modify the current agreements.
“Unfortunately, if we delay ratification further in the United States, much of the hard work could potentially be undone,” said Chairman Goodlatte. “The longer we wait to ratify these treaties, of which passage of this bill is a necessary pre-cursor, the less control we have over decisions which could have potentially negative consequences for America’s farmers and ranchers.”
The treaties involved include: the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (PICs), the Protocol on Persistent Organic Pollutants to the Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution (LRTAP POPs), and the Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade (POPs). H.R. 3849 would amend the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) to put the U.S. in compliance with the treaties.
The Chairman intends to bring H.R. 3849 to the Committee for consideration before the August recess. Witness testimony is available on the Committee website, and a full transcript of the hearing will be available on the Committee website 4-6 weeks following the hearing.
The Honorable Stephen L. Johnson, Administrator, United States Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, D.C.
Ms. Susan Hazen, Principal Deputy Assistant Administrator, Office of Pesticide Programs and Toxic Substances, United States Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, D.C.