Tag: pesticides

MDFB Supports Uniform Labeling for Pesticides

MDFB Supports Uniform Labeling for Pesticides

By: Pat Wolff, MDFB senior director of national affairs

Maryland Farm Bureau has joined over 350 organizations to support new federal legislation that would ensure uniformity of labeling standards for pesticides that are backed by sound science and approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The bipartisan bill, H.R. 4288, the Agricultural Labeling Uniformity Act, was introduced in Congress last week by Representatives Dusty Johnson (R-SD) and Jim Costa (D-CA).

Farmers depend on pesticides to manage pests and control plant diseases that can destroy crops and threaten a reliable and affordable food supply. If farmers lose access to crop protection tools due to a patchwork of state or local labels, it will not only reduce their ability to protect crops and maintain important conservation practices, but will erode confidence about the safety of science-based EPA-approved products.

Under current law, the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) governs pesticide use, sales, and labeling. FIFRA gives the EPA exclusive authority to determine labeling and packaging requirements. Under FIFRA, states have the ability to regulate the sale or use of pesticides; however, they are prohibited from imposing their own labeling requirements that are different from the EPA’s science-based labels.

The Maryland Department of Agriculture enforces federal laws on the sale and use of pesticides, administers Maryland’s Pesticide Applicator’s Law, approves training courses in the handling, storage and use of pesticides, conducts examinations to determine that pesticide applicators are competent to follow prescribed pest control practices, and investigates pesticide accidents or incidents and consumer complaints on pesticide misuse.

Here is Rep. Johnson’s news release about the introduction of the legislation: https://shorturl.at/pvJSX

Maryland Farm Bureau Discusses Legislative Wins

Maryland Farm Bureau Discusses Legislative Wins
Group Was Able to Stop Bills Harmful to Agriculture

DAVIDSONVILLE, MD. (April 18, 2022) — Maryland Farm Bureau (MDFB) followed 139 bills during the 2022 General Assembly, which ended this week. Of those, MDFB supported 65 — on issues like wildlife damage to crops; supporting urban agriculture; and right-to-repair farm implements — and opposed 19. Of the 65 supported, 29 passed. Of the 19 opposed, only three passed and all three were significantly amended to either remove MDFB’s opposition or lessen the impact to farmers. 

“The 2022 legislative session has been interesting, to say the least,” said Colby Ferguson, MDFB director of government and public relations. “It all started with a December special session to review and vote on a new congressional district map — which caused some changes this year to the process of setting policy — and ended with many wins for Maryland farmers.”

During the session, MDFB held a virtual Day in Annapolis where Farm Bureau members discussed priority bills with legislators and met with Governor Larry Hogan. Here are the results of those bills: 

Bills supported by MDFB:

  • HB558/SB296: Adding “farm camping” to the agritourism state definition. Both bills passed and await the Governor’s signature.
  • HB855/SB942: Urban Agriculture Water and Power Infrastructure Program. Both bills passed and await the Governor’s signature.
  • HB562: Right-to-Repair – Farm Equipment. Bill died in committee.
  • HB1216: Urban Agriculture Grant Program. Bill died on the Senate floor on Sin E Die.
  • HB1002/SB800: Sales & Use Tax Exemption for Farm Electricity. Both bills died in the House committee.
  • HB592/SB497: Deer management permits on state-owned land statewide. House bill passed and awaits the Governor’s signature.
  • HB682/SB427: Baltimore County groundhog hunting permit exemption. Both bills passed and await the Governor’s signature.
  • HB956/SB582: Landowner liability exemption for allowing hunting. Both bills passed and await the Governor’s signature.

Bills opposed by MDFB:

  • HB11:  RPS Tier 1 renewables – removal of biomass energy. Bill died in committee.
  • HB387/SB268: Transfer of the regulation of pesticides from MDA to MDE. Both bills died in committee.
  • HB596/SB783: Environmental rights – Constitutional Amendment. Both bills died in committee.
  • HB798: Community Healthy Air Act. Bill died in committee.
  • HB496/SB275: Family Medical Leave Insurance Program. Both bills passed but were amended to exempt employers of less than 15 employees and employees that work less than 680 hours annually.

“During the 2022 legislative session, Maryland Farm Bureau worked diligently to ensure the voice of our members was heard as we worked to protect and grow Maryland agriculture and preserve rural life,” said Ferguson. 

The total number of bills introduced this session in Maryland was 1,487 House bills and 1,011 Senate bills.

MDFB members are invited to its annual Day in Annapolis and given weekly legislative updates or calls-to-action during session. Visit members.mdfarmbureau.com for membership information.

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MARYLAND FARM BUREAU®, INC. is a 501(c)(5) federation that serves as the united voice of Maryland farm families. Our organizational strength comes from the active participation of over 10,000 individual and family members who belong to the state’s 23 local county Farm Bureau organizations. Since 1915, Maryland Farm Bureau has been committed to protecting and growing agriculture and preserving rural life. Maryland Farm Bureau is a proud member of the American Farm Bureau® Federation. www.mdfarmbureau.com


Amber Pearson | Maryland Farm Bureau, Inc. (TSN Communications)

573.268.6853 | amber@tsncommunications.com

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