WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR), ranking member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry and U.S. Representative Glenn “GT” Thompson (R-PA), ranking member of the House Committee on Agriculture are calling on the Biden administration to withdraw its current brief before the Supreme Court in a case involving the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) federal registration authority of Roundup, an essential glyphosate-based herbicide used for crop protection.
In a letter to President Biden, the ranking members question the White House’s rationale for filing the brief based on a “change in administration” and seek answers as to why the Solicitor General modified its long-standing position that EPA maintains federal preemption authority on all crop protection tools without consulting the relevant agency subject matter experts.
“Such a reversal coupled with the lack of consultation with subject matter experts is incredibly concerning. Simply citing a ‘change in administration’ as a cause and justification for completely undermining an agency’s federal preemption authority, clearly established by Congress, is egregious. The Solicitor General’s actions not only insert significant ambiguity into FIFRA [Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act], but also upends a host of statutory preemption authorities and the general use of crop protection tools, and further threatens global food security,” Boozman and Thompson wrote.
The ranking members’ letter spells out the negative long-term consequences the Ninth Circuit’s decision would have should it be allowed to stand.
“If the Ninth Circuit’s decision is left in place, not only will growers lose a critical tool from their toolbox, but EPA’s registration process will eventually evolve into a state-by-state patchwork that will thwart the science-based and risk-based process Congress has specifically directed EPA to carry out. Importantly, any marketplace confusion will take place during an emerging global food crisis and growing food insecurity,” Boozman and Thompson wrote.