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Re: Wash. Post/EPA termed soft on Pesticide Risks



Herve,
    You've taken my quote out of context. I was writing about FQPA, the Food Quality Protection Act, which directs EPA to reassess pesticide tolerances allowed on food, starting with the most dangerous (health or environmentally) chemicals first and then working their way down the list from there. This has nothing to do with biotechnology. By withdrawing themselves from the committee, the environmental/consumer groups are essentially shutting themselves off from having any influence in the EPA process. These groups may file a lawsuit, and they may win, but in the meantime, whatever is done in the committee will be done without their voice. The remaining stakeholders in the committee are primarily EPA and industry people now. Furthermore, Congress is considering taking up a bill, actually an amendment to FQPA, which will essentially provide the EPA with more time to get there work done. Several EPA and Congressional officials have been noted  as saying that this issue was much more complex than they had originally thought it would be. One of the issues they are considering changing is allowing EPA to use a risk/benefit analysis when reassessing the pesticides. FIFRA allows for a risk/benefit analysis of chemicals, but FQPA does not, thus leaving farmers, public health officials, and exterminators with no alternative chemicals if EPA is forced to remove the one chemical that works for a particular pest. Consider, for a moment, that farmers are not the only ones who use pesticides. Pesticides are very important in the control of certain disease-spreading insects and mammals.
    Maintaining a balance on such government committees is important. All stakeholders need to have a voice, because they all have important messages. EPA does not always invite public participation in its decision making process, so, for the environmental/consumer groups to turn their backs on the opportunity seems a waste and a shame. The answer to most conflicts comes through better communication, not cutting off communication. 
 

Herve LE MEUR wrote:

Wendy Kyle writes :

>Even if they were upset with the slowness
>of the panel, the answer is not to quit, but to push harder from within the
>group.
 

Herve Le Meur writes:
Not necessarily true.

Assume (i will try not to get too much paranoiac !) that biotech want not to
be annoyed :
It suffices to slow down the ONLY way you propsoe : official regulations.
And it's not so difficult.
No, some times, strong action and not consensus must be done. But it's not
the same political way...
I do not think what they did is right. I only defend that what they did is
not necessarily wrong. But I guess you do not disagree.

For the remaining of your post, I agree by and large.

Yours
HLM

If you give a fish to a peasan, he will eat for one day. If you learn him to
catch (?) fishes , he will sit in a bark and drink beer all day long.

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