Federal Shutdown Leaves Pesticides and Ag Chemicals Stuck at Ports

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by Ric, Oct 10, 2013.

  1. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,969


    Federal Shutdown Leaves Pesticides and Ag Chemicals Stuck at Ports
    By James Andrews
    Food Safety News
    October 10, 2013

    While the government shutdown has spurred much discussion over the fate of federal food surveillance, the agriculture industry may soon feel the biggest impact from furloughs at another federal agency: the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

    In the 10 days since the shutdown went into effect, millions of dollars of imported agricultural chemicals have been stuck at U.S. ports because EPA personnel are not on hand to approve them for entry.

    If the shutdown persists for weeks or months, the issue could have a much bigger impact on the food supply than furloughs at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, said Edward Ruckert, an agriculture and trade attorney at McDermott Will & Emery in Washington, D.C.

    The list of chemicals being barred from entry includes pesticides, experimental samples of chemicals for EPA testing, and active ingredients intended to be formulated into products sold to farmers. The longer the supplies remain stuck in port warehouses or held on shipping freighters, the lower the supplies run for use in the U.S., said Dr. Ray McAllister, senior director of regulatory policy at CropLife America, the trade organization representing agricultural chemical manufacturers.

    At the same time, shipping containers may receive fines for staying in port, unable to unload cargo that requires paperwork to be processed by EPA employees.

    The problem stems from the fact that EPA must approve all imported agricultural chemicals for entry to the U.S. with a “Notice of Arrival” form. According to ABC News, however, EPA has furloughed approximately 96 percent of its staff in the shutdown, meaning that there is no one available in regional offices to approve chemical imports. (By comparison, FDA and CDC have furloughed about 45 and 68 percent of their employees, respectively.)

    “Manufacturers face difficult decisions regarding shipments about to be sent or already en route, which could also be held up at ports of entry,” McAllister wrote in a press statement. “It may not take long for the bottlenecks to have an effect on supplies of crop-protection products for agriculture, now and in the coming growing season.”

    Right now, the major inconvenience has fallen on chemical manufacturers and importers, and farmers likely won’t see the impact unless the shutdown lasts a while longer, Ruckert said.

    Asked about the impact if the shutdown persists for months, Ruckert told Food Safety News the bottleneck could cause a shortage of chemicals and “significant problems,” such as a rise in the prices of domestically produced chemicals for farmers.

    CropLife America did not immediately have statistics available on the percentage of agricultural chemicals used in the U.S. that are imported versus those domestically produced.

    Applications for new agricultural chemicals are also on hold until Congress passes its budget, as well as applications for any new uses of existing products, Ruckert added.

    When it comes to pesticides and other agricultural chemicals, Ruckert said the one functional element is for emergency exemptions, such as if states need approval to use a pesticide or other chemical.

  2. WestGaPineStraw

    WestGaPineStraw LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 765

    Our government is a joke. Top to bottom.

    We need to quit worrying about what we can do to benefit me and what can benefit this country as a whole.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  3. CL&T

    CL&T LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 493

    You got that right!
  4. DA Quality Lawn & YS

    DA Quality Lawn & YS LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,296

    Big O.....you listening to this?
  5. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    We have to become a 3rd world nation before we can be placed under the global governance... It would be best to stop believing that this is incompetence and see it for what it is...
  6. CL&T

    CL&T LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 493

    Why? They're useless. I just hope people come to realize that this "shutdown" has caused little difference and we can do without those leaches that are sucking our tax dollars. That will be a start. Then get rid of the Congress and the House and Obama and maybe we will have a chance. It's like when your toilet bowl gets full. Time to flush.
  7. ted putnam

    ted putnam LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,748

    I was thinking the same thing at the time he posted that but wasn't sure how to word my response. Yours is a pretty good analogy.

    One of the biggest problems we have is "ALL" of the services they provide. We don't need them "ALL". We need a select few. In spite of what some of our leaders think, the Federal government doesn't need their hand in everything. Our government is led by a bunch of self serving clowns who will bring our great country down if we don't do something about it soon. We need to clean house...literally.
  8. foreplease

    foreplease LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,062

    Thanks for posting this article Ric. The between-the-lines takeaway here, for me, is surprise and alarm at how much of our Ag chemicals originate outside the USA. Let's hope that no matter what our political preferences are that this (problem described in the article) and other damaging side affects of the political standoff in Washington can be resolved before irreparable harm has been done.

    Glad that other garbage in this thread has been cleaned up.
  9. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,969

    I posted this as a FYI because we might be faced with a product shortage because of the Shut Down. My intentions were never for it to take a granola nut tree hugger left turn like it did.

    Not only are many Fert & Squirt Products made over seas, But many of the American plants are owned by offshore companies. But I have given up discussing politics on the internet. Therefore I will not be discussing world trade and globalization.

  10. greendoctor

    greendoctor LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,131

    Save for DuPont and Dow, most T & O companies are European. FMC has much of their raw material that they package in the US made in China. Most post patent AIs are made in China as well.

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