Earlier this week, the Washington Senate passed legislation that would ban chlorpyrifos by January 1st, 2022. Senate Bill 6518 passed primarily along party lines. Bill author Senator Christine Rolfes said the legislation will reduce prenatal exposure and reduce harm to children.
Now the legislation moves to the House.
Representative Joe Schmick says SB 6518 is shortsighted in a number of ways. He said chlorpyrifos is the best product currently available for the tree fruit industry, and forcing producers to use an inferior product could lead to resistant pests. Secondly, the Colfax Republican noted there is no evidence that the Ag community is putting their neighbors in harm’s way by using chlorpyrifos.
“This is being used safely now. And to make generalizations now saying that it’s killing all of the bees out there…no. And so, I think there is a place for it in the marketplace but to take this tool away from our growers, with nothing that works as well or even comes close as an equivalent, would be very shortsighted.”
With Democrats holding the majority in the House, stopping SB 6518 will be a challenge for the Washington Ag Community.
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