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CONUS Archive
Pesticides Bill News Conference (1991)
Representative Mike Synar (D-OK) Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) Rep. Leon Panetta (D-CA)
News conference
Pesticides bill news conference, shipments overseas.
(SUGGESTED TRANSCRIPT OF AUDIO) 00:06 thank you all for coming. First of all, let me say how honored I am to be joined this morning with my two colleagues Pat Leahy and Dan Glickman, reintroducing the circle of poison prevention act. The enactment of this legislation is long overdue. I think all of us have become aware that foreign governments seldom get notified of shipments of unregistered pesticides from the United States that the global pesticides market has doubled in the last 10 years and that US exports accounted for one quarter of our world's supply. But sadly, many of those importing countries simply don't have the resources or the expertise to regulate the chemicals they are shipped. Unfortunately, also, there may also be a threat to the American consumer when these foods containing residues of banned products are imported back into the United States. Even worse, the GAO and the congressional investigators of pesticides not registered for the use in the United States. American farmers have the right to be angry when they see foreign producers competing against them using chemicals that they can't use here in the United States. And American consumers have the right to be angry that almost no foreign agricultural products get tested at our borders. 01:23 But there are ways of making it better time and we're toughening standards at home it makes no sense to allow American companies to have this blatant loophole and then allow foreign producers to use this blatant loophole and be putting our own farmers at a competitive disadvantage. But even more importantly, put our consumers at a safety disadvantage. 1/4 of all the products we eat is important. Putting that in context it's 135 pounds of fruit and vegetable for every single man, woman and child in this country. Now, FDA is poster into school children's lunch pails, or anybody else's BPA says a pesticide is too unsafe to be used in American grown food, then it's too unsafe to be used on foreign grown food period. And the statement because buying food should not be a guessing game. So we shouldn't have to choose between off season cantaloupes or cancer every time they buy important food at the supermarket. 02:36 let's sign our index and Glickman on the house again, to submit this circle of poison prevention act. This is a bill that I think is extremely important in terms of eliminating one of the most shameful double standards that exists in US health and safety policy. At the same time that we directly prohibit the use of certain chemicals, through our silence, we licensed the sale of those same chemicals abroad. And there is an can be no justification for that kind of double standard. 03:15 of the fruits and vegetables that should be inspected. If we made it very clear, we cannot export these banned pesticides. And if we make it very clear that fruits and vegetables will not be allowed with them coming back in this country. You don't have to increase inspection too much. Before other countries realize that there is no advantage for them to even look somewhere else to get the chemicals. One they're not gonna be able to get the chemicals from the United States when the main suppliers because they've been banned. Secondly, it's not to their advantage to go and try to find another company and other countries might do it. Because they rely on the billions of dollars worth of fruits and vegetables that we buy is a major source of hard currency. They're not going to jeopardize it now when they can buy other chemicals and other pesticides that we've deemed to be safe. And then lastly, a number of these countries Toad told us during the hearings on in the Senate Agriculture Committee, that they don't have the resources to determine which chemicals are safe or not. They would like to be able to rely on the United States they would like to be able to think that if they buy something safe made in the United States, they're buying something safe.
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