Florida Delegation Urges EPA Not to Ban Pesticide Which Helps Strawberry Production

Members of the Florida delegation on Capitol Hill from both parties are calling on the Environmental Protection Agency to not ban Thiram, a pesticide used to protect crops.

At the end of last week, U.S. Reps. Scott Franklin, R-Fla., and Darren Soto, D-Fla., led a letter to the EPA on the matter.

“A ban of Thiram would be devastating to the strawberry production, according to industry experts. In December, EPA proposed a ban on the usage of Thiram due to potential harm posed to agricultural workers. It found that Thiram’s skin absorption factor was 15 percent, a level deemed too high to be considered safe. Eastman Chemical, the company which produces Thiram, conducted a follow-up study which concluded the absorption factor is only 1.2 percent, well within the EPA’s acceptable range for safe use. In response, the members have asked EPA to re-examine the data and make a determination once all information has been considered,” Franklin’s office noted.

“The strawberry industry is an integral part of Florida’s economy,” said Franklin. “It is important that all scientific data is taken into consideration as we work to secure the safety of agricultural workers and the health of the strawberry industry. I urge the EPA to fully assess all scientific research into Thiram as we continue to encourage the prosperity of Florida’s agricultural sector.”

“Florida agriculture helps feed families in the state and across the country,” said Soto. “As the EPA considers bans, it is critical for them to take all scientific evidence into account and make the best-informed decisions. I hope they will reconsider the ban on the usage of Thiram and consider all data.”

U.S. Reps. Kat Cammack, R-Fla., Kathy Castor, D-Fla., Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick, D-Fla., Val Demings, D-Fla., Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Fla., Al Lawson, D-Fla., Brian Mast, R-Fla., Bill Posey, R-Fla., Maria Elvira Salazar, R-Fla., and Frederica Wilson, D-Fla., also signed the letter.

Kevin Derby
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