Pesticide Industry Could Win Big in Latest Farm Bill Proposal

May 29, 2024 | Source: Civil Eats | by Lisa Held

As a doctor, I am concerned about eroding protections for those most affected by dangerous pesticide exposures—the workers who apply them,” said Representative Yadira Caraveo (D-Colorado) during last Thursday’s session to discuss, amend, and vote on the House Agriculture Committee’s first draft of the 2024 Farm Bill.

Despite those objections, Caraveo was one of four Democrats on the committee who joined Republicans in moving the bill forward, complete with several controversial provisions that would make it harder for states to regulate pesticides and hamper individuals’ ability to seek compensation for harm caused by the chemicals.

Lawmakers have tried, unsuccessfully, to get similar language into past farm bills. Now,  ongoing lawsuits involving Roundup’s link to cancer and paraquat’s link to Parkinson’s disease and recent state efforts to restrict the use of certain pesticides have raised the stakes. As a result, insiders say the industry is fighting harder than ever before and the new provisions reflect that push.