Is It Finally Time To Fix FIFRA Preemption?July 27, 2017
FIFRA is the comprehensive federal statute that for the past 70 years has regulated “pesticides”—a term which encompasses a broad range of agricultural, professional, industrial, and consumer pest control products. One of the most persistent as well as hotly contested areas of pesticide regulation involves the subject of “preemption”—the supremacy of federal law over state (and local) law, and state law over local law. Perhaps it is finally time for Congress to fix the structure and language of FIFRA §§ 24(a) & (b) (“Authority of States”) to remedy (i) States’ encroachment upon the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s exclusive authority to regulate the content of pesticide labeling, (ii) state-law damages suits that challenge the adequacy of the warnings and other information on a pesticide’s EPA-approved labeling, and (iii) unwarranted and often politically motivated local government prohibitions or restrictions on the sale or use of federally and state-registered pesticides.
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