Lucas challenges EPA’s stance on farm insecticide


It was a busy week for Oklahoma Congressman Frank Lucas who advocated to make NOAA an independent agency, grilled the head of the SEC about rules changes, then put some pointed questions to the head of the EPA.

EPA Administrator Michael Regan came before the House Agriculture Committee where Rep. Lucas is a member. What concerned Lucas was what he called the EPA’s “disregard of USDA scientific evidence regarding chlorpyrifos use and other mitigation measures used on America’s farms and ranches.”

Chlorpyrifos is an organophosphate insecticide, acaricide and miticide used primarily to control foliage and soil-borne insect pests.

“From my perch as Chair of the House Science Committee I have seen issues arise when Agency scientists at USDA and EPA are at odds. A prime example is the EPA’s action regarding chlorpyrifos uses. When USDA’s Office of Pest Management Policy (OPMP) provided your agency with evidence that certain uses could be retained to meet safety standards, but EPA chose to ignore that evidence,” stated the congressman.

Lucas noted that Regan had expressed a strong desire to work closely with the farming and ranching community.

“Can you explain then why the scientific expertise at the USDA has been sidelined on this issue and various others such as the atrazine mitigation measures just to name a few?”
Lucas told Regan when the science is generated by people closer to the issue, they should be given the benefit of the doubt.

Click here to watch Lucas’ Q&A.