Congressman Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. (GA-02), member of the U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies cosponsored the newly introduced Pest Free Food Supply Act. The legislation would force the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to withdraw a proposed regulation that would remove the authorized food uses of the industry standard fumigant, sulfuryl fluoride (SF), often used in commodity and food processing facilities. If this EPA action is allowed to go forward, food production and pest management sectors will be left without a broad-spectrum fumigant and few viable pest control alternatives, creating a potential crisis for food safety throughout the United States.
"The Environmental Protection Agency's proposed regulation on sulfuryl fluoride may threaten the quality, safety, and affordability of a safe and common product used by Georgia's food production and pest control sectors," said Congressman Bishop. "In the past, the EPA has deemed sulfuryl fluoride safe for use, and these new rules will threaten to impair commerce and send jobs overseas. I urge the EPA to reconsider their proposal and work with Rural America in finding a common sense solution that does not damage the dynamic nature of the affected industries."
Lawsuit threats by environmental activist groups caused the EPA to flip-flop on its science-based approval of SF's residue tolerances under the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA). As a result, on January 19, 2011, the agency proposed revoking the tolerances for SF residues on foods. EPA itself has admitted this action would have no meaningful public health benefits because SF contributes, in their words, "a tiny fraction," of overall human aggregate fluoride exposures.
Joining Congressman Bishop are 13 original co-sponsors: Reps. Tom Graves (R-GA), Kurt Schrader (D-OR), Jeff Duncan (R-SC), Ted Poe (R-TX), Lynn Westmoreland (R-GA), Doug LaMalfa (R-CA), Rick Crawford (R-AR), Bob Latta (R-OH), Austin Scott (R-GA), Steve Southerland (R-FL), Marlin Stutzman (R-IN), Ted Yoho (R-FL), David Valadao (R-CA), and Paul Broun (R-GA).