Aria Juliet's picture
Why are companies that farm with Restricted Use Pesticides opposed to having mandatory buffer zones around schools and hospitals?

A:Expert Answer

I work for a seed company that has operations in Hawaii, and, as someone with responsibilities for stewardship and compliance, I can tell you we comply with the significant regulatory conditions set by both the federal and state governments. Any pesticide must first meet a stringent set of regulatory requirements before it is “registered” by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and before it can be distributed or sold in the United States. The agency evaluates the data on each pesticide and assesses any potential adverse effects the product may have on humans and on the environment. On the basis of this evaluation, the EPA then determines if it will allow the use of the product, and, if so, at what application rates and any application conditions (like buffer zones). The EPA sets the conditions for use of the product and requires the conditions be placed in labeling instructions that a user must follow. Finally, as part of a “re-registration process,” the EPA formally reevaluates registered products to determine if it should continue allowing their use. Any requirements established outside of this process would be arbitrary and not based on science.