February 01, 2024

Manchin, Budd Introduce Sound Science For Farmers Act

Washington, DC – Today, U.S. Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Ted Budd (R-NC) introduced the Sound Science for Farmers Act. This legislation would improve accountability and scientific quality standards for Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) assessments, risk evaluations, and regulatory actions for chemicals that impact America’s farmers and producers.

“I’m proud to join Senator Budd in introducing the Sound Science for Farmers Act, which would ensure that EPA cannot impose overarching regulations without first going through a thorough and transparent peer review process,” said Senator Manchin. “Our bipartisan bill would mandate that EPA gather sufficient industry feedback and collaborate with other federal agencies and stakeholders to prevent rushed and burdensome rules from taking effect. I encourage my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to support our commonsense legislation that protects our agricultural and manufacturing industries from further EPA overreach.”

“It is always concerning when the EPA makes sweeping determinations that are not based on science. But it’s even worse when these judgements negatively impact thousands of farmers, growers, producers, and manufacturers across North Carolina and the entire country,” said Senator Budd. “Our bill simply requires the EPA to be transparent and fact-based. That’s how we rein in out of control regulators and get the government back on the side of the hardworking men and women who put food on our tables and power our economy.”

“We applaud Senators Budd and Manchin for their bipartisan work to introduce this important legislation to support American farmers and protect our food supply. From materials needed to run family farms to products used to protect against disease and infection, chemistry is essential to our nation’s safe meat and crop production,” said Chris Jahn, President and CEO, American Chemistry Council. “Unfortunately, this Administration is ignoring the science and moving forward with proposals that may restrict access to vital chemistries. The Sound Science for Farmers Act will bring needed accountability and scientific rigor to the evaluation of chemistries used in agriculture. We urge Congress to pass this critical legislation to protect our nation’s farmers.”

“CropLife America appreciates the introduction of the Sound Science for Farmers Act. The health of our country’s food system is imperative and unreasonable standards or bans that are not based on sound science will have far-reaching impacts on the safety and stability of the U.S. agriculture system,” said Susanne Wasson, Interim President and CEO, CropLife America. “This Act proposes key improvements to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) chemical risk evaluation framework that will ensure accountability, boost collaboration and coordination among key stakeholders, and enhance the scientific credibility of EPA assessments.”

“The U.S. aquaculture community is very appreciative of Senators Budd and Manchin for introducing the Sound Science for Farmers Act. This legislation solidifies a common-sense risk assessment process recommended by the National Academy of Sciences in their 2009 publication Science and Decisions: Advancing Risk Assessment advising EPA to adopt a collaborative, transparent framework. It is disappointing these commonsense recommendations require an Act of Congress to force EPA to act responsibly,” said Sebastian Belle, President, National Aquaculture Association.

The Sound Science for Farmers Act would:

  • Require the EPA to provide assessments, evaluations, or regulations to other agencies (including the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food & Drug Administration, and Small Business Administration), for at least 90 days and follow Executive Order and docketing requirements for interagency comments.
  • Ensure a full, open peer review of EPA draft or final assessments, evaluations, or regulations with an impact on agriculture, including for scientific quality, transparency, reproducibility of key results, effects on the agricultural sector, and consideration of real-world exposure.

The full text of the bill is available here.