Wagner, Missouri colleagues request Biden upholds EPA pesticides labeling

The Solicitor General’s May 10 amicus brief filed in Hardeman v. Monsanto advises the U.S. Supreme Court against hearing a case regarding a state’s ability to label pesticides — a recommendation that U.S. Rep. Ann Wagner (R-MO) and six of her Republican colleagues say is contradictory to findings by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

In a June 8 letter sent to President Joe Biden, the Missouri lawmakers requested that his administration rescind the brief, which they claim could lead to a patchwork of statewide regulations and limit farmers’ access to necessary pesticides as they grow food and address inflation and the ongoing supply chain crisis. 

“The Biden administration’s actions in this case could increase food costs at a time when Missouri families are hurting from rampant inflation,” Rep. Wagner said in a separate June 8 statement. “I will always fight to keep food costs and other necessities low, and I am proud to support a local business and protect Missouri farmers from a radical administration that continues to take reckless actions and make your life more difficult.”

According to the representatives’ letter, the Solicitor General’s brief undermines consumer confidence in the EPA’s scientific evaluations, and could limit farmers’ access to Roundup, an herbicide that allows them to implement no-till practices to control runoff and soil erosion and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

“This would also destabilize the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act, which clearly states that ‘a pesticide is misbranded if its labeling bears any statement… which is false or misleading in any particular,’” wrote Rep. Wagner and her colleagues.

The lawmakers requested that the U.S. Department of Justice provide them with a full review and accounting of the Solicitor General’s consultations with both the EPA and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in analyzing and developing the brief, according to their letter.

“We hope your administration will uphold EPA’s science-based regulation of these critical tools and allow America’s farmers access to the necessary materials for combating the impending global hunger crisis,” they wrote. 

Among the GOP members who joined Rep. Wagner in signing the letter were U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) and U.S. Reps. Billy Long (R-MO) and Sam Graves (R-MO).