N.D. Ag official vows "when not if" for chemical harmonization.
January 11, 2005
Q. Is the price gap narrowing (between pesticides labeled in the U.S. and Canada)?
A. The short answer is yes. However, it is not due to significant changes in the retail prices. It is primarily due to the weaker U.S. dollar. If the dollar got stronger again, the price disparity is going to creep up again, even more.
Q. What is the status of the chemical harmonization bill Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-N.D) introduced?
A. Last summer there was another hearing on Sen. Dorgans bill to create a system that would allow EPA to issue registrations for certain Canadian pesticides. It did not pass.
Q: Is Senator Byron Dorgan going to reintroduce the bill to the Senate?
A. I dont know. At this point, I would say that the Senator is re-evaluating strategies to de-segment pesticide markets.
Q: What do you think the solution is?
A: It is my view that the long-term solution to these price disparities is to de-segment the markets through mandatory use of joint or NAFTA pesticide labeling. If the same formulations are registered in U.S. and Canada, for example, and they are registered for similar uses, joint labeling should be mandatory. To do that, we most likely need a change in federal law, and ... we would make that mandate contingent on a similar mandate existing in Canada.
Q. What happens next?
A. The North Dakota Department of Agriculture has been working a long time on this issue and they have no intent to stop now. We are going to keep pushing this to put our growers on a level playing field with their neighbors north of the border.