A senior U.S. Senator is blasting the Environmental Protection Agency for not consulting with USDA on a key issue affecting farmers.
Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley asked Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack at a recent Ag Committee hearing if EPA consulted Vilsack before urging the Supreme Court not to hear a challenge to California restrictions on the widely-used herbicide glyphosate.
Grassley; “And the solicitor general argued even against the EPA authority that the law requires. Were you consulted on that in any way?” Vilsack; “Senator, we weren’t.”
Grassley says he should have gone further. Grassley; “I made a mistake by not saying to Vilsack, but it wouldn’t have been finding fault with Vilsack because he wasn’t consulted, but I should have said it’s a sad commentary that with the impact that this is having on American agriculture, that he wasn’t, that Vilsack and the USDA weren’t consulted.”
Vilsack added that he has stressed to EPA in a general sense that its crop protection decisions be science-based, and that EPA listens to producers, which he claims it has. But Grassley suggests otherwise.
Grassley; “Sometimes, I sense that he’s caught between what he knows is best for Iowa agriculture and what this administration might be pushing. I felt that particularly when you talk about the 30 percent by 2030 of land that will be taken out of production and put into conservation projects.”
Grassley says Vilsack felt that goal doesn’t fit in well with agriculture’s production needs.