Iowa Public Television


Only Four Farm Herbicides & Pesticides Have NAFTA Label

posted on March 28, 2008

In announcing, a joint label for farm pesticides and herbicides last year, regulators in the United States and Canada called it a milestone in the reduction of trade barriers. A year later, only four chemicals have a NAFTA label.

Only one of those chemicals is expected to be widely used in the field, and only one is on a list of 33 "priority" products compiled by 18 farm groups in the two countries. It remains to be seen whether the new labels will save farmers money.

Farmers have long pushed for chemical "harmonization," saying prices for the same product often differ in Canada and the United States. A 2005 North Dakota State University study determined that American farmers could save $178 million each year through access to pesticides north of the border that are similar in composition to those on the U.S. side.

So-called harmonization bills failed in Congress, but last March, state and federal officials announced that farm chemical manufacturers could jointly label their products in the United States and Canada rather than acquire separate registrations in the two countries.

Tags: agriculture insects news pesticides plants