The American Soybean Association (ASA), as part of an industry coalition consisting of CropLife America, the American Seed Trade Association, the Ag Retailers Association, the National Cotton Council of America, the National Association of Wheat Growers, and the National Corn Growers Association, asked a federal court on Wednesday to allow them to join the lawsuit Anderson v. McCarthy, case no. 4:16-cv-00068 (N.D. Cal. filed Jan. 6, 2016). The suit, brought by a number of plaintiffs including environmental activists, requests a court order requiring the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate seeds treated with neonicotinoids as pesticides under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), which provides authority to EPA to regulate pesticides. The coalition seeks to join the lawsuit to defend EPA’s current regulation of neonicotinoid seed treatments and to ensure that the court and EPA understand the vital importance of treated seeds to American agriculture.
“Treated seed provides ASA’s members with an economical means for managing risk and protecting seeds from early-season insects, pests, and diseases, improving plant vigor, and increasing crop yields,” said ASA President Richard Wilkins in his declaration before the court. “Without the ability to plant treated seed, ASA’s members would suffer reduced farm income from crop loss and incur hundreds of millions of dollars in added costs from larger and more frequent foliar applications of less effective pesticides, requiring extra passes over each field and additional time, energy, and capital. Some ASA members may also be forced to engage in costly higher-density seeding-planting more seeds per acre than they currently are planting- to offset inevitable stand loss caused by increased pest pressures.”