Ag Chemicals Stuck at Ports Due to EPA Furloughs

Environmental Protection Agency personnel haven't been available to approve imported agricultural chemicals for entry as a result of the government shutdown - meaning millions of dollars worth of the chemicals are stuck at U.S. ports. An agriculture and trade attorney in Washington, D.C. says this issue could have a bigger impact on the food supply than furloughs at the Food and Drug Administration if the shutdown persists for weeks or months. CropLife America Senior Director of Regulatory Policy Dr. Ray McAllister says the longer the supplies - including pesticides and active ingredients intended to be formulated into products sold to farmers - remain stuck in port warehouses or held on shipping freighters - the lower the supplies run for use in the U.S. He says manufacturers face difficult decisions regarding shipments about to be sent or already en route - which could also be held up at ports of entry. McAllister says it may not take long for the bottlenecks to have an effect on supplies of crop protection products for agriculture now and in the coming growing season.

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