WWF and Public Voice Call for National Plan to Reduce
June 4, 1993
On May 20, World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and Public Voice
for Food and Health Policy called on the U.S. government to
adopt an ambitious national strategy to reduce dependence on
pesticides and other agrichemicals. The groups released
reports indicating that U.S. agrichemical use is rising,
while European countries are achieving significant reductions
in pesticide use.
Polly Hoppin, director of WWF-US's agricultural
pollution prevention project, called on the Clinton
Administration "to promote bold policies and programs that
give farmers the tools they need to minimize their use of
Public Voice's report, Agrichemicals in America,
examines use of pesticides and other agrichemicals in the
U.S. from 1966 and 1991. The report demonstrates that
overall U.S. agrichemical use has increased 125% in the past
25 years, despite growing public concern over the health and
environmental risks posed by agrichemicals. A national
opinion poll conducted by Public Voice in March showed that
60% of the public believe it is very important that farmers
switch to farming techniques that rely primarily on natural
methods and use chemicals only as a last resort.
WWF's report, Pesticide Reduction Programmes in Denmark,
the Netherlands, and Sweden, analyzes these countries'
ambitious national plans to reduce pesticide use by targeted
amounts over specific timelines (see PAN's Global Pesticide
Campaigner, November 1992). The WWF report finds that
providing farmers with incentives to rely on alternative pest
management leads to substantial reductions in pesticide use
and the associated risks. Polly Hoppin stated, "We believe
the United States can find ways to learn from the European
example; by making reduced agrichemical use a top priority,
integrating the efforts of USDA and EPA, and encouraging
farmers to reduce use by regenerating biodiversity on their
WWF and Public Voice urged the Clinton Administration to
develop a national strategy for reducing dependence on
agrichemicals that commits the U.S. to:
--Establish a commission to set goals for profitable
reductions in pesticide and fertilizer use and to propose
policies and programs to achieve them.
--Redirect federal programs to reduce reliance on chemicals.
--Develop a national pesticide use reporting program.
--Fully fund programs in the 1990 Farm Bill that promote
environmentally beneficial agriculture.
Sources/contacts: Tricia Obester, Public Voice for Food and
Health Policy, 1001 Connecticut Ave. NW, Suite 522,
Washington, D.C. 20036; phone (202) 659-5930; fax (202) 659-
3683; Abby Spring, World Wildlife Fund, 1250 24th St. NW,
Washington, D.C. 20037; phone (202) 778-9510; fax (202) 861-
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