Failed House Farm Bill Included Dangerous Attacks on Health and Environment

WASHINGTON – The deeply flawed farm bill that failed in the House of Representatives today contained extraneous provisions that would have threatened public health, harmed bees and endangered species, and polluted our environment.

The following is a statement by Brian Siu, director of federal affairs at the Natural Resources Defense Council:

“House Republican leaders wasted months on a 600-page bill that had no hope of becoming law.  Anti-environmental interests like the pesticide industry assisted its collapse by insisting on dangerous provisions that would have endangered public health, harmed endangered species and polluted our environment. American farmers deserve better.

“The Senate should reject these needlessly controversial provisions and get the job done with a reasonable, bipartisan bill.”

Examples of harmful provisions in H.R. 2:

  • Repeals the Clean Water Rule’s safeguards for critical water bodies, including streams that help supply one-third of Americans with drinking water.
  • Exempts companies that spray dangerous pesticides into waterways from Clean Water Act permitting requirements.
  • “Poisoned Pollinators Provision” exempts dangerous pesticides from protections to safeguard endangered or threatened species.
  • Exempts chemical makers from enforcement when pesticides harm or kill endangered species. (Read more here.)
  • Prohibits local governments from adopting pesticide laws that are more protective than federal rules. Provides state pesticide agencies a secret chance to block EPA protections. 
  • Exempts public lands from important land, wildlife, and water conservation safeguards. 

Read more about these dangerous riders here.

# # #

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 3 million members and online activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists, and other environmental specialists have worked to protect the world's natural resources, public health, and the environment. NRDC has offices in New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Bozeman, MT, and Beijing. Visit us at and follow us on Twitter @NRDC.​


Related Press Releases