House Farm Bill Includes Dangerous Attacks on Health and Environment

WASHINGTON – The deeply flawed farm bill that squeaked through the House of Representatives today contains extraneous provisions that would threaten public health, harm bees and endangered species, and pollute our environment.

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

“House Republican leaders have decided to gamble with farmers’ crucial government support by attaching dangerous policy riders to the farm bill. These would put Americans’ health at risk, pollute our waters, and imperil bees, monarch butterflies, and other bedrock species.

“For the most part, the Senate is pursuing a serious, bipartisan measure that would support farmers and those needing help buying food. We look forward to working with lawmakers to help pursue that approach.’’

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, including some species of bees.
  • 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 and gives state pesticide agencies a secret chance to block EPA protections. 
  • Exempts public lands from important land, wildlife, and water conservation safeguards.
  • Disallows states from enforcing their own laws against out of state products that are dangerous or unsanitary.

Read more about these dangerous riders here.

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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.​


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