RS20401 - Agricultural Quarantine: Congress Debates Reform of Plant Protection AuthoritiesAgricultural Quarantine: Congress Debates Reform of Plant Protection Authorities
16-Nov-1999; Alejandro E. Segarra, Jean M. Rawson; 3 p.
Abstract: The Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is the agency of the U.S> Department of Agriculture (USDA) responsible for protecting the domestic food and fiber industry from foreign pests and diseases. In the area of crop protection, APHIS carries out its inspection and quarantine activities under the authority of several statutes, beginning with the Plant Protection Act of 1912. APHIS policymakers, some Members of Congress, and other observers, have argued for several years that these statutes are outmoded and conflicting and that they complicate APHIS' ability to safeguard agriculture in the context of new international trade obligations and rapidly commercializing technologies, such as biocontrol. Four bills to modernize APHIS statutes are being considered in the 106th Congress (H.R. 1504, S. 321, S. 910 and S. 83). The principal differences among these bills concern the issue of federal versus state preemption, and the degree to which APHIS should expand its plant protection authority, currently focused on agriculture, to include the protection of natural ecosystems. This report will be updated as events warrant. [read report]
Topics: Agriculture, International