U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue issued the following statement in response to the joint statement on pesticide maximum residue levels (MRLs) signed at the 11th World Trade Organization (WTO) Ministerial Conference in Buenos Aires:
“The U.S. Department of Agriculture applauds the joint statement on pesticide MRLs issued this week at the WTO ministerial in Buenos Aires. The 17 signatory countries have come together to recognize that farmers worldwide must be able to access the full range of available tools and technologies in order to remain productive and competitive. But too often, that access is hampered by non-scientific regulatory barriers.
“The development of sanitary and phytosanitary measures (SPS) that are grounded in science is critical to protecting human and environmental health, facilitating trade and enabling agricultural producers to meet the challenge of feeding a growing global population. With this statement, we take a step further in that direction.
“We look forward to continued collaboration with the WTO SPS Committee, the Codex Alimentarius Commission and other partners to establish international residue standards that enable the safe use of pesticides and, at the same time, facilitate trade in food and agricultural products.”