CropLife America (CLA) President and CEO Jay Vroom participated on the keynote panel at the Informa Crops & Chemicals USA Conference The keynote panel aimed to unite the agrochemical, biocontrol, plant health and plant biotechnology industries with the common goal of feeding a growing population. In addition to Vroom, panelists included David Beaudreau (Biostimulant Coalition), Keith Jones (Biopesticide Industry Alliance), Matthew Phillips (Phillips McDougall), and Nandini Mendu (North Carolina Biotechnology Center). Other conference session topics included market development, seed applied technology, biostimulants, and regulation.

Vroom focused his comments on making it easier for farmers to access advanced tools and emphasized that governments must take concrete action to improve access to crop protection tools. “Regulatory harmonization should be more advanced today than it is,” Vroom stated. “Over the past 25 years, public and private organizations have devoted an inordinate amount of both time and financial resources to talking about harmonization of crop protection products. It’s time to make real progress and get necessary tools to farmers, to help them fight crop threats now.”

Vroom continued, “Efforts to harmonize Maximum Residue Levels (MRL) standards to facilitate trade in food and ag products have also fallen short.” He observed, however, that great progress has been made regarding the protection of regulatory data, “mainly through the unfailing efforts of the U.S. government in pushing this as a key component of most trade agreements.”

At an MRL Roundtable hosted by the California Specialty Crops Council in June, Vroom presented on MRL harmonization relates and the reduction of food loss. He stated “The international trade of food and feed products grown and raised by U.S. farmers, who responsibly use crop protection technology, helps make the global food system more efficient. But without the work of many in government, grower organizations, and the crop protection industry to advance the harmonization of crop protection MRLs, we lower the opportunity for trade and, in turn, create artificial contributions to food loss. Progress on pesticide MRLs directly and indirectly contributes solutions to food waste.”

CLA encourages foodies, moms, chefs, growers, workers in the crop protection industry, and anyone interested in food production to get involved in the conversation on reducing food waste and crop loss online and interact with CLA on social media, including FacebookTwitter and Instagram. Use #ScienceOrSwat to engage in conversations about the importance of keeping science at the core of pesticide risk assessment crop protection tools. For more information on the benefits of crop protection products and the science behind the development of pesticide technology, visit www.CropLifeAmerica.org.