Obama's proposed budget threatens IR-4 program

04/13/2012 12:14:00 PM
Vicky Boyd

The IR-4 Project, which helps register crop protection materials for specialty crops, is an endangered species.

President Obama's 2013 budget proposes to eliminate funding for Minor Crop Pest Management—IR-4—and consolidate it with funds for other pest management programs under a single program titled Crop Protection, according to a news release.

Already the proposal has drawn criticism from dozens of groups that represent everything from apples to greenhouse products to watermelons.

On their website, Save the IR-4 Project, the groups say they want the IR-4 project kept as a separate line item with the current funding of about $15 million maintained.

Congress established IR-4 in 1963 to help domestic growers of specialty crops gain so-called minor-use registrations for crop protection materials.

Currently, more than half of the products labeled for specialty crops were registered through the IR-4 process.

IR-4 also has helped register products to manage pests that transmit diseases, such as West Nile virus, dengue fever, Lyme disease and malaria.



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