From the ANLA, written by Marc Teffeau
The IR-4 Project was established by Congress in 1963 to assist domestic growers of fruits, vegetables, herbs, ornamentals and other specialty crops by facilitating through US EPA the registration of safe and effective technology to protect these high value crops from insects, plant diseases, weeds and other pests. In FY 2012, IR-4 was funded by Congress under USDA-NIFA Research and Extension Activities at $11.913 million. Additionally, USDA-ARS was provided with slightly less than $4.0 million for a companion research effort.
President Obama, in his FY2013 budget plan, eliminated funding for Minor Crop Pest Management (IR-4) and proposed to consolidate IR-4 Project funds with funds from various IPM programs into a new project call Crop Protection. Specialty crop producers are very concerned as to how this budget consolidation will eliminate the activities of the IR-4 Project to support research for pesticide labeling for specialty crops. Specialty crops growers believe that now, more than ever, adequate funding for the IR-4 Project is absolutely necessary to assist them to provide the public with safe fruits, vegetables and ornamental plants at a reasonable price.
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