U.S. Exports of Banned and Unregistered Pesticides: How Commercial and Private Interests Have Shaped U.S. Environmental Law

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John Wargo
Essay Abstract: 
U.S. exports of banned and unregistered pesticides have resulted in severe environmental and human health degradation in the developing world. The 1978 amendment to the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) permits U.S. chemical manufacturers to produce hazardous substances and profit from their export to countries with weaker environmental regulations. The laws and policies governing unregistered pesticide exports have evolved to afford greater protections to industry at the expense of global environmental health. These regulatory benefits have been won by virtue of the unique influence possessed by industry lobbyists over the legislative and policy-making processes. This analysis will demonstrate the unique institutional leverage that private interests exert to deter regulatory threats to their profits.