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Four, promoting and encouraging international trade;
Five, providing the American public with safe and quality agricultural foods and products;
Six, improving our national environment and better managing our soil, water, air and climatic resources; and,
Seven, improving the nutrition and well-being of the American people.
MISSION OF AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH The mission and responsibility of agricultural research is to meet these national and international needs in a dynamic environment and changing world. The role that agricultural research must play in solving these problems is crucial. Our research must continue to seek solutions to past and current agricultural problems; it must seek answers to new and evolving problems and be mindful of arising or potential contingencies that impact on this industry and the Nation.
It must remain flexible enough to meet changing needs and be able to react, redirect and fine tune its expertise and resources. More importantly, this agricultural research mission must be carried out in a manner that provides for the most effective allocation of scarce manpower and funding resources. We must be capable of delivering the best and most efficient research because we will be asked to do so.
Mr. Chairman, the 1982 budget for agricultural research is the blueprint from which we can successfully build to maintain and improve an agricultural system that is second to none.
1982 BUDGET REQUEST The 1982 budget request is $458,781,000 and proposes a number of new and expanded programs. It includes a $5.5 million increase for basic research, $1 million for water use efficiency, $1.5 million for animal reproduction efficiency, $500,000 for integrated pest management, $6.49 million to support action agency requirements, $1.8 million for germplasm resources, $400,000 for pesticide impact assessment; $200,000 for research on minor use pesticides; $1.16 million for tropical and subtropical research, $1.5 million increase for aerospace technology, and $2.6 million for research in support of the Resource Conservation Act.
It also includes $1.25 million for nonpoint source pollution research; $150,000 for research on acid precipitation; $1.15 million for animal protection research; $400,000 for security at the National Arboretum; $1.9 million to construct a biocontrol laboratory in Europe; $1 million to energy retrofit in-house facilities; $300,000 for soil and water research in Alaska; $13.2 million for increased operating costs, and $1.5 million for human nutrition research which will be addressed in more detail by Dr. Mark Hegsted.
TRANSFER OF EPA FUNDS In addition, a transfer of pesticide evaluation studies from EPA in the amount of $279,000 is requested.
In terms of the program reductions, we are proposing reductions that are predicated on the ability of other organizations outside the Federal Government to conduct this research, as well as the need to reduce
Mr. WHITTEN. Do you have a contract to that effect, or are you simply expressing your hope it will take place?
Dr. KINNEY. Mr. Whitten, it is a hope. It is an observation. Mr. WHITTEN. I will interrupt you there. I do not mean to cut you off; I think you should take up where you left off.
Having had experience on this Committee and having listened to budget proposals for years, as we all have on this Committee, do you not think we should defer all of this until you get approval from EPA? What good is it if they are not going to let you use it? Dr. KINNEY. I am sorry, Mr. Chairman?
Mr. WHITTEN. Pesticides and other things you hope to discover answers to-should we get an approval by EPA in advance so you will not have wasted the money?
Dr. KINNEY. I think that would be desirable, Mr. Whitten. I think it is highly unlikely that we would get a commitment from EPA.
Mr. WHITTEN. I asked you if you felt we should defer this until we do get approval.
Dr. KINNEY. No, we cannot. We would be back in the dark ages.
INSECT CONTROL RESEARCH Mr. WHITTEN. I know you did not mean to get into this yet. We interrupted to bring up this point. Are we hunting up new problems to solve? What have you done about the Southern pine beetle, the fireant, the gypsy moth, the Japanese beetle, the Mediterranean fruit fly, and so forth?
What are you doing about those problems where you do not have any answers? Are you going to renew the appeal of the decision on DDT?
The testimony before this and other committees shows that DDT never hurt anybody when properly used. Is it not better to spend some of your time trying to go back to those things that never have proved harmful?
MIREX TO CONTROL THE GYPSY MOTH AND FIREANT Mirex, from my understanding, never was turned down by EPA. They never found any problems with it when used once a year. The Department insisted on twice a year. They started a study but never completed it.
I was told that not long ago by someone who should know. I had assumed that the EPA had prohibited the use of mirex for fireants.
The reason I asked this is that the ants are rapidly moving north. My immediate district is not affected, but the gypsy moth is in New York and in the New England States. Once they kill all the timber you can imagine what is going to happen. What we read about certain parts of California with the mud slides will be typical of New England, as I understand it from witnesses, if we do not do something about the gypsy moth.
So, should we not take some of the money that you have requested for less immediate concerns and put it to work curing present problems? Should you not put it in your legal department and let them appeal certain decisions or intercede in pending ones so you can use what you already have? I am asking you, but the question also is directed at Dr. Bertrand and the rest. Dr. KINNEY. Let me answer first. Not to avoid the issue, but in our research organization, we are guided by several things. Mr. WHITTEN. Have we been stepping between you and your research organization? Dr. KINNEY. No, I am not implying that. As administrator of a research organization, I am guided, first of all, by the policies that are established by the Department or by the Congress. Mr. WHITTEN. But if we on the Committee feel those policies are a deterrent to moving ahead on the things that are dangerous and serious, had we not better let those policies go for a while and look to where the biggest problems are? I was asked the other day about pet projects. I said that “pet project” is a term used by the news media to mean a project in your home area, where you know exactly what the problem is. Of course, the minute you start looking at that which you know most about, then it becomes a pet project. I happen to know about fireants. There are others here that know about the gypsy moth, and others that know about other pests. Had we not better direct you to those things where the problems have been with us and have reached dangerous proportions? Dr. BERTRAND. Mr. Chairman, we would be very happy to respond to needs which are recognized by this Committee, or by any other legitimate source, and certainly the needs you have identified are paramount. We are happy to report that in the fireant area, the experiment we had this past year in cooperation with APHIS did indicate that Amdro was quite effective as a control. It is my understanding that EPA has given conditional clearance. Mr. WHITTEN. Am I correct that EPA never did turn you down and you never did pursue it to a final decision? Dr. BERTRAND. On mirex? I do not know. Perhaps Dr. Ross could answer that for us. Did EPA turn down the use of mirex? Dr. Ross. My understanding was that the uses of mirex were not turned down. I cannot answer specifically because I do not have enough background. Dr. Fertig is one who has more experience. Dr. FERTIG. I do not have the answer, but I would be glad to get it. Mr. WHITTEN. When? Dr. FERTIG. Right now. Dr. BERTRAND. Would you please? Mr. WHITTEN. I understand they filed some objections, but I was told it was not pursued to a final decision. Mr. MYERs. We have not been using that material. Do we know why we could not?
Mr. WHITTEN. I was told by a person who should know, that it never was actually banned. Mr. MYERs. I am shocked. After all the talk we have had through the vears on fireants and mirex. r. WHITTEN. A former Under Secretary of Agriculture told me this last week. Dr. KINNEY. It was my understanding that when it was found that mirex degraded to kepones which were suspect of being carcinogenic, a policy decision was established. I do not know if this was established by EPA or others. The policy decision was established that we should curtail the use of mirex until such time as we were sure it was safe. Mr. WHITTEN. Just to pursue the record further, the testimony before the Committee was that if you used it twice in a year, you would get rid of the fireants, but É. would let you use it only once a year, which would allow the ant colony time to rebuild in strength. Dr. KINNEY. The use of mirex, of course, is under the jurisdiction of APHIS. Again, we take guidance from APHIS in terms of chemicals that are used to control pests.
RESEARCH ON THE SOUTHERN PINE BEETLE
Mr. WHITTEN. What have you done on the Southern pine beetle? We gave you money and told you to get busy on that. Dr. BERTRAND. #. USDA has a $2 million program. Mr. WHITTEN. We would like to judge it by the results. We know it costs money. We would like to know what the projects are and what progress you are making. Dr. BERTRAND. Most of the work on the Southern pine beetle is carried on by the Forest Service, $1.3 million of it. We have a small effort in Cooperative Research. Dr. Thomas, do you know which university is working on that? Dr. THOMAS. I do not know which universities, but there is an active program going on the pine beetle working in conjunction with the Forest Service. Dr. BERTRAND. The Forest Service has leadership for that program. Our participation is minimal. The current allocation to Cooperative Research from the Forest Service that Dr. Thomas was alluding to is $633,000. Mr. WHITTEN. I am sure our staff could find out the dollars and cents, but if you do not tell us, we do not know you have done anything for your money. Dr. BERTRAND. Mr. Chairman, I do not have the details on that in view of the fact that we did not—— Mr. WHITTEN. Do any of your associates know? Dr. BERTRAND.. I do not believe we came prepared for that. Mr. WHITTEN. You must have come prepared for a whole lot of others judging by the number of people here in the room. Dr. BERTRAND. You also asked about the tussock moth and the gypsy moth. We do have programs there also in cooperation—— Mr. WHITTEN. You might give us the details on those. Are you carrying those out? What progress are you making? Mr. BERTRAND. Perhaps Dr. Klassen can answer that. Dr. KLASSEN. I am with Agricultural Research. We do work with the gypsy moth, but not with the tussock moth.
Mr. WHITTEN. If you run into the tussock moth would you send somebody else to deal with that?
Dr. KLASSEN. I really think perhaps that-[Additional information follows:] Research on the tussock moth is conducted by the Forest Service and by several universities.
Mr. MYERS. Does someone have a program so we can keep all these players straight?
Dr. BERTRAND. Mr. Myers, the problem we are facing is that these areas of work are under the leadership of the Forest Service.
Mr. WHITTEN. I understand that. But the question is why you should get in on the money if they are doing the work. That is a serious question.
Can anyone give me any information? Do we have someone on the Committee who can give us some information?
GYPSY MOTH RESEARCH Mr. McHugh. No, but I would like to hear what the gentleman has to say on the gypsy moth.
Dr. KLASSEN. In the case of the gypsy moth, we work cooperatively with the Forest Service and with the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and a number of universities. In my agency we have worked on a number of problems such as finding an attractant and developing a use of that attractant against the gypsy moth. That attractant has been registered by two companies.
In addition, we have developed mass rearing capabilities in order to produce the virus that is needed to control the gypsy moth. We are working with the Forest Service to further develop effective formulations of that virus. In addition, we have developed a mass rearing capability to facilitate the sterile male release research and development program that is being conducted by FS and APHIS.
We have introduced and established 12 different parasites for the gypsy moth and we are now shifting our work so we can make better use of those parasites.
Basically that has been our research program. I think we have been rather successful in it.
Mr. WHITTEN. As you can see, I am asking things which deserve an answer so our record will be complete. I hope you will put in the record some information on the progress you are making. I realize I sound like an adversary though I really am an advocate, but we cannot judge your accomplishments by how much money you get.
[The information follows:]
PROGRESS IN GYPSY MOTH RESEARCH
1. The prototype technology for mass rearing in excess of 50,000 gypsy moths per day was essentially completed and was employed for mass production of the virus and of moths for sexual sterilization and release by APHIS and FS.
2. Optimal procedures and conditions for producing maximum yield of high quality virus were defined and implemented.
3. The cost of mass rearing gypsy moths was further reduced by 25-35 percent by using soybean protein to replace casein and by replacing agar with low cost gelling agents.