1979 Scorecard Vote
H.R. 3546 Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide amendments. The vote is on the Committee amendment to relax for one year the ban on aerial spraying of the pesticide mirex, to control fire ants in nine southern states. Studies by the National Cancer Institute show that mirex may cause cancer and that it breaks down into an even more toxic chemical, kepone, which causes both cancer and birth defects. Therefore the EPA and the state of Mississippi had already agreed to cancel all uses of mirex as of June 1978, when other substitutes were available. Mirex has not been effective in controlling the fire ant, which spread from 30 million to 230 million acres while mirex was in use, because the pesticide hurt the fire ant's natural competitors more than the fire ant itself. Thus Rep. Harkin suggested that the Committee amendment should be called the "Fire Ant Protection and Development Act." The Carter amendment lobbied against the amendment. Rejected 167-224 November 28, 1979. No is the correct vote.