Pay to Spray

Campaign Contributions and Pesticide Legislation

June 2, 1996

Pay to Spray: Brief Summary

Guess what's coming to dinner? And to breakfast and lunch? More pesticides, that's what!

Over half of the House of Representatives have signed on to the pesticide industry's dream bill H.R. 1627, which will severely weaken America's already weak federal laws to keep high risk pesticides out of our food, air and water. Why are they doing this? One factor may be the $13 million in campaign contributions by the pesticide and food industries.

This coalition of pesticide and food corporations targeted their contributions to Congress in two ways. First they contribute more heavily to members of Congress that signed on to the pro-pesticide bill as cosponsors. In the House, the average contribution from "Pay to Spray" PACs to cosponsors was twice that of non-cosponsors. In the Senate the average cosponsor got one and one half times as much as the non-cosponsors.

Second, campaign contributions flow to industry supporters on powerful committees. Pesticide and food industry campaign cash has been disproportionately given to cosponsors of H.R. 1627 on the House Commerce Committee, which has jurisdiction over pesticide legislation. Sponsors of the industry backed bill on the committee received $11,300 more than the average cosponsor in the house, and two and a one half times more campaign money from "Pay to Spray" PACs than non-supporters on the committee.