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Risch, Grassley, Shaheen Introduce Bill to Crack Down on Illicit Drug Precursors

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Jim Risch (R-Idaho), ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today joined U.S. Senators Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), co-chair of the Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control, and Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) in introducing bipartisan legislation to enhance global precursor chemical destruction efforts. The Destruction Initiative for Stored Precursors Overseas and Safe Enforcement (DISPOSE) Act would facilitate U.S. collaboration with partner countries, including Mexico, Colombia and Peru, to ensure seized precursor chemicals are destroyed.

“Illicit fentanyl and other synthetic opioids pose an unprecedented threat to American families. Far too many people in America know the heartache associated with the loss of life related to these deadly substances,” said Risch. “Addressing this threat requires effective cooperation with international partners. This legislation will deepen cooperation with Mexico and other countries in the Western Hemisphere to verifiably destroy seized precursor chemicals that would have otherwise being used to manufacture illicit drugs claiming so many American lives.”

“Deadly drugs find their way into our country every day, leaving loved ones and entire communities grieving,” said Grassley. “To stop this tragedy, we need to begin at the source. Our bill would target the first link in the illicit drug supply chain in order to cut off this poisonous pipeline. By working with global partners to root out precursor chemicals, we can help stop the flow of drugs and save lives.” 

“I’m proud to join Senator Grassley in introducing this bill that would facilitate United States engagement with our partners abroad to destroy seized drugs and prevent them from making it to our borders,” said Shaheen. “This legislation would work to ensure that these dangerous drugs are not diverted back into the illicit drug supply chain and are destroyed in environmentally responsible ways.”


Precursor chemicals form the basis of illicit drugs like fentanyl, cocaine, and methamphetamine. Currently, the United States has a limited view of how much – or how little – others nations are doing to destroy seized precursor chemicals. For instance, at a Senate Drug Caucus hearing in October, a Homeland Security Investigations witness testified that the Mexican government does not provide proof to the United States that it destroys the precursors they seize. Recent reports also revealed that Mexico altered its data reporting to artificially inflate the number of precursor seizures made by the Mexican government.

The DISPOSE Act would increase cooperation with global partners by directing the State Department, in consultation with the Departments of Justice and Defense, to create the Precursor Chemical Destruction Initiative. The program would establish benchmarks and reporting requirements for partner countries to improve and increase rates of precursor seizure and destruction. To ensure successful implementation and transparency across branches of government, the legislation also requires a report to Congress on the results of the program.

Text of the DISPOSE Act Can be found here.