September 29, 2016

Study Shows Ag Food Safety Regulations Hurt Wildlife

A study by the Nature Conservancy, published in the journal Nature, shows that regulations and farming interventions that were supposed to help stop foodborne illness outbreaks caused by produce have instead caused a loss of ecosystem diversity in Salinas Valley without making produce safer. That California agriculture area called "California's salad bowl" has voluntary standards that were put in place after the spinach E. coli outbreak in 2006. Many produce distributors are refusing to buy products from farmers who do not abide by these guidelines. The guidelines recommend that farmers clear land of native vegetation, put up fences and set poison to keep wildlife away from the fields. Some farmers are clearing swaths of land more than 100 yards long between farm fields and wildlife … [Read more...]

Congressman: No Farm Bill? No Wonder No One Likes Congress

Congress returns from the August recess on Monday and throughout the Midwest the question on a lot of minds is the fate of the farm bill. The $957 billion bill, which would set farm policy for the next five years, expires on September 30. But it can’t seem to get on the House schedule for a vote. If the bill isn’t passed, an extension of the most recent bill, the 2008 bill, must be passed and if that doesn’t happen we revert by default to the provisions laid out in the last farm bill without an expiration date: the 1949 farm bill. Yes, really. How did we get here? Partisan wrangling during an election year. Both the House and the Senate passed versions of the bill. The House Agriculture Committee passed its version with bipartisan support. The Senate Committee on Agriculture … [Read more...]

Time Running Out For 2012 Farm Bill

Partisan issues have kept Congress from taking on the 2012 Farm Bill and now time is running out. GOP leaders decided not to schedule it for floor action next week, which leaves Congress just four legislative days to consider the $957 billion bill before it adjourns for the August recess. The decision drew head scratches from some and anger from others including Collin Peterson (D-Minn.), House Agriculture Committee ranking member. “There is no excuse not to bring the farm bill to the floor. We’ve wasted the last two weeks on political messaging bills that are going nowhere. If the House Republican Leadership were serious about creating jobs and growing our economy they would bring up this bill. There is no good reason to put one of our nation’s economic bright spots, the rural economy, … [Read more...]

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