September 25, 2016

Politicians May Try to Repeal COOL in Farm Bill

A House-Senate conference committee might try to repeal the country of origin labeling law (COOL), as they are working on a final version of the U.S. farm bill. One of those members, Senator Pat Roberts (R-KS) said he would support a repeal of the law. Consumer advocates support COOL because consumers have the right to know where the food they are buying was grown, harvested, and processed. COOL laws cover beef, veal, lamp, pork, goat, chicken, farm-raised fish and shellfish, wild fish and shellfish, peanuts, ginseng, pecans, macadamia nuts, and perishable commodities. A coalition of consumer and farm groups that support COOL sent a letter in October to Farm Bill conferees, asking them to keep the law in place. COOL was passed into law in 2008. According to a statement on the USDA … [Read more...]

More About the Farm Bill

Now that Congress is back to work (but working only 126 days next year), the Farm Bill is up for negotiations and a vote. That Bill has been stalled for months. The Center for Food Safety details the good and bad provisions in that Bill with the hope that constituents will tell their legislators to keep and reject some portions. You can contact your Senator and Representative about these issues by visiting USA.gov. In the House version, there is a good provision in the Bill to protect honey bees and other pollinators. There has been an alarming decline in honey bee population in the last ten years. Colony Collapse Disorder is linked to pesticides, parasites, pathogens, poor nutrition, and habitat loss. Honey bees fertilize one-third of the crops we eat in the U.S. Unfortunately, … [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...]

Congress Proposes One-Year Extension For Farm Bill

Trouble continues to plague the 2012 Farm Bill. House leaders adjourned for the second straight week without scheduling the bill for floor action which means the House will recess for August without passing the five-year $957 billion bill. Earlier this month, the House Agriculture Committee passed the bill with bipartisan support.  The Senate also passed its version. But partisan bickering in the House at large over where cuts should take place and fear over the repercussions that those decisions may have during an election year have made House leadership leery to take on the bill. In the Midwest, where drought has cut a wide swath, Representatives are annoyed. Last week, all five members of Iowa’s congressional delegation signed a letter asking that the House take up the … [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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