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Despite Ruling, Midwest Egg Producers Unlikely to Give Up California Market Without a Fight

Even after being told last week that they don’t have standing to sue in federal court, six Midwest egg-producing states aren’t likely to give up either battery cages for their laying hens nor the big California market.

Battery cages are housing systems for chickens, laying hens, and various other types of poultry production systems which are used by most egg producers in the U.S. Originally designed for disease control with mechanisms to remove eggs, deliver feed and dispose of manure, they’ve drawn criticism for cramping the birds.

In November 2008, California voters approved Proposition 2, which, effective Jan. 1, 2015, set standards for confining farm animals. The state assembly amended Prop. 2 in 2010. In 2012, the University of California – Davis estimated that changing the hen housing infrastructure to comply with Prop. 2 was going to cost egg producers $ 385 million.

Attorneys general for the six egg-producing states that joined in the tossed lawsuit — Alabama, Iowa, Kentucky Missouri, Nebraska, and Oklahoma — say they’re reviewing their legal options.

Meanwhile, Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, favored to win easy re-election for his sixth term, promises to keep “fighting for the state’s agricultural industry.” Iowa is the nation’s largest egg producer.

An Oct. 3 Des Moines Register story carried the headline: “California egg law may lead to ag war between the states.” It noted that the new California law will require at least 116 square inches of space per hen, which is slightly smaller than a sheet of legal paper (8.5 by 14 inches). The current industry standard is 67 square inches, or a little smaller than a 10-by-7-inch rectangle.

For a while, it appeared that the chicken cage issue was going to go away in a big national compromise. That was in July 2011, when the United Egg Producers (UEP) and the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) entered into a deal to work together on a national cage standard.

It was thought at the time that the industry group and the group usually at the forefront of opposition to large-scale animal production would bring a dramatic end to this lengthy dispute. The much-delayed Farm Bill was to be the vehicle for the UEP-HSUS deal.

But it didn’t happen, and California’s Prop. 2 was later amended to protect that state’s own egg producers by mandating the larger cages for any eggs sold in the state, even if they were produced elsewhere. That’s why the six Midwest states, led by Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster, went to federal court in early 2014.

However, Judge Kimberly Mueller of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California ruled Oct. 2 that they had failed to show that Prop. 2 as amended harmed the general public in their states rather than simply posed potential harm to some egg producers.

“It is patently clear plaintiffs are bringing this action on behalf of a subset of each state’s egg farmers, not on behalf of each state’s population generally,” she wrote in her decision.

“We disagree with the federal court’s opinion that Missouri lacks standing to defend its businesses and consumers against burdensome economic regulation imposed by out-of-state legislatures,” Koster spokesman Eric Slusher said.

While the six states did not gain traction in the courts this time due to the judge’s call on standing, they are unlikely to go away. And their main concerns have little to do with Prop. 2′s promise “to prohibit the cruel confinement of farm animals” in California.

The Midwestern egg-producing states are really challenging — much like a foreign trade barrier — Assembly Bill 1437 passed by the California Legislature and signed into law by Gov. Schwarzenegger in 2010. It added three additional sections to the 2008 law.

Under AB 1437, as of Jan. 1, shell eggs for human consumption cannot be legally sold in California unless the involved laying hen was kept in facilities that meet California’s animal care standards.

It’s a requirement that has raised numerous questions, but among the most important is whether California can impose its animal care standards on other states as the price of entry to its market. Also, in the recently dismissed lawsuit, the six states argued that the evidence shows that the real purpose of the 2010 amendments was merely to “level the playing field so that in-state producers are not disadvantaged.”

That quote was from a California Assembly committee report for AB 1437. In other words, the states argued that California was not acting to make food safer nor animals healthier, but to advance its own purely commercial interests.

As to whether cage size does involve food safety, there is also dispute. The six states argued that there is no scientific evidence of a correlation between cage size or stocking density and the incidence of Salmonella in egg-laying hens. AB 1437 advocates, however, claimed that battery-cage eggs are 25 times more likely to harbor Salmonella than eggs from cage-free hens.

Food Safety News

Despite Ruling, Midwest Egg Producers Unlikely to Give Up California Market Without a Fight

Even after being told last week that they don’t have standing to sue in federal court, six Midwest egg-producing states aren’t likely to give up either battery cages for their laying hens nor the big California market.

Battery cages are housing systems for chickens, laying hens, and various other types of poultry production systems which are used by most egg producers in the U.S. Originally designed for disease control with mechanisms to remove eggs, deliver feed and dispose of manure, they’ve drawn criticism for cramping the birds.

In November 2008, California voters approved Proposition 2, which, effective Jan. 1, 2015, set standards for confining farm animals. The state assembly amended Prop. 2 in 2010. In 2012, the University of California – Davis estimated that changing the hen housing infrastructure to comply with Prop. 2 was going to cost egg producers $ 385 million.

Attorneys general for the six egg-producing states that joined in the tossed lawsuit — Alabama, Iowa, Kentucky Missouri, Nebraska, and Oklahoma — say they’re reviewing their legal options.

Meanwhile, Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, favored to win easy re-election for his sixth term, promises to keep “fighting for the state’s agricultural industry.” Iowa is the nation’s largest egg producer.

An Oct. 3 Des Moines Register story carried the headline: “California egg law may lead to ag war between the states.” It noted that the new California law will require at least 116 square inches of space per hen, which is slightly smaller than a sheet of legal paper (8.5 by 14 inches). The current industry standard is 67 square inches, or a little smaller than a 10-by-7-inch rectangle.

For a while, it appeared that the chicken cage issue was going to go away in a big national compromise. That was in July 2011, when the United Egg Producers (UEP) and the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) entered into a deal to work together on a national cage standard.

It was thought at the time that the industry group and the group usually at the forefront of opposition to large-scale animal production would bring a dramatic end to this lengthy dispute. The much-delayed Farm Bill was to be the vehicle for the UEP-HSUS deal.

But it didn’t happen, and California’s Prop. 2 was later amended to protect that state’s own egg producers by mandating the larger cages for any eggs sold in the state, even if they were produced elsewhere. That’s why the six Midwest states, led by Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster, went to federal court in early 2014.

However, Judge Kimberly Mueller of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California ruled Oct. 2 that they had failed to show that Prop. 2 as amended harmed the general public in their states rather than simply posed potential harm to some egg producers.

“It is patently clear plaintiffs are bringing this action on behalf of a subset of each state’s egg farmers, not on behalf of each state’s population generally,” she wrote in her decision.

“We disagree with the federal court’s opinion that Missouri lacks standing to defend its businesses and consumers against burdensome economic regulation imposed by out-of-state legislatures,” Koster spokesman Eric Slusher said.

While the six states did not gain traction in the courts this time due to the judge’s call on standing, they are unlikely to go away. And their main concerns have little to do with Prop. 2′s promise “to prohibit the cruel confinement of farm animals” in California.

The Midwestern egg-producing states are really challenging — much like a foreign trade barrier — Assembly Bill 1437 passed by the California Legislature and signed into law by Gov. Schwarzenegger in 2010. It added three additional sections to the 2008 law.

Under AB 1437, as of Jan. 1, shell eggs for human consumption cannot be legally sold in California unless the involved laying hen was kept in facilities that meet California’s animal care standards.

It’s a requirement that has raised numerous questions, but among the most important is whether California can impose its animal care standards on other states as the price of entry to its market. Also, in the recently dismissed lawsuit, the six states argued that the evidence shows that the real purpose of the 2010 amendments was merely to “level the playing field so that in-state producers are not disadvantaged.”

That quote was from a California Assembly committee report for AB 1437. In other words, the states argued that California was not acting to make food safer nor animals healthier, but to advance its own purely commercial interests.

As to whether cage size does involve food safety, there is also dispute. The six states argued that there is no scientific evidence of a correlation between cage size or stocking density and the incidence of Salmonella in egg-laying hens. AB 1437 advocates, however, claimed that battery-cage eggs are 25 times more likely to harbor Salmonella than eggs from cage-free hens.

Food Safety News

Despite Ruling, Midwest Egg Producers Unlikely to Give Up California Market Without a Fight

Even after being told last week that they don’t have standing to sue in federal court, six Midwest egg-producing states aren’t likely to give up either battery cages for their laying hens nor the big California market.

Battery cages are housing systems for chickens, laying hens, and various other types of poultry production systems which are used by most egg producers in the U.S. Originally designed for disease control with mechanisms to remove eggs, deliver feed and dispose of manure, they’ve drawn criticism for cramping the birds.

In November 2008, California voters approved Proposition 2, which, effective Jan. 1, 2015, set standards for confining farm animals. The state assembly amended Prop. 2 in 2010. In 2012, the University of California – Davis estimated that changing the hen housing infrastructure to comply with Prop. 2 was going to cost egg producers $ 385 million.

Attorneys general for the six egg-producing states that joined in the tossed lawsuit — Alabama, Iowa, Kentucky Missouri, Nebraska, and Oklahoma — say they’re reviewing their legal options.

Meanwhile, Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, favored to win easy re-election for his sixth term, promises to keep “fighting for the state’s agricultural industry.” Iowa is the nation’s largest egg producer.

An Oct. 3 Des Moines Register story carried the headline: “California egg law may lead to ag war between the states.” It noted that the new California law will require at least 116 square inches of space per hen, which is slightly smaller than a sheet of legal paper (8.5 by 14 inches). The current industry standard is 67 square inches, or a little smaller than a 10-by-7-inch rectangle.

For a while, it appeared that the chicken cage issue was going to go away in a big national compromise. That was in July 2011, when the United Egg Producers (UEP) and the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) entered into a deal to work together on a national cage standard.

It was thought at the time that the industry group and the group usually at the forefront of opposition to large-scale animal production would bring a dramatic end to this lengthy dispute. The much-delayed Farm Bill was to be the vehicle for the UEP-HSUS deal.

But it didn’t happen, and California’s Prop. 2 was later amended to protect that state’s own egg producers by mandating the larger cages for any eggs sold in the state, even if they were produced elsewhere. That’s why the six Midwest states, led by Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster, went to federal court in early 2014.

However, Judge Kimberly Mueller of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California ruled Oct. 2 that they had failed to show that Prop. 2 as amended harmed the general public in their states rather than simply posed potential harm to some egg producers.

“It is patently clear plaintiffs are bringing this action on behalf of a subset of each state’s egg farmers, not on behalf of each state’s population generally,” she wrote in her decision.

“We disagree with the federal court’s opinion that Missouri lacks standing to defend its businesses and consumers against burdensome economic regulation imposed by out-of-state legislatures,” Koster spokesman Eric Slusher said.

While the six states did not gain traction in the courts this time due to the judge’s call on standing, they are unlikely to go away. And their main concerns have little to do with Prop. 2′s promise “to prohibit the cruel confinement of farm animals” in California.

The Midwestern egg-producing states are really challenging — much like a foreign trade barrier — Assembly Bill 1437 passed by the California Legislature and signed into law by Gov. Schwarzenegger in 2010. It added three additional sections to the 2008 law.

Under AB 1437, as of Jan. 1, shell eggs for human consumption cannot be legally sold in California unless the involved laying hen was kept in facilities that meet California’s animal care standards.

It’s a requirement that has raised numerous questions, but among the most important is whether California can impose its animal care standards on other states as the price of entry to its market. Also, in the recently dismissed lawsuit, the six states argued that the evidence shows that the real purpose of the 2010 amendments was merely to “level the playing field so that in-state producers are not disadvantaged.”

That quote was from a California Assembly committee report for AB 1437. In other words, the states argued that California was not acting to make food safer nor animals healthier, but to advance its own purely commercial interests.

As to whether cage size does involve food safety, there is also dispute. The six states argued that there is no scientific evidence of a correlation between cage size or stocking density and the incidence of Salmonella in egg-laying hens. AB 1437 advocates, however, claimed that battery-cage eggs are 25 times more likely to harbor Salmonella than eggs from cage-free hens.

Food Safety News

FSIS Warns About Breaded Chicken Products Produced Without Inspection

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is issuing a public health alert because VU Foods, LLC, a Kansas City, Mo., establishment, refused to issue a recall of breaded chicken products for which there is reason to conclude that they are unfit for human consumption.

The products were considered for recall because they were produced without inspection.

The products bear the establishment number “P-45038” inside the USDA mark of inspection or on the label. Some labels state that the products were distributed by Tact Foodservice or US Foods. These products will not be identifiable to consumers because they were sent to distributors and labeled for “Use in Restaurant Only.”

The following products were shipped to distribution centers:

  • Select Cut – Cubed Chicken Breast Meat (product code: 10800)
  • Select Cut – Cubed Chicken Breast Meat (product code: 10810)
  • Cubed Chicken Breast Meat (product code: 10500)
  • Pre-Battered Chicken Tender (product code: 80022)
  • Boneless All Natural Chicken Breast Nuggets (product code: 8550)
  • Chicken Dark Meat Nuggets (product code: 20505)
  • KIKKA Boneless All Natural Chicken Breast Nuggets, packed exclusively for KIKKA RESTAURANTS

The problem was discovered by the state of Missouri, which was assisted by law enforcement to enter a warehouse location and observed products that were produced without the benefit of inspection. The state of Missouri notified FSIS of the facility operating without the benefit of inspection on July 15, 2014. On that same day, the state of Missouri began detaining the breaded chicken products produced at the facility and FSIS began detaining additional products on July 17, 2014. FSIS served a Notice of Suspension to VU Foods, LLC, on July 24, 2014. FSIS is continuing to detain the product in question and is conducting trace forward operations with distribution centers to request the product back from their restaurant customers.

The investigation enforcement actions are ongoing and FSIS is prepared to take additional actions or expand the investigation based on new evidence.

FSIS has received no reports of illness due to consumption of these products. Anyone concerned about an illness should contact a health care provider.

Consumers with food safety questions can “Ask Karen,” the FSIS virtual representative available 24 hours a day at AskKaren.gov. The toll-free USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854) is available in English and Spanish and can be reached from l0 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Eastern Time) Monday through Friday. Recorded food safety messages are available 24 hours a day. The online Electronic Consumer Complaint Monitoring System can be accessed 24 hours a day at: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/reportproblem.

Food Safety News

Recall: \Pork and Poultry Being Sold Without USDA Inspection

New York-based Transatlantic Foods Inc. late Friday recalled approximately 222,000 pounds of pork and poultry products that was not inspected by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The recall stems from an anonymous tip about the company’s practices that was investigated by USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS).

FSIS announced the recall action. It’s too early to know if there will be any illnesses from the recalled meat products.

Transatlantic operates two establishments — one in Scranton, PA, and one in Andover, NJ. FSIS said the recall is underway because the Andover establishment had not been issued a “Grant of Inspection” by the agency.

Without the Grant of Inspection, FSIS inspection program personnel were not assigned to the establishment. However, the investigation found the Andover establishment was producing product and using labels approved for use by, and bearing the establishment number of, the Scranton facility.

Products produced without inspection are considered unfit for human consumption and must be recalled. In addition, products were produced in undisclosed locations without the benefit of inspection. The products subject to recall include:

Duck fat

  • 7-oz. tubs of “Aux Delices des Bois Natural Duck Fat” with package code (T-001 through 365; H-001 through 365; or F-001 through 136)

Bacon

  • 10-oz. packages of “Aux Delices des Bois Artisanal Uncured Bacon Herbes de Provence Uncured Bacon” with package code (T-001 through 365 or H-001 through 290)
  • 10-oz. packages of “Aux Delices des Bois Artisanal Uncured Bacon Farmhouse Country Uncured Bacon” with package code (T-001 through 365 or H-001 through 290)
  • 10-oz. packages of “Aux Delices des Bois Artisanal Uncured Bacon Southwestern Style Uncured Bacon” with package code (T-001 through 365 or H-001 through 290)
  • 10-oz. packages of “Aux Delices des Bois Artisanal Uncured Bacon Pepper & Garlic Uncured Bacon” with package code (T-001 through 365 or H-001 through 290)

Fresh Sausage

  • various weight packages of “Aux Delices des Bois Breakfast Sage Sausage” with package code (T-001 through 365 or H-001 through 290)
  • various weight packages of “Chestnut Valley Breakfast Sage Sausage” with package code (T-001 through 365 or H-001 through 290)
  • various weight packages of “Aux Delices des Bois Brooklyn Lager Cheddar Bratwurst” with package code (T-001 through 365 or H-001 through 290)
  • various weight packages of “Chestnut Valley Brooklyn Lager Cheddar Bratwurst” with package code (T-001 through 365 or H-001 through 290)
  • various weight packages of “Aux Delices des Bois Pork Brooklyn Bratwurst” with package code (T-001 through 365 or H-001 through 290)
  • various weight packages of “Chestnut Valley Pork Brooklyn Bratwurst” with package code (T-001 through 365 or H-001 through 290)
  • various weight packages of “Aux Delices des Bois Chorizo Sausage” with package code (T-001 through 365 or H-001 through 290)
  • various weight packages of “Chestnut Valley Chorizo Sausage” with package code (T-001 through 365 or H-001 through 290)
  • various weight packages of “Chestnut Valley Irish Banger Sausage” with package code (T-001 through 365 or H-001 through 290)
  • various weight packages of “Aux Delices des Bois Pork & Broccoli Rabe Sausage” with package code (T-001 through 365 or H-001 through 290)
  • various weight packages of “Chestnut Valley Pork & Broccoli Rabe Sausage” with package code (T-001 through 365 or H-001 through 290)
  • various weight packages of “Aux Delices des Bois Cheese & Parsley Sausage” with package code (T-001 through 365 or H-001 through 290)
  • various weight packages of “Chestnut Valley Cheese & Parsley Sausage” with package code (T-001 through 365 or H-001 through 290)
  • various weight packages of “Aux Delices des Bois Pork & Smokey Bacon Sausage” with package code (T-001 through 365 or H-001 through 290)
  • various weight packages of “Chestnut Valley Pork & Smokey Uncured Bacon Sausage” with package code (T-001 through 365 or H-001 through 290)
  • various weight packages of “Aux Delices des Bois Hot Italian Sausage” with package code (T-001 through 365 or H-001 through 290)
  • various weight packages of “Chestnut Valley Hot Italian Sausage” with package code (T-001 through 365 or H-001 through 290)
  • various weight packages of “Aux Delices des Bois Sweet Italian Sausage” with package code (T-001 through 365 or H-001 through 290)
  • various weight packages of “Chestnut Valley Sweet Italian Sausage” with package code (T-001 through 365 or H-001 through 290)
  • various weight packages of “Chestnut Valley Fresh Kielbasa” with package code (T-001 through 365 or H-001 through 290)
  • various weight packages of “Aux Delices des Bois Chicken Breakfast Sausage” with package code (T-001 through 365 or H-001 through 290)
  • various weight packages of “Chestnut Valley Chicken Breakfast Sausage” with package code (T-001 through 365 or H-001 through 290)
  • various weight packages of “Aux Delices des Bois Chipotle Honey Flavored Chicken Sausage” with package code (T-001 through 365 or H-001 through 290)
  • various weight packages of “Chestnut Valley Chipotle Honey Flavored Chicken Sausage” with package code (T-001 through 365 or H-001 through 290)
  • various weight packages of “Aux Delices des Bois Chicken Spinach & Feta Sausage” with package code (T-001 through 365 or H-001 through 290)
  • various weight packages of “Chestnut Valley Chicken Spinach & Feta Sausage” with package code (T-001 through 365 or H-001 through 290)
  • various weight packages of “Aux Delices des Bois Buffalo Style Chicken Sausage” with package code (T-001 through 365 or H-001 through 290)
  • various weight packages of “Chestnut Valley Buffalo Style Chicken Sausage” with package code (T-001 through 365 or H-001 through 290)
  • various weight packages of “Chestnut Valley Turkey Breakfast Sausage” with package code (T-001 through 365 or H-001 through 290)
  • various weight packages of “Aux Delices des Bois Chicken Marsala & Mushrooms Sausage” with package code (T-001 through 365 or H-001 through 290)
  • various weight packages of “Chestnut Valley Chicken Marsala & Mushrooms Sausage” with package code (T-001 through 365 or H-001 through 290)
  • various weight packages of “Aux Delices des Bois Chicken Apple Sausage” with package code (T-001 through 365 or H-001 through 290)
  • various weight packages of “Chestnut Valley Chicken Apple Sausage” with package code (T-001 through 365 or H-001 through 290)

The duck fat included in the recall was produced from January 2012 through May 2014 and bears the establishment number “P-39954.” The remaining products were produced prior to Oct. 18, 2013, and bear the establishment number “Est. 33806” or “Est. 45100,” “P-33806” or “P-45100” inside the USDA Mark of Inspection.

These products were shipped to retail, Internet and wholesale locations nationwide. FSIS routinely conducts recall effectiveness checks to verify that recalling firms notify their customers of the recall and that steps are taken to make certain that the product is no longer available to consumers.

When available, the retail distribution list(s) will be posted on the FSIS website at www.fsis.usda.gov/recalls.

Food Safety News

Whole Foods Market shows what your grocery store looks like without bees

wfoodOne of every three bites of food comes from plants pollinated by honeybees and other pollinators. Yet, major declines in bee populations threaten the availability of many fresh ingredients consumers rely on for their dinner tables.

To raise awareness of just how crucial pollinators are to our food system, the University Heights Whole Foods Market store temporarily removed all produce that comes from plants dependent on pollinators. They pulled from shelves 237 of 453 products — 52 percent of the department’s normal product mix.

wholeWhole Foods Market University Heights’ produce department with and without items dependent on pollinator populations. (PRNewsFoto/Whole Foods Market)Products removed included apples, onions, avocados, carrots, mangos, lemons, limes, honeydew, cantaloupe, zucchini, Summer squash, eggplant, cucumbers, celery, green onions, cauliflower, leeks, bok choy, kale, broccoli, broccoli rabe and mustard green.

To help support honeybee populations, for every pound of organic summer squash sold at Whole Foods Market stores June 12-25 the company will donate 10 cents to The Xerces Society for pollinator preservation.

“Pollinators are a critical link in our food system. More than 85 percent of earth’s plant species — many of which compose some of the most nutritional parts of our diet — require pollinators to exist. Yet we continue to see alarming declines in bee numbers,” Eric Mader, assistant pollinator conservation director at The Xerces Society, said in a press release. “Our organization works with farmers nationwide to help them create wildflower habitat and adopt less pesticide-intensive practices. These simple strategies can tip the balance back in favor of bees.”

Whole Foods Market offers more ways to “bee part of the solution” at  www.wholefoodsmarket.com/sharethebuzz.

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines

Chile green lights the import of Peruvian Hass avocado without cold treatment

Chile green lights the import of Peruvian Hass avocado without cold treatment

Chile’s Ministry of Agriculture has approved the free access of Peruvian Hass avocados without cold treatment as had been requested by the Peru’s Hass Avocado Committee, the Financial Times reported.

Luis Mayol, Chile’s minister of agriculture, explained that they taken this decision because they hadn’t had any virus events since the SAG begun preventive control.

“Chile has to respect its phytosanitary patrimony, but keeping in mind that it’s an open country and that it has to be respectful of international market rules,” he said.

“We have earned a huge reputation for being a serious country, which protects its health whilst meeting WTO international standards,” he said and, in turn, justified the measure as the Agricultural and Livestock Service (SAG) will continue taking action to prevent the spread of this pest.

“We have to be consistent and respectful of international trade rules,” he said. “The United States has been exporting to Chile for the past 14 years and we’ve never had events. We mustn’t expose ourselves to a WTO panel,” he added.

SAG ‘s decision was taken after a meeting between Mayol and the president of the Hass Avocado Committee, Aldolfo Ochagavía. The alternative proposed by the Hass Avocado Committee to submit a certification for 4% of the surface of avocados from Peru was also ruled out during the meeting.

The decision had already been taken as it wasn’t being applied to the imports from other countries, such as Mexico and the United States, which wouldn’t be willing to agree with this, he said.

The Committee’s view

In turn, Adolfo Ochagavia, President of the Avocado Committee regretted the decision to allow imports of Peruvian avocados and expressed concern for the country’s producers’ orchard’s integrity.

“We’re very concerned. We were informed that they had already made a decision,” said Ochagavía, justifying the measure against the entry of Peruvian products as a defence of the country’s phytosanitary patrimony.”

“We favour trade and we need foreign supply in low season,” he said.

Source: Agraria.pe

Publication date: 9/30/2013


FreshPlaza.com

House Passes Farm Bill Without SNAP

WASHINGTON — The House of Representatives today narrowly passed a Farm Bill that does not include nutrition programs, although the vote is unlikely to result in meaningful action towards a new five-year Farm Bill.


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The House Rules Committee posted the text of the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013 online last night and a vote was called for today. The bill included changes to farm subsidies and other agricultural programs but omitted the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, commonly called food stamps.

After a day of spirited debate on both sides of the aisle, the bill passed 216-208, split mostly along party lines.

Many senators, including Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., said they would not consider a Farm Bill that does not include SNAP.

“The bill passed by the House today is not a real Farm Bill and is an insult to rural America, which is why it’s strongly opposed by more than 500 farm, food and conservation groups,” Stabenow said in a statement. “We will go to conference with the bipartisan, comprehensive Farm Bill that was passed in the Senate that not only reforms programs, supports families in need and creates agriculture jobs, but also saves billions more than the extremely flawed House bill.”

Vice Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) issued a statement following the House vote applauding the outcome.

“The legislation passed by the House today is a true, reform-minded Farm Bill. This farm-only Farm Bill eliminates outdated and duplicative programs, provides regulatory relief for America’s farmers, and reduces the size and scope of the federal government,” said Goodlatte.

“By splitting the farm programs from the nutrition programs, as we have done today, the House will now have the opportunity to act on the nutrition programs within the Farm Bill separately, where the House will have the chance to make much-needed cuts and reforms,” he added.

The White House indicated in a statement yesterday that President Barack Obama would veto any Farm Bill lacking SNAP.

“The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program is a cornerstone of our nation’s food assistance safety net, and should not be left behind as the rest of the Farm Bill advances,” the White House said.

The House failed to pass a Farm Bill last month that would have cut $ 20 billion from SNAP over 10 years because many Democrats believed the cuts were too deep and some Republicans said they weren’t deep enough.

The Senate passed a version of the bill in June that would reform agriculture programs and cut $ 4 billion from SNAP.

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