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Agriculture Archive

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Clash Over Nutrition Program Expected to Focus on Who Deserves Food Aid

Lawmakers can be expected to engage in a battle of images over deserving and undeserving food aid recipients when the revised nutrition title of the House farm bill comes to the floor, perhaps as soon as this week.

FDA OKs Arsenic Levels in Rice; Critics Not Convinced

Earlier this month, the Food and Drug Administration assured consumers they could continue to eat rice cakes, rice pasta, brown rice dishes and other popular products in moderation, with no immediate effects from arsenic in the grain.

Rice Grows More Important to American Diets

We are what we eat, and rice increasingly is a part of the American diet. About half of the U.S. rice crop goes into foods eaten by Americans. Domestic demand for homegrown rice has steadily risen by about 1 percent each year since the 1980s.

Sugar-to-Ethanol Subsidies Are a Sweet Deal for Producers, Not Consumers | Commentary

This past week, the Agriculture Department bought more than 7,000 short tons of refined beet sugar from a private processor and sold it to an ethanol company ó at a $2.7 million loss for taxpayers.

Oysters at Risk From Ocean Acidification, as Are Farmer Livelihoods | Commentary

The recent news about illnesses related to eating raw oysters is having big impacts on our nationís shellfish farmers. It is a prime example of how a good year can quickly take an unexpected turn in the opposite direction. Shellfish farmers around the nation confront some of the same threats that land farmers face ó unfavorable weather, predators, disease and varying market conditions ó any one of which can ruin the harvest for the year.

The Supplement Industry's Hypocrisy | Commentary

Illinois Democratic Sen. Dick Durbinís bill to require the makers of dietary supplements to label their products accurately has the industry up in arms. This is rank hypocrisy. The supplement industry, along with the organic food lobby, does support labeling ó but only when the products in question belong to competitors such as the producers of foods from genetically engineered plants, a situation in which the labels serve no useful purpose.

Put Food Stamps in Final Farm Bill, Democrats Urge Boehner

A united House Democratic Caucus sent Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, a letter this week urging him to include food stamp provisions in the final language of the farm bill.

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Urban Farms Aim to Build Bridges to Low-Income Communities

The discourse about what we eat is changing across the country. More and more, people want to know where their food comes from, whatís in it and who produces it, and local farmers markets are stepping up to meet such demands.

Farm Bill Negotiations to Continue Into September As Expiration Looms

Sen. Jeff Flake in a colloquy before lawmakers adjourned for their August recess helped Senate Agriculture Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow lay down her markers for shaping a final farm bill, or, failing that, another extension of the 2008 farm bill, by questioning continued payments for cotton farmers.

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GMO Soybeans Are Speed Bump in EU Trade Deal

Scientists started working back in the 1990s to genetically engineer a soybean thatís oil would be free of artery-clogging trans fats, a product farmers think will appeal to consumers as well as food-makers and fast-food chains.

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Stabenow Says Food Programs Will Remain in Final Farm Bill

The chairwoman of the Senate Agriculture Committee said Monday that she is worried lawmakers could run out of time to produce a final farm bill if House leaders do not quickly send their chamberís agriculture-only version to the Senate.

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Pork Producer Acquisition Raises Questions on Hill

Smithfield Foods is the worldís largest pork producer and processor, an operation that has grown and thrived over the years as the meat industry consolidated into a handful of powerful companies controlling U.S. pork, chicken and beef output.

In the Aftermath of the Farm Bill's Defeat | Commentary

The recent stunning defeat of the farm bill in the House of Representatives marked the first time in history that either body of Congress voted down such legislation. That has unleashed the latest round of finger-pointing inside the Beltway, with each party vigorously accusing the other of incompetence, treachery or both.

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House GOP Argues Over Next Steps on Farm Legislation

A week after a surprising defeat for the farm bill, some House conservatives who helped sink the legislation are trying to build momentum to split it in half, ending years of precedent for passing agriculture and nutrition legislation in one package.

Let's Enact Food Aid Reform That Works | Commentary

The House of Representatives recently defeated an amendment that would have enacted the Obama administrationís proposal to allow 45 percent of Food for Peace Program funds to be given as cash or used to buy food aid commodities overseas, rather than buying them in the United States. The debate showed great concern that reducing U.S.-sourced food aid would endanger the future availability of food assistance by eroding a sizable U.S. food aid constituency and reducing the accountability of our precious food assistance dollars. Importantly, the discussion also showed a growing recognition that U.S.-sourced commodities are not always enough: buying food locally when feasible and incorporating developmental tools into our food security tool kit are also needed.

No Easy Fix for House Leaders in the Shambles of the Farm Bill Vote

House leaders must determine how they can pick up the pieces after a bipartisan rejection of a five-year farm bill backed by Speaker John A. Boehner.

Food for All: Tackling Hunger and Malnutrition | Commentary

Every five seconds, a child dies from hunger-related diseases, and nearly 1 billion people go to bed hungry every night.

House to Consider 100-Plus Farm Bill Amendments; Passage May Slip to Next Week

The House launched into debate of more than 100 amendments to the farm bill Wednesday, but there were signs that final passage might be delayed until next week.

Farm Bill Shouldn't Trap Families in Poverty | Commentary

State Line Road, along the border of Illinois and Indiana, defines more than geographic boundaries ó it also defines the economic futures of struggling families.

Farm Bill Spends on All the Wrong Things | Commentary

The 2013 farm bill is currently working its way through Congress, and proposed cuts to food stamps are at the center of the debate. The Senate version calls for cutting $1.7 billion from this program over the next five years; the slightly more aggressive House version proposes cutting $9.6 billion. These cuts may sound like a lot of money in isolation, but theyíre barely a haircut in the big picture. Congress should go further in seeking real reforms to food stamps.




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