They’re back!

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Congress returns from its summer vacation September 8, tanned, rested, its 15% public approval rating in hand – President Obama’s is 46% — and about 45 work days until the scheduled December 18 adjournment of this first year of the 114th Congress.  There’s a whole lot of stuff to get done in that month and… Read more »

Politics cloaked in “science”

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I’m not much different than most when I say I’m not good with change.  Mess with my understanding and relationship with people, places and things and I get uneasy.  So, imagine my itchiness when I watched this week Consumer Reports (CR) shift again from an objective consumer information source – who buys a car or… Read more »

All presidential candidates need to take Ag 101

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At last count, there are 17 Republicans and five Democrats – maybe six if Vice President Joe Biden makes up his mind – running for President.  Some call this an embarrassment of riches; others look at it, well, differently. Whichever way you view it, smart folks see this broad field as an opportunity to educate… Read more »

Out of the mouths of celebrities

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When I founded the Animal Agriculture Alliance, one of the first projects we launched was  the first research on consumer attitudes towards the animal rights movement, trust in and understanding of farming and ranching, messages the public wanted to hear and who the public trusts when it comes to recommendations about what they eat.  It… Read more »

Beating multinationals at the climate change game

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This has been a week of subtle rumblings regarding climate change.  The White House held a ceremony for multinational corporations “pledging” to do the right thing, while the Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee, in stout bipartisan fashion, beat back a “provocative” amendment from presidential hopeful Sen. Bernie Sanders (I, VT) to formally acknowledge climate… Read more »

GM labeling — a simple problem, a complex solution

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The issue of whether it’s necessary to label foods containing genetically modified (GM) ingredients is one of those issues where Congress should step in to provide a federal answer to the question.  The food industry can’t operate with two dozen or more different labeling schemes as devised by individual states without jacking up prices to… Read more »

The appropriations process is broken

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The congressional appropriations process has always been a classic political tug-of-war.  Back in the day of freewheeling spending, the most coveted and powerful seats in either the House or the Senate were on the Appropriations Committees because you were in the small gang who controlled the money and who got how much. Political careers were… Read more »

“Spinning Food” Out of Control

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Friends of the Earth (FOE) this week unveiled “Spinning Food,” a 62-page issue manifesto/pity party, and the most naïve publication I’ve ever seen created by an activist group.  Sent to the media and subtitled “how food industry front groups and covert communications are shaping the story of food,” this overwritten whine is supposed to be… Read more »

TPA is not TPP

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In Washington, DC, with just the addition of a verb and an object, you can easily construct a sentence that is 90% acronyms.  One of the great unsung talents on Capitol Hill is the ability give title to a new piece of legislation so that its name easily converts to an acronym that trips off… Read more »