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 »

White House Mashes Antibiotics Forum

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The White House held a “Forum on Antibiotic Stewardship” June 2, and, well, once again went a step too far.  The event was billed as “bringing together key human and animal health constituencies involved in antibiotic stewardship,” those with a stake in responsible – insiders call it “judicious” – use of antibiotics to better control… Read more »

WOTUS, RFS — Acronyms of chaos, noise this week

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Leave it to the Obama White House to shove not one, but two of its most controversial regulatory efforts of the last six-plus years out the door in a holiday-shortened week when Congress and a good chunk of the civilians who care are out of town. To be fair, this is a time-honored strategy for Administrations… Read more »

Walmart, welcome to our world

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Walmart announced May 22 a “new” position on animal welfare.  Perhaps the position is new to Walmart; it reflects business as usual for U.S. animal agriculture. In any case, I commend the company.  In addition, Walmart publicly stated this week its policy on the use of antibiotics in animal agriculture.  Again, nothing game-changing in the… Read more »

MARC potentially endangered by rash Hill actions

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A single New York Times article alleging animal mishandling at the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center (MARC) in Clay Center, Nebraska, continues to threaten the future of invaluable U.S. meat research.   Inspired by the allegations of a disgruntled former researcher, and despite a USDA third-party independent committee finding of no animal mistreatment, there are those… Read more »