TPA bill a step forward in Senate

A Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) bill has taken a step forward in the U.S. Senate.  Senators voted 62 to 38 to limit debate on the bill, ending any chance of a filibuster. Votes on amendments are still being allowed by Senate leaders. One of those is a bipartisan measure to allow negotiators to work on… Read more »

Agreement expands Geographical Indications

  The use of names like parmesan and champagne could be more restricted under a deal signed Thursday.  Delegates to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) diplomatic conference on the Lisbon Agreement signed a pact expanding the protection of appellations of origin to include geographical indications and expanding the protections granted under the international registry. Geographical… Read more »

Extending the TPA debate in the U.S. Senate

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A Democratic Senator hopes to put the brakes on Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) by extending the debate in the U.S. Senate. Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio says he’s not opposed to trade, but with American jobs on the line, the Senator says it’s important to have an open and informed debate on trade policy. “If… Read more »

As long as they are willing to pay

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The debate over the use of genetically modified crops continues.  Recently Chipotle backed-off on an earlier announcement that it would go GMO-free.  Andy Bensend serves on the Wisconsin Soybean Marketing Board, he says 80 percent of the soybeans he sells and plants in northwestern Wisconsin are non-Roundup Ready for export.  He says it all come… Read more »

Japanese file suit against TPP

More than 1,000 plaintiffs have filed suit in Japan seeking to halt their country’s involvement in the Trans Pacific Partnership.   A former Japanese Agriculture Minister, Masahiko Yamada is leading the suit.  He says the trade agreement would violate Japan’s constitutional guarantee of the right to a stable food supply because it would make the country more… Read more »

CDC: Foodborne illness down AND up

Fewer foodborne illnesses were reported in 2014 from certain pathogens, according to a survey by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (C-D-C), but went up from other pathogens. The agency says rates of infection from a serious form of E. coli and a more common Salmonella bacteria decreased last year from the period of 2006… Read more »

NCBA supports COOL’s repeal

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) supports legislation to repeal Country of Origin Labeling (COOL). Wyoming cattleman and NCBA president Philip Ellis says Congress needs to act quickly to prevent trade retaliation by Canada and Mexico. “We think this is an easy way to solve this problem before it disrupts our cattle market and dollars… Read more »

Legislation to repeal COOL is introduced

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The chair of the House Agriculture Committee has introduced legislation to repeal Country of Origin Labeling.  Chairman Mike Conaway says he was joined by 61 colleagues in introducing HR 2393to repeal COOL for beef, pork and chicken. The Texas Republican says with the WTO ruling against the COOL law on Monday, “retaliation by Canada and… Read more »

Grassley prefers COOL fix over repeal

The WTO’s ruling against Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) puts the issue back in the hands of Congress. While some are pushing for a quick repeal of the COOL law, Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says Congress needs to take its time and consider the alternatives. “One would be a ‘North America’ label,” Grassley says.  “I… Read more »

No need to panic with COOL

The National Farmers Union is a staunch supporter of Country of Origin Labeling but they were not surprised when the World Trade Organization ruled against the U.S. law on Monday.  NFU senior vice president of programs Chandler Ghoule says 96 percent of the countries sued through the WTO end-up losing the appeal.  Such was the… Read more »