For non-GMO farmers, H.R. 1599 would be disastrous as it would preempt laws designed to protect them from GMO contamination of their fields. Without strong regulations and oversight, farmers’ crops and livelihoods are at risk in ways that they, their families and their communities cannot afford.
The USFRA was created in 2011 as a trade association uniting Big Ag corporations (such as Monsanto, Cargill and DuPont Pioneer) and marketing groups for commodities (including corn, soybeans, beef and pork). Take note: some of these groups are farmer-funded, but in reality, farmers have no choice but to fund them, and it is often at their own expense.
USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack appeared before the House Agriculture Committee last week to discuss the state of the rural economy and field questions on the implementation of the Farm Bill. Over the past few weeks USDA officials have appeared before the House and Senate Appropriations Committees to discuss USDA’s proposed budget for FY2015. And as always, bills are being introduced on the Hill that would have real impacts on the lives of farmers. Here are some key highlights: