Farm Bill – House Markup

Yesterday the House marked up the Farm Bill late into the night, and it is certainly a mixed bag – more so than with the Senate’s version.

First, to report on Conaway’s amendment #5 regarding repealing GIPSA and preventing Congress from ever enforcing the Packers and Stockyards Act – it passed on voice vote. This is extremely disconcerting as GIPSA is one of the most important tools for protecting American producers. Get ready to work hard this summer to ensure this does not make it into the final bill.

On the up-side, Scott’s amendment #20 to repeal COOL was withdrawn, meaning there is still hope for Country of Origin Labeling. We know this also faces an uphill fight in the final bill, but for now, COOL remains on the books.

A couple other good things: in support of local foods, the House passed Courtney amendment #52 which supports the study of how to better encourage local food production and consumption, which is in the Senate bill. The also approved Fudge’s amendment #25, the “healthy food amendment,” which would provide funding for entities working to provide healthy food in difficult to reach areas (read: rural) through things like stores and farmers markets. This is something we can get behind.

We’ll be on the Farm Bill all summer, and organizing to get our Representatives and Senators on board with the right items. It is going to take a lot of calls and emails from all of you – so keep up the good work!

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