U.S. House Agriculture Subcommittee Takes up Challenges in Global Food Supply Chain

On November 14, the U.S. House Agriculture Subcommittee on Livestock and Foreign Agriculture addressed the issue of invasive species and their impacts on the U.S. food supply chain. In his opening statement to begin the hearing Chairman of the Subcommittee, Jim Costa (D-CA) pointed out, “Along our southern border and in seaports across the country…

More Proof of U.S. Safe Food Supply

California Fruits & VegetablesStock Photo

According to the California Department of Food and Agriculture producers in California raise over 400 commodities, supplying over one-third of the U.S.’ vegetables and two-thirds of the fruits and nuts.  These commodities are among the top ten valued crops in California and include (2015):…

Lobbying: Drinking Water Challenge pt.2

Cansler Consulting is staying on top of the drinking water infrastructure challenges faced by our country and how the the government is responding to it now and in the future.
Side view of a woman drinking water in kitchen

The next EPA assessment should be released in 2017.

If history of the previous EPA assessments continue to repeat, there will likely be significant changes in some states’ needs in the new EPA assessment in 2017. These changes will result in adjustments to individual states’ DWSRF financial allotments. Most shifts in states’ needs can be attributed to expected changes in the status of projects from one survey to the next.…

Lobbying: Drinking Water Challenge pt.1

Lobbying for drinking water infrastructure improvement

The exterior of the Flint Water Plant in Michigan. Flint is in the spotlight as concerns over it’s water quality and lead content have made national headlines.

Funding for Drinking Water Will Remain A Challenge to 2037 & Beyond

The drinking water crisis in Flint, Michigan heightened the public’s attention across the U.S. about the issue of the deteriorating decades-old drinking water infrastructure.  Along with the rest of America, Cansler Consulting watched as the crisis unfolded. Members of Congress, state and federal regulatory officials conducted multiple hearings and site visits to learn more about these challenges occurring in multiple municipalities throughout the U.S.  What they learned is, without future federal budget pressures, drinking water infrastructure issues are likely to remain prominent in the U.S. through 2037 and beyond. Lobbying and government relations are the most effective ways to apply those pressures.

GMO: It’s Time to Move On.

Cansler Consulting Washnigton DCThe House & Senate have approved GMO labeling legislation and the President will soon sign it into law. While a few legislators were unhappy, this compromise is in the best interest for the country. Republicans and lawmakers from rural states overwhelmingly supported the legislation. Agriculture groups have backed it, hoping it will bring more certainty to farmers who grow genetically modified crops.  According to the US Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service, U.S. farmers have adopted genetically engineered (GE) crops widely since their commercial introduction in 1996.

About the GMO Legislation

USDA will have two years to write the rules of the new legislation, which will cover foods created with conventional recombinant DNA techniques. It will not extend to plants or other food products created with CRISPR, a new and more precise gene-editing technology. Foods that consist primarily of beef, poultry, pork or eggs will not be required to carry a GMO label, even if they ate feed containing GM corn or soybeans.

As The Hill noted, the initiative would force food companies to “create QR codes that consumers scan with a smartphone to find out if a product contains GMOs.” The aforementioned states require labels to identify goods “produced with genetic engineering.”1

  1. http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/36749-senate-advances-gm-food-labeling-bill-that-would-actually-weaken-state-rules-exempt-key-products []

There’s So Much More To Agriculture…

A viable U.S. agriculture and food industry is the key to adequately supplying enough food, fiber, feed & fuel to the growing U.S. and world population in the future. Representing agriculture and food interests in Washington entails not only knowing who the key players are on the federal level, but also knowing how to connect with them. Legislation and regulations being considered by lawmakers and regulatory officials touches all aspects of food and agriculture including production, processing, storage, distribution, transportation, trade, food safety, biotechnology, retail and others.…

Food Safety: In Progress

Food Safety48 million people are sickened each year by foodborne pathogens. 3,000 are killed each year according to the CDC. For the non-Mathletes, that’s 1-in-6.1 The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) passed in 2011 was supposed to change all that. With the FSMA, for the first time, the U.S. FDA is authorized to help prevent rather than simply respond to outbreaks of foodborne illness. But 4 years later, changes are still a work in progress.

  1. Huffington Post []

114th Congress Agricultural Issues

Lobbyist_Agriculture_Corporate_Energy_capitol_building_3Here are a few items that are likely to be at the top of the 114th Congress’s Agricultural To Do List.

  • Renewable Fuel – The EPA’s delayed mandates for 2014 biofuel commercial use until 2015 giving opponents another chance to modify or repeal the law that created the Renewable Fuel Standard. This impacts corn growers since the RFS guarantees a market for producers of conventional ethanol, largely corn-based fuel.
  • Cuba -Relaxing trade restrictions around Cuba could be a big win for Rice, soybeans and poultry producers, getting the attention of  pro-trade agribusiness and farm groups.
  • Immigration – President Obama’s announcement regarding immigration this winter left agriculture companies and employers pondering how this will impact their workforce since 70% of farm workers in the United State are here illegally. If there is no need for them to stay in farming, since they can qualify for other jobs now, farm employers wonder who is going to work the farms. This can only lead to higher prices for consumers for fruits & vegetables.

CRomnibus Spending Plan p2

USDA, APHIS, budgetThe CRomnibus totals $1.1 trillion and establishes spending levels for the remainder of the 2015 fiscal year for all federal government agencies except the Department of Homeland Security.

USDA

The total for the Department of Agriculture is $20.6 billion in discretionary funding through Sept. 30, 2015. This is $305 million below the previous fiscal year.  It provides…

FDA Revises Food Safety Rules

Food SafetyAfter farmers complained that the regulations could hurt business, The Food and Drug Administration revised sweeping food safety rules proposed last year. Regulators say balancing the need for tighter food safety standards after major food-borne illness outbreaks in spinach, eggs, peanuts and cantaloupe against the needs of farmers who are new to such regulations has been a challenge.…

Agri-Biotech Summit Nov 18-19

ground analyzingAgriculture, biotech leaders to gather at NCSU for food ‘summit’

Food and agricultural experts from around the nation will join North Carolina peers at the McKimmon Conference Center in Raleigh Nov. 18 and 19 for a wide-ranging discussion of technologies and policies affecting food production.…

Food Safety News: Frozen Food Fights Back

Keri Glassman

Registered dietitian and author Keri Glassman

Frozen food makers have launched their first national TV ad in defense of their products as the category fights to boost slipping sales. The ad includes the tag line, “Frozen: How Fresh Stays Fresh,” and is intended to address negative misconceptions people have about frozen foods.  In a phone interview, Kraig Naasz, president of the American Frozen Food Institute, disclosed that the group plans to invest as much as $90 million in the campaign over three years.1

“This is a long-term strategy. The primary purpose is to enter into a dialogue with consumers,” he said.…

  1. AgriNews []

Are GMO Crops Really Safe?

The answer is: YES.

biotechnology makes crops betterFood from GMOs (genetically modified organisms, or bio-technologically modified crops) is digested into the body the same as any other type of food product including organic and/or non-GM crops. Hundreds and hundred of studies (and those ongoing) demonstrate that improved crops do not present any health risk.1 Before they reach the market, crops from GM seeds are studied extensively to make sure they are safe for people, animals and the environment. Today’s GM products are the most researched and tested agricultural products in history.  Not only do they NOT cause new allergies or cancers, infertility, ADHD or any other diseases, but in the decades that farmers have been growing crops from GM seeds, there has not been a single documented instance of harm to human health resulting from genetic modifications, including new allergic reactions.…

  1. http://gmoanswers.com/explore []

U.S. Manufacturers May Pick Up Tab For FSMA

Recent OMB Report & Other Factors Indicate U.S. Food Manufacturers May Pick up Tab For FSMA

In February of this year Cansler Consulting foretold of the fiscal challenges ahead at the Food and Drug Administration (click here to read article) in implementing the nation’s new food safety law, The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).  Late last week the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released a congressionally-mandated report outlining potential impacts of budget sequestration on defense and non-defense discretionary programs verifying our analysis.  The 400-page document showcases the impacts that budget cuts would have on all areas of government, including the safety of our nation’s food supply that is under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Department of Agriculture.

Dept of Ag to Cut nearly $3 Billion Next Year

According to the OMB report the Department of Agriculture would be required to cut a total $2.996 billion in the remaining eight months of FY 2013 (January to September 2013).  This includes $86 million from the Food Safety Inspection Service that is responsible for the safety of the nation’s commercial supply of meat, poultry, and egg products.…

Trade Disputes: Are Your Products Impacted?

Every year U.S. agribusinesses and manufacturers work to produce high quality goods for global export markets. But each year Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) trade measures continue playing an increasingly critical role in shaping the flow of U.S. agricultural global trade. SPS trade barriers are erected from measures that foreign governments apply on the basis that the measures are necessary to protect human, animal, or plant life or health from risks arising from the entry or spread of plant- or animal-borne pests or diseases, or from additives, contaminants, toxins, or disease-causing organisms in foods, beverages, or feedstuffs.…

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