Tag: "agriculture"

WTO Ruling Forces the Repeal of Popular U.S. Law

‘Twas the night before Christmas in 2002 when I received notice the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) had confirmed America’s first case of Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE). At the time, I was an elected representative of the dairy industry in the Northwest, and random sampling found an infected slaughtered milk cow in Washington State. […]

Tobacco: Top User of Agriculture Guest Worker (H-2A) Visa Program

With the run up to the 2016 presidential election, we have seen a growing debate on the need for border security versus the shortage of agriculture workers. Tales of apples rotting on trees and produce left in the field are offered as evidence of jobs Americans won’t do. Yet, according to the U.S. Department of […]

Organics: Another Fine Government Mess

The Organic Foods Production Act (OFPA), as part of the 1990 Farm Bill, established the National Organic Program (NOP). The program, as administered by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), oversees uniform standards governing the marketing of organically produced products. The NOP’s mission is to assure consumers of consistent organic standards of production and […]

Committee for Responsible Budget Highway Plan has Issues

Recently, the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, released a report titled, “The Road to Sustainable Highway Funding.” The committee, which includes Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson, builds on many of the transportation recommendations included in the Bowles-Simpson report. It recommends passage of comprehensive tax reform while ensuring the Highway Trust Fund remains adequately funded. […]

Farmers Hit Hard by the Estate “Death” Tax

On April 16, 2015, the House of Representatives voted to repeal the estate tax. The Internal Revenue Service defines the estate tax as, “a tax on your right to transfer property at your death.” Advocates for the estate tax decry the perpetuation of inequality due to inherited wealth. The estate tax, often called the “death […]

GMO Apples: Coming to a Store Near You in 2017

A new strain of genetically modified apples that don’t bruise or brown when cut have been approved for planting and sale in the U.S., according to the Department of Agriculture. After evaluation, the Department of Agriculture has said that the apples are “unlikely to pose a plant pest risk or to have a significant impact […]

The Future of Biotechnology in Farming

There is a great deal of controversy over genetically modified crops; some countries have banned their growth entirely, while others have placed strict regulatory restrictions on production. As the world’s population continues to grow (it is projected to reach 9.1 billion by 2050), global food production will have to increase by 70 percent in order […]

The New Climate Economy

A new report from the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate claims that the appropriate action to reduce the risks of global climate change will have many positive effects on nation’s economies. Without (undefined) urgent action: Global warming could exceed 4 degrees Celsius. Delay in action could cut global consumption growth by 0.3 percent […]

Water Policing vs. Water Pricing in California

California is in significant drought, with a water crisis that has caused acres of crops to die or go unplanted, as water reservoirs continue to be depleted. According to one NASA water scientist, “If this drought continues, we’re going to be in a terrible situation within the next 12-24 months.” The water crisis has caused […]

Calming Fears of Climate Change in Asia

Many climate studies have focused on South and Southeast Asia, as the region is considered uniquely vulnerable to the projected effects of climate change such as a reduction in crop yields, rising sea levels, flooding, a loss of biodiversity and drought. Many of these Asian countries are islands or are on peninsulas, with highly populated […]