Daily Harvest -- 12/11/2014
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FARM & RURAL POLICY
Agri-Pulse: Conaway names ag subcommittee chairs
- Rep. Michael Conaway, R-Texas, the next chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, today named the Republican lawmakers who will lead the panel's subcommittees in the 114th Congress.
Agri-Pulse: Seed industry to launch targeted consumer campaign
- (Subscriber only) The American Seed Trade Association (ASTA) is planning a three-year consumer campaign to educate people about the value of the seed industry.
Agri-Pulse: Research shows consumers lack appreciation for seeds
- (Audio) New research from the American Seed Trade Association has found consumers lack knowledge and appreciations for the importance of seeds and seed improvement until they’re presented with specific examples of the environmental, economic and health benefits of seed.
Agri-Pulse: FAA grants five exemptions for drone use
- The Transportation Department's Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) today granted five regulatory exemptions for unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) operations to four companies for aerial surveying, construction site monitoring and oil-rig flare stack inspections.
Politico: Mammoth spending bill poised for passage
- The margin could be razor thin, but House Republicans think they will pass their funding bill before the government shuts down Thursday.
Agri-Pulse: EPA declines to set release date for 2014 RFS volumes
- An EPA official refused Wednesday to tell lawmakers when the agency would finally release this year's biofuel usage targets.
The Hill: Lawmakers frustrated at EPA over ethanol mandate delay
- Lawmakers vented their frustration at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Wednesday over its repeated delays of the annual ethanol mandate.
FOOD & NUTRITION
Agri-Pulse: House members debate need for national GMO labeling standards
- A House subcommittee on Wednesday debated the role of the Food and Drug Administration in the regulation of food containing genetically engineered (GE) ingredients. Many legislators said they want to see one national set of standards for GE labeling and are worried about the “patchwork” of state rules that may develop.
Agri-Pulse: House OKs Feed the Future authority
- The House has approved a bill that would provide the first congressional authorization for the Obama administration's $1-billion-a-year Feed the Future initiative.
Associated Press: Lawmakers wary of genetically modified food labels
- The food industry is likely to find a receptive Congress come January in its fight against mandatory labeling of genetically modified foods.
Wall Street Journal: Congress Takes Bite Out of School-Lunch Rules
- School food workers have been complaining for months about the breakfast and lunch standards being rolled out by the Obama administration. Now, Congress has seen fit to give them a break.
TRADE & INTERNATIONAL
Agri-Pulse: More authority for the CFTC, but not enough funding
- Members of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry agreed that the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) gained substantially more authority to oversee and regulate derivatives markets as part of the Dodd-Frank Act, but split along party lines over whether or not the agency has enough funding.
Reuters: Trade authorization deal faces test from U.S. legislators
- A push by the White House to woo free trade skeptics on Capitol Hill will help bills through the next Congress, but lawmakers are unlikely to simply wave through legislation that holds the key to deals covering two-thirds of the world economy.
Wall Street Journal: Grain Train Runs Away From Canadian Farmers
- Canadian grain exports to the U.S. have fallen sharply as railways expand the more-lucrative cross-border crude-oil shipments, a shift that Canada’s farmers say is pushing their crops to lower-priced overseas markets.
CONSERVATION, ENVIRONMENT & WILDLIFE
Agri-Pulse: Lawmakers put off Clean Water Act fight
- The Clean Water Act provisions in the massive fiscal 2015 spending agreement are likely to do little to slow an effort by farm groups to kill a proposed rule defining the law's jurisdiction.
Politico: Bye bye birdie
- Before lawmakers could agree to a $1.1 trillion, last-minute deal to avoid shutting down the U.S. government, they first had to deal with a couple of birds. The result is a 1,603-page spending bill that includes a paragraph barring the Obama administration from approving endangered-species protections for two types of sage grouse
FARM LABOR & IMMIGRATION
Los Angeles Times: Number of states challenging Obama on immigration grows to 24
- Seven more states signed on to a lawsuit challenging President Obama’s executive action halting the deportation of as many as 5 million undocumented immigrants, bringing the total to 24 states, Texas Atty. Gen. Greg Abbott announced Wednesday.
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