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Breezy Hill Update

Posted 3/16/2009 7:52pm by Art Ozias.

Just when I thought I was caught up, here comes GMO and COOL.  Thanks for your support on NAIS.  Even though most of you are consumers (my customers). if NAIS were to be implemented a lot of the small producers (me) would most likely hang it up.  If we were to continue then the costs would be passed on to you.  Small producers, without the "aid" of subsides that the biggies get, must past on the added costs or go broke. 

First Gmo. Notice the date Mar 17.  That's tomorrow.

Friends,

If you care about the environment, human health and sustainable and organic farms:

It’s time to act!

Write to the USDA in these final 24 hours for the comment period to close the loopholes regulating genetically-engineered (GE) crops, also referred to as genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

Tell the USDA that the loopholes regarding GE crops must be closed and to suspend approval of additional GE crops until truly independent, peer-reviewed testing can be performed.

While supporters claim this technology is safe, thorough testing was never completed before GE crops/GMOs were introduced into our food chain. Already more than 60 percent of packaged foods sold in U.S. supermarkets contain genetically-engineered food that American consumers unknowingly eat everyday.

Not only is this a great concern for consumer health, but also for family farmers who must pay exorbitant technology fees for the GE seed, and for the environment and sustainable and organic farmers whose crops can become contaminated due to GE drift.

If you care about food safety, it’s time to make your concern about GE food known! The USDA is accepting public comments on a proposed rule about GE until the close of business March 17th.

Tell the USDA that it must ensure the safety of GE technology for eaters, farmers and the environment!

If you want to learn more about concerns regarding genetically engineered food, watch The Future of Food tonight and this week on DIRECTV Channel 375 and DISH Network Channel 9410. Visit LinkTV for schedule. http://www.linktv.org/programs/future

Please send in your comments now! 

 

Now COOL.  That's Country of Origin Labeling.

 

R-CALF United Stockgrowers of America

 

Fighting for the U.S. Cattle Producer”

 

For Immediate Release                                                                               Contact: Shae Dodson, Communications Coordinator

March 16, 2009                                                                                       Phone:  406-672-8969; e-mail: sdodson@r-calfusa.com

 

USTR Should Defend COOL

Says Coalition of Ag, Consumer Groups

 

Washington, D.C. – R-CALF USA joined a dozen other organizations to file formal comments that request the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) to urgently defend the mandatory country-of-origin labeling (COOL) law that is to be fully implemented today.

 

In December 2008, both Mexico and Canada filed complaints against the U.S. COOL law, claiming it violates World Trade Organization (WTO) obligations.

 

“We expect USTR to protect U.S. consumers by successfully defending COOL against any and all challenges,” said R-CALF USA CEO Bill Bullard. “It is unbelievably arrogant that Canada and Mexico believe they should be allowed to override the will of U.S. consumers – consumers who deserve the right to know where the food comes from that they feed their families.

 

“This WTO case is a kitchen-table issue that will affect every American, and we expect the Obama Administration to demonstrate the President’s pledge to ‘aggressively defend our rights’ before WTO dispute panels,” he continued.

 

“This challenge, by two of our closest trading partners, undermines key trade policy objectives of the Obama Administration,” Bullard pointed out. “Defending these rules would reaffirm the President’s long-standing commitment to COOL.

 

The following organizations make up this particular COOL coalition, most of which have supported COOL for at least a decade: R-CALF USA; the Coalition for a Prosperous America; the Consumer Federation of America; Food & Water Watch; the Institute for Agriculture & Trade Policy; Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement; the Missouri Rural Crisis Center; the National Family Farm Coalition; the National Farmers Union; the Organization for Competitive Markets; Public Citizen; Rural Advancement Foundation International—USA; and, the Western Organization of Resource Councils.

 

COOL originally became law in the 2002 Farm Bill, but opponents – including the huge multinational meatpackers who held significant influence  over the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in the Bush Administration – were successful in preventing implementation of the law. In the 2008 Farm Bill, COOL was passed yet again, but these same packers have managed to take advantage of loopholes in the law to avoid Congress’ intent for the law to benefit consumers and U.S. livestock producers.

 

Earlier this year, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack sent a formal letter to the industry to request that retailers and packers change their behavior in order to meet the congressional intent of the legislation.

 

“We appreciate the Secretary’s efforts and we continue to ask USDA to make a priority the needs and desires of its constituency – U.S. citizens – and to not cater to the whims of foreign governments and multinational corporations, as has been the pattern for the last eight years,” Bullard concluded.

 

Note: To view/download a copy of the coalition’s comments to USTR and/or USTR’s Federal Register Notice dated Feb. 17, 2009, please visit the “Country of Origin Labeling” link at www.r-calfusa.com.

That's it from the Hill.  I hope things slow down.  Remember, Mar 28 is KC Food Circle EXPO.  Go to www.kcfoodcircle.org.  for directions.    Art and Debra.