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  • Consumers Speak Out Against Triscuit’s Non-GMO Label | Biotech-now

    A recent article in Forbes highlighted the consumer response to Triscuit’s Non-GMO label, after the cracker brand announced its new Non-GMO Project label last month. Hundreds of consumers commented, criticizing the brand for pandering to “ignorance and fear.” “Another cynical business trying to cash in on fear and scientific illiteracy surrounding a technology that could do a lot of good,” writes one critic. “So long and thanks for all the crackers.” The comment mirrors several that point out that “GMO” technology is a tool, not an end product that can be boxed and sold. GMO, which stands for “Genetically Modified Organism,” has no tangible meaning but has become shorthand for any organism with traits created with modern molecular genetic engineering (GE) techniques.

    Post date: Tue, 09/19/2017 - 07:09
  • USDA organics chief steps down | Capital Press

    Miles McEvoy, USDA deputy administrator of the National Organic Program, is stepping down after eight years at the helm to return to his home in Olympia, Wash.

    Post date: Tue, 09/19/2017 - 07:07
  • Massachusetts Bill Would Penalize People For ‘Fake’ Service Dogs | Boston CBS

    Advocates for service dogs for the disabled were at the State House Tuesday, lobbying for a bill that would penalize those who say their animals are service dogs when they’re not. Kaitlyn Steinke of Falmouth and her dog Jones were among those in favor of what’s been called the fake service dog bill. The bill’s sponsor, Republican State Rep. Kim Ferguson of Holden, says misrepresenting dogs as service animals is a growing problem. A dozen other states have laws on the books making “fake service dogs” a crime.The measure has wide support in the House. It would impose a penalty of community service and/or up to a $500 fine for those misrepresenting their dogs as service dogs.

    Post date: Tue, 09/19/2017 - 07:06
  • Ohio legislator pushes bill to build more wind turbines closer to properties | Columbus Dispatch

    Against the backdrop of wind-farm construction in Hardin County, state Sen. Cliff Hite, R-Findlay, sought to build support for his proposal that would allow more wind turbines to be built in upcoming projects. “I think we can make this happen,” he said during the event Thursday. “The groundswell of support is increasing as we speak.”Senate Bill 188 would partially undo changes that lawmakers made in 2013 addressing where turbines can be built. The bill deals will the minimum distance required between a turbine and property lines and houses.Hite spoke at a news conference at Hog Creek Wind Farm, a project being built near Dunkirk, in northwestern Ohio. The developer, EDP Renewables, already operates three wind farms in the state.Before 2013, turbines could be built within about 550 feet of a property line, a figure based on the height of the tower and blade. Then, four years ago, lawmakers made an amendment to an unrelated measure that increased the distance to about 1,300 feet. Ever since, wind-industry groups and others have pushed for a reversal of the change.Hite, whose district includes several wind farms, tried to make the changes earlier this year through an amendment to the state budget. The provision was removed at the last minute, and critics said the topic should be debated on its own.

    Post date: Tue, 09/19/2017 - 07:02
  • Ag committee chairs push Idaho farm commission leaders to talk about challenges | Capital Press

    The chairs of the Idaho Legislature’s House and Senate ag committees are encouraging the directors of the state’s commodity commissions to do a better job talking about the issues and challenges their industries face when speaking to lawmakers. Some of the presentations are more on the “here’s what we did last year” side and not enough on the “here are the issues our industry is struggling with” side, said Sen. Jim Rice, R-Caldwell, chairman of the Senate Agricultural Affairs Committee.Rice said he is trying to push those commission leaders to share their challenges so legislators can figure out how to help them or at least not get in their way.“Some of the presentations seem too much of cheerleading presentations and we don’t talk enough about the challenges that they’re facing, the things that are causing their industry problems,” he said.“I’m trying to ... make sure that we improve those presentations by addressing problems, challenges, areas where we may be falling behind or where we are headed down a road that’s going to be a problem,” Rice said.Rep. Judy Boyle, R-Midvale, chairwoman of the House Agricultural Affairs Committee, said that’s something she’s also trying to do.“We want to know what the issues they are facing are,” said Boyle, a rancher. “That’s really the value of commissions to the legislature.”Boyle said she has told commission leaders to share their challenges and encouraged them to bring their growers and commissioners and let them speak as well.

    Post date: Tue, 09/19/2017 - 06:58

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Gleanings

Farmland Taxes Under Discussion in the Midwest Again

23 January, 2017

Senator Jean Leising knows it’s going to be another tough year for beef and hog producers, and 2016’s record national yields for corn and soybeans indicate that farm profitability will decline for the third straight year.  She is convinced that “the drop in net farm income again this year makes the changes Indiana made to the farmland taxation calculation in 2016 even more important.”  

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Farm

Are corporations taking over America’s food supply?

15 March, 2016

Family farms.  The foundation of America’s food security.  According to the USDA, 97 percent of farms are family farms, and they grow 90 percent of the food produced. But national policies to keep food affordable (American’s spend less than 7 percent of their paycheck for food) and the boom and bust cycles of farming have resulted in larger, more concentrated farming practices. 

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