Earlier this month NAFTA dysfunction at the White House sent shock waves through the Chicago Mercantile Exchange hog futures after Canadian sources suggested the U.S, will soon announce plans to pull out of NAFTA, putting the odds over 50 percent. You need look no further than the dysfunctional train wreck that resulted in a governmental shutdown earlier this month to see that it is no longer possible for Congress and the White House to do anything in a bipartisan manner that serves Americans, farmers included.
During the third quarter of this year – the Grocery Manufacturers Association spent nearly $600,000 on lobbying Capitol Hill. In the third quarter of 2015, the lobbying group spent nearly $1.8 million stumping for issues such as food labeling, bird flu and food safety. But it may soon lose its power. The association was founded in 1908 to lobby anyone who will listen to the needs and concerns of its members, including some of the world’s largest food manufacturing companies – Campbell’s, Nestle, Mars, Tyson, Unilever, and Dean Foods. Except…all six companies have now opted out of the group, splintering the food lobby and its influence on Capitol Hill.
The Renewable Fuels Standard was enacted into law back in 2005 as a way to help the U.S. toward oil independence and provide some environmental benefit on the idea that burning ethanol releases less carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than burning fossil fuels. The Renewable Fuel Standard has also been public enemy number one with Big Oil since day one. Now what? Dave Dickey explores.
Early, very early in the Trump Administration, I postulated that perhaps the POTUS wasn’t all that passionate about all things agricultural to the determinant of Big Ag in general and the individual farmer in particular.
The European Union was supposed to decide this month on whether to renew usage of glyphosate for another decade.
That decision was postponed till at least December after the European Parliament voted in a non-binding resolution to phase the weed killer out by December 2022.
France is on record as saying it will not vote in favor of glyphosate, full stop. The EU now all but concedes a 10-year renewal is dead on arrival and is exploring licensing of five to seven years. In short, the process has become messy and uncertain where certainty is needed.
Glyphosate is not going away anytime soon, and neither is the heated debate.
I’m reminded by what’s going on over at Tyson Foods and Cargill these days of an ad campaign three decades ago – “Where’s the beef?”. Consumers may soon be asking that question – along with the even more problematic “Is it beef?” – should the two big ag companies get fledgling efforts to ramp up beef substitutes to a grocery store near you.