Food & Farm Lobby Day announced
Celebrating the 100th Convention in 2015

Take a stand for bees

Tell the President: #BeeKindObama!

Earlier this year, the president called on federal agencies to create a plan to “promote the health of honey bees and other pollinators.” To show appreciation for all that bees and wild pollinators provide, it is essential that this plan address toxic, persistent, and systemic neonicotinoid (neonic) pesticides—which science has shown to be a critical driver of pollinator declines. The president’s task force is set to submit its recommendations to the White House by as early as the end of this week.

Tell the White House that we expect strong, meaningful action on bee-toxic pesticides when it releases its federal strategy in the coming months—it needs to suspend bee-killing neonics! Here are some easy steps for taking action:

1) Write out the hashtag #BeeKindObama on a sheet of paper; take a photo of yourself holding the paper, and share here and on your social networks

OR

2) Share your comments here on why President Obama should suspend bee-toxic neonics and also share on your FB/Twitter using #BeeKindObama

NFU Strongly Objects to Anti-Family Farmer Provisions

Contact: Andrew Jerome, 202-314-3106
ajerome@nfudc.org

WASHINGTON (Dec. 10, 2014) – National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson and United States Cattlemen’s Association (USCA) President Danni Beer today sent a letter to the House and Senate leaders strongly objecting to three anti-family farmer and rancher provisions slipped into the 2015 Appropriations Act in the dark of the night, without a single congressional hearing or an ounce of public discussion.

“NFU and USCA are very concerned that the report language included on Country-of-Origin Labeling (COOL) could be used as an opportunity to stop the appeals process at the World Trade Organization or re-open the legislation that mandated COOL, both of which are unacceptable,” notes the letter. “Congress should not intervene in the WTO process.”

Formally known as Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015, the bills are being considered before both the House and the Senate this week. The joint letter points out that also hid inside the Act is a provision that orders the Secretary of Agriculture to refrain from implementing a reformed beef checkoff program, with the irony that the closing period on public comments for the beef checkoff is today.

“National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) is so fearful of losing its $40 million-plus revenue stream through the beef checkoff that it has lobbied for this language to be included in the report rather than allowing producers the ability to have their comments recognized and addressed through the commenting process. NCBA has lobbied Congress on a mandatory producer checkoff program that they control,” notes the letter.

Also contained in the proposed Act is a legislative provision that prohibits the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyard Administration (GIPSA) from implementing regulations on the livestock and poultry industry that would address an array of fraudulent, deceptive, anti-competitive and retaliatory practices.

The letter points out that gutting the GIPSA law “would deny farmers protection from retaliation when they use their first amendment rights to speak with congressional representatives, deny them the right to a jury trial, and deny them the right to request information on how their pay is calculated. This provision is unconscionable.  Its inclusion in a funding bill is unacceptable to NFU’s and USCA’s members.”

“We strongly object to the use of the appropriations process as a mechanism to limit the secretary’s authority to uphold the COOL law, to respond to the dire need for reform of the beef checkoff, and to address anti-competitive market concerns.”

Read the letters in their entirety here.

National Farmers Union has been working since 1902 to protect and enhance the economic well-being and quality of life for family farmers, ranchers and rural communities through advocating grassroots-driven policy positions adopted by its membership.
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– See more at: http://www.nfu.org/news/297-miscellaneous/2621-nfu-strongly-objects-to-anti-family-farmer-provisions-snuck-into-appropriations-bill#sthash.dwrH8Z0u.dpuf