Farm Bill, Food Safety, And COOL

Farm Bill, Food Safety, And COOL

Last year at the Washington Public Policy Conference (WPPC), the overriding theme was immigration reform. I think we all know how that turned out. Despite the disappointment on that front, there was a feeling of relief from this year’s conference attendees about the passage of the Farm Bill. This year’s WPPC, held Sept. 10-12 in Washington, DC, occurred with just three weeks remaining for Congress to be in session before the election. Realistically, not much was expected to occur during those final weeks.

Although that wasn’t good news, it was brought up, on more than one occasion, that this was the first time fruits and vegetables were included in the Farm Bill. All in attendance applauded United Fresh Produce Association’s intense involvement in helping to get this historic bill passed. As Bill Laforge, an attorney with Winstead Sechrest & Minick, said during an advocacy and grassroots session, “If you don’t speak up for your cause, no one else will.”

Even though not much was expected to get done in
Congress during the remaining “lame duck” session, it was mentioned that typically when a new president takes
office — regardless of party affiliation — the largest amount of controversial issues are tackled. We can only hope that rings true in 2009.

Food Safety

As part of the WPPC, I also had an opportunity to visit FDA and hear from several representatives of the organization. The purpose of the visit was to discuss food safety issues. As many can imagine, tomato growers are still looking for answers as to why they were falsely accused of being the source of Salmonella that caused quite a stir at the beginning of the summer. Tomato growers lost a significant amount of money as a result of this food safety scare. 

Unfortunately, not many answers were provided by those from FDA speaking to the group. Discussions turned to determining what information is necessary to make traceback more effective and efficient, so this bit of history doesn’t repeat itself. Tom Lovelace, chairman at United, asked the FDA representatives to involve producers in the information gathering process after an outbreak occurs. 

Keeping Up With COOL

Another topic discussed at the conference was the implementation of COOL, the Country of Origin Labeling rule. As of Sept. 30, fresh produce sold in retail stores must be in compliance with the rule. According to Robert Guenther, senior vice president, public policy at United, it is critical for all supply chain partners to work together to understand and implement this rule.

To find out more on the specifics, read “What You Need To Know Now About Complying With Country Of Origin Labeling Rule,” which can be found at www.unitedfresh.org. Additional questions can be sent to [email protected].

Leave a Reply

Featured Stories
legal justice, courts
Berries
May 4, 2016
University of California Sued Over Strawberry Breeding – Again
This time it’s a private strawberry breeding company, which says the statewide breeding program has been decimated by UC-Davis. Read More
(Photo credit: USDA)
Citrus
May 4, 2016
$6 Million Available For Antimicrobial Resistance Research
Program to develop strategies to reduce public health risks in food chain. Read More
California's "Citrus Belt" is on the east side of San Joaquin Valley, not far from the Sierra Nevada foothills. (Photo credit: David Eddy)
Citrus
May 3, 2016
New Program Targets Abandoned California Citrus Trees
Bayer and California Citrus Mutual have teamed up to help protect the state’s commercial citrus industry from deadly citrus greening. Read More
Extreme close-up of redbay ambrosia beetle
Fruits
May 3, 2016
How To Build A Better Beetle Trap
UF/IFAS study on luring, snaring the notorious redbay ambrosia beetle earns prestigious award. Read More
Shockwave, a long shelf-life cantaloupe with higher sugar content than most varieties is available from Holmes Seed Co. and Harris Seeds. Credit: Holmes Seed Co.
Cucurbits
May 3, 2016
New Cantaloupe, Pumpkin, And Squash Seeds Available
New varieties developed at the University of New Hampshire are the result of the longest continuous squash and pumpkin breeding program in North America. Read More
A herbicide screening trial in a non-bearing almond orchard treated in early January 2011.  The middle plot is a glyphosate-only program whereas the foreground and background plots had residual herbicides.  The photo was taken four months after the January treatments. (Photo credit UCANR)
Crop Protection
May 3, 2016
Almond Board To Hold Three Weed Management Workshops
The second in a series of free educational workshops aimed at the state’s almond growers will cover weed identification and Read More
fork digging into a plate full of salad
Food Safety
May 2, 2016
Department Of Justice Investigates Dole Over Listeria Outbreak Linked To Packaged Salads
Salad mix packaged at the company’s Ohio facility has been connected to four deaths. Read More
Florida Everglades swamp shot at sunset
Citrus
May 2, 2016
As Hurricane Season Nears, South Florida Going Dry
All basins around the region experience rainfall deficits during April as totals fall far below average. Read More
Harvesting Tips At Kuhn Orchards
Equipment
May 2, 2016
USDA Offers New Loans For Portable Farm Storage, Handling Equipment
Portable equipment can help producers, including small and local farmers, get products to market quickly. Read More
Contour Farming
Vegetables
May 2, 2016
The Importance Of Producing Crops On Well-Managed Cropland
Many farmland protection options and tools have been suggested and used in efforts to slow the rate of farmland losses around the country. Read More
The Latest
Berries
May 4, 2016
University of California Sued Over Straw…
This time it’s a private strawberry breeding company, which says the statewide breeding program has been decimated by UC-Davis. Read More
Citrus
May 4, 2016
$6 Million Available For Antimicrobial R…
Program to develop strategies to reduce public health risks in food chain. Read More
Citrus
May 3, 2016
New Program Targets Abandoned California…
Bayer and California Citrus Mutual have teamed up to help protect the state’s commercial citrus industry from deadly citrus greening. Read More
Fruits
May 3, 2016
How To Build A Better Beetle Trap
UF/IFAS study on luring, snaring the notorious redbay ambrosia beetle earns prestigious award. Read More
Cucurbits
May 3, 2016
New Cantaloupe, Pumpkin, And Squash Seed…
New varieties developed at the University of New Hampshire are the result of the longest continuous squash and pumpkin breeding program in North America. Read More
Crop Protection
May 3, 2016
Almond Board To Hold Three Weed Manageme…
The second in a series of free educational workshops aimed at the state’s almond growers will cover weed identification and Read More
Food Safety
May 2, 2016
Department Of Justice Investigates Dole …
Salad mix packaged at the company’s Ohio facility has been connected to four deaths. Read More
Citrus
May 2, 2016
As Hurricane Season Nears, South Florida…
All basins around the region experience rainfall deficits during April as totals fall far below average. Read More
Equipment
May 2, 2016
USDA Offers New Loans For Portable Farm …
Portable equipment can help producers, including small and local farmers, get products to market quickly. Read More
Vegetables
May 2, 2016
The Importance Of Producing Crops On Wel…
Many farmland protection options and tools have been suggested and used in efforts to slow the rate of farmland losses around the country. Read More
Leafy Vegetables
May 2, 2016
Electronic Eye Detects Decay Inside Bagg…
Researchers develop a way to help select breeding lines that will yield cut lettuce with a longer shelflife. Read More
Nuts
May 2, 2016
California Almond Acreage Up 6%
The increase follows a trend in which acreage has doubled in the last 20 years. Read More
Farm Management
May 2, 2016
USDA Unveils New Urban Agriculture Toolk…
For urban farmers and agribusiness entrepreneurs, the toolkit is an electronic document that helps users navigate more than 70 resources, including technical assistance and financing opportunities. Read More
Cucurbits
May 2, 2016
13 Of The Latest Cucumber Varieties
Check out this slideshow for more details on 13 cucumber varieties you need to know about from the nation’s leading seed breeders and Read More
Apples & Pears
May 1, 2016
USApple Debuts New Website
Industry group says new site is responsive to different formats, designed to be more consumer and industry friendly. Read More
Crop Protection
April 30, 2016
How To Elect The Right Fungicide For The…
Fungicide application is one tool of a successful IPM program for crop diseases. Used judiciously and appropriately, these chemicals are powerful allies in the fight against the fungi and bacteria that attack crops. Read More
GenNext Growers
April 30, 2016
Young Growers The Focus Of Industry Prog…
The next generation in the tree fruit industry getting support of leading industry organizations. Read More
Nuts
April 29, 2016
Look Out For Jacket Rot On Almond Leaves
Rains at bloom are causing higher than normal incidents of bacterial infections. Read More
[gravityform id="62" title="false" description="false"]