Sprout Recall & Trade Disagreement

Sprout Recall & Trade Disagreement

Sprout Recall & Trade Disagreement plus Food Forethought. I’m Greg Martin with today’s Northwest Report.

A former USDA Trade Chief disputes claims by top House Democrat on Trade Sander Levin that U.S. trade deal timing is less important now with Colombia than Korea. Levin, the Ranking Member of the House Ways and Means Committee, says the July 1 Colombia-Canada free trade implementation date is less critical for the U.S. than the same date for a Korea-European Union deal.

LEVIN: With Korea, July 1 is clearly important. As to agriculture in Columbia, a lot of the impact already comes from their being with Mercosur and other countries.

Mercosur is made up of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela.

Local retailers are pulling sprouts off the shelves after a recent outbreak of Salmonella poisoning. 20 cases of Salmonella are confirmed in Washington, Idaho and Montana and the Department of Health is now investigating Evergreen Produce in Moyie Springs, Idaho. Evergreen Produce owner Nadine Scharf said there is no proof the Salmonella or any bacteria came from the sprouts at her farm. Even so, the Washington Department of Health issued a warning last week, urging people not to eat alfalfa or spicy sprouts labeled Evergreen Produce. Scharf says the warning is destroying her business.

Now with today’s Food Forethought, here’s Lacy Gray.

Fasten your seat belts farmers and ranchers, it could be a bumpy ride. As if farmers and ranchers need yet another speed bump in their way when it comes to trying to make their livelihood, up pops the possibility of the US Department of Transportation, or more accurately the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration proposing rules that would encompass many farm implements and normal farming or ranching practices as being engaged in interstate commerce. This could be anything from hauling grain to the elevator, or moving equipment from the shed to the field. This type of ruling would require ag trucks and machinery to have federal registration and farmers and ranchers to have commercial driving licenses. This issue actually first surfaced back in February and has resulted in growing concern and much consternation for farmers and ranchers. While no ruling has been made, the FMCSA is preparing to draft a “regulatory guidance”; an action which invariably spells trouble for all those concerned. This issue of CDL’s generates many questions, not the least of which being how much more can farmers and ranchers take?

Thanks Lacy. That’s today’s Northwest Report. I’m Greg Martin on the Ag Information Network.

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