President Calls Congress On the Carpet & Good News for Idaho Wheat
President Calls Congress On the Carpet & Good News for Idaho Wheat plus Food Forethought. I’m Greg Martin with today’s Northwest Report.
President Barak Obama has officially called Congress on the Carpet for their lack of action this last week on a number of issues. During his weekly address the President chastised House members for leaving without finishing up items like the Farm Bill.
OBAMA: But apparently, some Members of Congress are more worried about their jobs and their paychecks this campaign season than they are about yours. Right now, if Congress had gotten its act together, we would have a farm bill to help farmers and ranchers respond to natural disasters like the drought we had this summer. And we’d have made necessary reforms to give our rural communities some long-term certainty. But so far, Republicans in Congress have dragged their feet. And now they’re gone.
Wheat prices are up and that is good news for northwest wheat farmers. Wheat prices are up 10 cents per bushel over last month, and 44 cents per bushel over last year. While the summer drought devastated midwest wheat, it also devastated Mexican wheat and northwest wheat was not affected since most is irrigated. Consequently a lot of Mexico companies are looking north for wheat and in fact this year Idaho wheat exports to Mexico are up 300% this year.
Now with today’s Food Forethought, here’s Lacy Gray.
It seems every few months there is a report released about arsenic levels in certain foods. This time it’s rice. Consumer Reports has recommended reducing rice consumption because of what it says are high levels of inorganic arsenic found in rice samples. In response, the Food and Drug Administration has said that current science does not support such information. It has been noted that arsenic occurs naturally in the soil and in certain foods. Inorganic arsenic was used in the past in fertilizers and pesticides, and while some may remain in the soil and therefore leech into foods, the FDA says at this time it is premature to call for the avoidance of foods containing rice. The FDA has been studying arsenic levels in foods and drinks over the last two decades, and to date no maximum arsenic levels have been established yet for food, although there has been for drinking water. While the FDA says it appreciates the work of Consumer Reports, the agency also says, to avoid fear and panic on the consumer level, more testing needs to be done in this area, and the appropriate steps need to be taken to address what is potentially a long term concern.
Thanks Lacy. That’s today’s Northwest Report. I’m Greg Martin on the Ag Information Network.