Getting the Farm Bill Done & Ethanol Criticizes
Congress is back this week and will try again to finish up the farm bill - but at least one lawmaker is now giving mixed signals on how quickly the job can get done. Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley is hedging his bets the farm bill will be finished by the middle of the month - when many feel USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack may be forced to impose permanent law. Reversion to 1949 law - with its ancient subsidies - could trigger soaring milk prices after the lapse of a key dairy program on New Year's Day.
GRASSLEY: The uncertainty is there, I admit that, but if Congress really does act in 2 weeks it's not. Otherwise I think it could put pressure on the Senate to adopt the House extension for a month or so.
The Advanced Ethanol Council is criticizing a 60 Minute report on the Department of Energy's investments in clean energy. Brooke Coleman, executive director of the AEC said that "By engaging in a petty game of 'gotcha' with Silicon Valley, '60 Minutes' missed the point when it comes to government support for innovation in the energy industry." While implying that clean energy investments are just too costly for the American taxpayer, '60 Minutes' forgets to mention that 75 percent of Department of Energy (DOE) Research and Development dollars have been spent on nuclear and fossil fuel development over the last 60 years.
Now with today's Food Forethought, here's Lacy Gray.
I recently read about a new app in the works to tell consumers which restaurants offer vegetarian, vegan, or humanely raised options. The non-profit group America for Animals will be offering the app, which is to be called "The Humane Eating Project". At first glance the app sounds harmless enough. I know that it can often be hard for vegetarians or vegans to find restaurants that offer food choices within their dieting parameters. But closer examination of the future plans for the app by its creators sends shivers up my spine. Representatives for America for Animals say they hope to be able to create a "watch list" within the app of restaurants that they feel serve inherently cruel dishes, with a built in petitioning tool that will allow users to target local restaurants that they want to receive letters from "The Humane Eating Project" about serving more humane choices. Now we're getting to the real "meat of the matter". Instead of merely helping those who choose to eat a vegetarian diet find eating out options, the app will ultimately serve as yet another tool to target meat eaters and the restaurants who serve them.
Thanks Lacy. That's today's Northwest Report. I'm Greg Martin on the Ag Information Network.