Dems Anti-Farm Bill Stand and Calorie Count Labels
**With Democrats solidly in opposition, House Ag Chairman Michael Conaway says he will canvass his Republican colleagues to make sure they will pass, possibly this week, a farm bill that toughens work requirements on SNAP recipients and loosens crop subsidy limits for farmers.
Passage could require a repeat on the House floor of the party-line approval in committee.
Republicans hold a 235-193 margin over Democrats, but need a simple majority of 215 votes, because seven seats are vacant, to pass legislation.
**Big farms, with at least $1 million in sales, dominate U.S. crop production, according to USDA economists.
In dollar value, half of U.S. crops come from the biggest farms, compared with 31% in 1991.
Agriculture.com reports mechanization and technological innovations such as chemical pesticides and GMO crops "likely play an important role" by reducing the demand for labor and allow one person to handle more work than in earlier decades.
**Food retailers, including vending machines, are all required to display calorie counts for food on menus as of last Monday.
Agweb.com reports, this is one of the final rules enacted from the 2010 Affordable Care Act, aimed at reducing obesity rates and cutting health costs.
According to the FDA, stores with at least 20 sites will be required to list calories on menus and menu boards.
Restaurants will also have to provide additional nutritional information, such as fat and sodium levels.