Baise: A ban on genetically engineered crops?
Despite a quarter century of promises, agricultural biotechnology has yet to provide any concrete advancements towards reducing world hunger, ameliorating global malnutrition, combating…, creating miracle drugs through GE [genetically engineered] plants or animals, or climate change." (WRONG!) On February 25, 2014, this statement was made by the Center for Food Safety, Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, Beyond Pesticides, and Center for Biological Diversity in a petition filed with the Secretary of Interior that seeks to ban genetically engineered crops from being used on National Wildlife Refuges. These anti-agriculture nongovernmental groups, as usual, do a... View Blog Post »
Will EPA regulate all water?
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is pushing to control the waters of the United States. And at least one political leader is pushing back. "To let EPA begin to regulate all waters of the United States would have devastating impacts on rural towns, farmers and local governments," says Congressman Mike Simpson, R-Idaho. His proposed legislation, called the Defense of Environment and Property Act of 2013, is an effort to stop EPA from regulating virtually all water bodies in the U.S. He will likely fail. On January 27, I wrote about a term you will see frequently, called... View Blog Post »
Poultry cage laws create scrambled eggs
Editor's Note: The following blog looks at a case involving the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), California voters and Missouri Attorny General Chris Koster. California's Proposition 2 was passed in 2008 and required farm animals, including sows and egg-laying hens, to turn around freely, lie down, stand up and fully extend their limbs. Read more about Proposition 2 here. The HSUS contributed more than $4 million in its campaign to garner support for the propsition. Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster is standing up for all of agriculture in a lawsuit filed on Feb.... View Blog Post »
EPA 'connectivity' to your farm and ranch
Since September, 2013, a number of organizations and writers have been describing a ticking time bomb coming from EPA to be delivered to all landowners. EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have sent a draft regulation to the White House which looks like another EPA grab for power over all the surface water and ground water in the U.S. Every environmental group appears to be enthusiastically behind EPA. Apparently EPA proposes to control water runoff in the U.S. Readers need to make their Congressmen aware of EPA's scientific support and the... View Blog Post »
Pricey farm bill is more about food stamps than farmers
The U.S. House of Representatives and Senate have passed the Farm Bill, and the President is being urged to sign it into law quickly. Conservatives in Washington are outraged at the profligate spending. The Heritage Foundation, a leading conservative think tank, said, "You Won't Believe What's in the $1 Trillion Farm Bill Disaster." Heritage says the Farm Bill is filled with central planning policies, handouts to special interests and wasteful spending and claims the taxpayers, the poor and consumers are the losers. Heritage states the Farm Bill is really a food stamp bill because 80%... View Blog Post »
Baise: Another bull's-eye on farmland owners
Watch the government bureaucrats in December of any year. The Government Accountability Office issued a report (CLEAN WATER ACT –Changes Needed if Key EPA Program if to Help Fulfill the Nation's Water Quality Goals) in late December, 2013, which will put another EPA bull's-eye on farmland and ranch operators and owners. GAO says "…more than 25 years after Congress amended it [Clean Water Act]…to institute a program to control nonpoint source pollution, a majority of our nation's waters continue to be impaired." GAO says "Major challenges remain for addressing nonpoint source pollution." (Interpretation: too much runoff from... View Blog Post »
Baise: OSHA's grain bin gambit: Is it legal?
On July 16, 2007, Richard E. Fairfax, OSHA's Director, Directorate of Enforcement Programs, wrote to a firm in Baton Rouge, La. The firm had asked if "The Appropriations Act exempts small farming operations from enforcement of all rules, regulations, standards or orders under the Occupational Safety and Health Act." It also asked if a farming operation is exempt from all Occupational Safety and Health Act activities if it employs 10 or fewer individuals. Mr. Fairfax said, "Under OSHA's current appropriations law, OSHA is not allowed to spend any... View Blog Post »
USDA’s billions in wasteful spending
U.S. Senator Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., has done us all a favor by publishing his new Waste Book 2013 on nutty government spending. Thirty billion dollars this year alone. Because this is the holiday season, we need to laugh and be joyous, and his new book evokes both laughs and disgust. The news media did point out the waste of $300 million spent on a super blimp and not used. The media also made fun of several other expenditures from the Waste Book. USDA and agriculture were spared by the media but not by Sen. Coburn. Your USDA complains mightily about... View Blog Post »
Baise: Contaminants in livestock and poultry manure
EPA has spent a lot of your tax money to have an outside contractor from Boston review contaminants found in livestock and poultry manure. The EPA report reviews pathogens and contaminants in manure as an emerging concern impacting water quality. The 125-page report is a roadmap for EPA to insert itself further in regulating concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs). The report is entitled Literature Review of Contaminants in Livestock and Poultry Manure and Implications for Water Quality. It was issued July 13, 2013. By the time you finish reading this report, you are convinced that livestock excretion is a source of pathogens,... View Blog Post »
Shortly after my last column was published, in which I described Pew Commission members, I received an email from a representative of the Pew Commission. Pew staff read my piece and asked me to review two letters the Pew Commission on Industrial Farm Animal Production sent to the Federation of Animal Science Societies and the American Veterinary Medical Association in 2010. The two organizations criticized the 2008 original Pew Report. To refresh your memory, the AVMA and FASS claimed there were significant flaws in the Pew Commission's approach and conclusions. In 2008, both organizations claim that the Pew members, some of... View Blog Post »
- Blog: The worship of mediocrity
- And the winner is…
- Making the most of college, Part 1
- Baise: Rambo takes on American agriculture
- Through the fire...
- The Mom at the Meat Counter is expecting
- Eight is enough
- Pork snacks banned!
- Mom at the Meat Counter: A lesson on pig housing and maternity pens
- Jobs in agriculture
- What is agriculture's future?
- The loss of “stockmanship”
- Chipotle and Panera: Food for thought
- Baise: Contaminants in livestock and poultry manure
- Federal Policy: Why it matters to agriculture
- Stevens: Trade deals portend good future for producers
- The versatile and economical Boston butt
- Meredith: My hope for ag in 2014: Christmas Jammies
- Renderers are the original recyclers
- Where's the accountability?