News and notes from across the region | TSLN.com

News and notes from across the region

Farm Bill update

The U.S. Cattlemen's Association Executive, Jess Peterson, said on Jan. 7, 2013, that "details on the farm bill likely won't be public until later this week.

"We are hearing that the COOL study language will most like be included in the Farm Bill details," he went on to say, explaining, "that means an amendment to gut COOL would have to be brought up via the public meeting. The public meeting could take place later this week or first part of next week. The scheduling is dependent upon the progress made by the lead Farm Bill conferees.

A Politico story reported, "The principal conferees have had to tackle numerous divisive issues, ranging from how much to cut the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program to how to calculate farm subsidies, but Cochran suggested those issues have been resolved. The senator's –Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) – comments match what congressional aides and lobbyists are saying: The conference committee is tentatively scheduled to begin deliberating the farm bill compromise as early as Thursday with an eye toward finishing up by Friday."

DTN Ag Policy Editor Chris Clayton had this to say, "There still has to be serious doubts over whether House Republicans are going to accept cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program at $8 billion over 10 years. Republicans stalled the farm-bill last summer because $19 billion in SNAP cuts wasn't high enough.

Given the short schedule and the political need to pass a bill, chances are good we get a conference meeting before the end of the week. If that doesn't happen, well then someone apparently found a way to hit the pause button again." F

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Cheerios goes Non-GMO

According to news reports, the popular Cheerios cereal will now be produced as a "non GMO" product. "Under pressure from consumers and activist groups, General Mills says it will stop using genetically modified ingredients to make its original Cheerios cereal," said a USA Today story.

While the oats used to make Cheerios have never contained any genetically modified organisms (GMOs), the company did make changes to its sourcing — and now, for example, only uses non-GMO pure cane sugar instead of beet sugar, says spokesman Mike Siemienas in the story. F