South Dakota Stockgrowers thank Congressman Johnson |

South Dakota Stockgrowers thank Congressman Johnson

Last week Congressman Dusty Johnson (R-SD)was busy as ever. Not only did he and Representative Darren Soto (D-FL) introduce the Food Safety Modernization for Innovative Technologies Act, he also found time to meet with many of South Dakota’s producers including the South Dakota Stockgrowers.

“We greatly appreciate Congressman Johnson taking the time to come into our office and discuss issues of importance to South Dakota livestock producers,” said Stockgrowers President Scott Edoff.

“I thought we had a robust conversation and were able to tell him of our concerns about many issues.”While at the Stockgrowers office, there was discussion on the bill recently introduced that would put into statute the current Administration Agreement revolving around cell-cultured proteins. “South Dakota ranchers already produce a safe, quality product; anything lab grown should have to meet the same standards for consumers,” said Johnson. “As cell-cultured foods make way to the supermarket, Americans deserve to know exactly what it is they are feeding their families.”Under this legislation, FDA would oversee the lab process of multiplying animal collected cells to make tissue and USDA would oversee processing, packaging and labeling. Through a coordinated agency process, the Secretary of Agriculture would have the authority to require prior approval of labels or labeling claims before introduction into the consumer market. The bill also provides protections for misbranded products, including “imitation” products that could confuse consumers.“We really encourage people to stay aware of this issue,”stated Stockgrowers Executive Director James Halverson. “Labeling is of the utmost importance with all protein products. We expect to be able to differentiate our superior USA beef and this bill is a step in the right direction. Consumers expect and demand to know what they are purchasing to feed their families and we will continue to fight for those common-sense labeling laws,” he added.

The conversation under the big neon horse in downtown Rapid City also included topics such as property rights, Endangered Species Act Reform, Land and Water Conservation Fund concerns, and check-off reform among others.

Stockgrowers Region 1 Vice President, Les Shaw, was also on hand to participate in the talks.

“We are hopeful that Congressman Johnson will take our issues back to DC and do what he can to help the producers of South Dakota. We can’t thank him enough for reaching out to us and continuing to listen to our priorities,” he said.

–South Dakota Stockgrowers Association