The Hagstrom Report says 133 food and agriculture industry groups sent a letter to President Donald Trump this week urging him to modernize the North American Free Trade Agreement, while “preserving and building on the gains that have been made.” The letter was released by the Corn Refiners Association, whose high-fructose corn syrup is a major export to Mexico. The groups note that the market integration NAFTA has achieved has quadrupled the value of U.S. food and Ag exports to Canada and Mexico.
Helping Butterflies Improves Pollination
Acting Chief of USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, Leonard Jordan explains why helping monarch butterflies is important for pollination.
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Bill Would Move H2A Program to USDA
A bill introduced earlier this month into the House of Representatives (H.R. 281) is titled the Family Farm Relief Act, dealing specifically with immigration. The legislation is sponsored by New York Republicans Elise Stefanik and Chris Collins and would move the H2A immigration program from the Department of Labor to the Department of Agriculture. Co-sponsor New York Republican Elise Stefanik says the program would “be in the hands of those who best understand the specific needs of our farms.” The bill would bring an end to “burdensome requirements on advertising and prevailing practice surveys.”
Dicamba Herbicide Lawsuit Cites Endangered Species Concerns
Environmental groups have filed a lawsuit over the Environmental Protection Agency’s decision last year to allow the sale of Monsanto’s XtendiMax, a combination of dicamba and glyphosate. Groups filing the suit include the National Family Farm Coalition, Center for Food Safety, Center for Biological Diversity, and the Pesticide Action Network of North America. The suit was filed on January 20 in the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. A Bloomberg report says the groups cite health concerns due to increasing pesticide exposure and the eventual evolution of herbicide-resistant weeds as grounds to rescind the approval, which EPA gave on November 9, 2016.