The Neuse Riverkeeper Foundation and Waterkeeper Alliance issued a Notice of Intent to sue the current and former owners and operators of the Stilley swine feeding operation to stop illegal discharges of swine waste into groundwater, wetlands and streams that flow to the Trent River. The Stilley Facility, which confines more than 11,000 swine near Trenton, North Carolina facility for Murphy Brown, LLC – a subsidiary of Smithfield Foods, Inc. – has a long history of illegal discharges and waste management problems. The groups will file suit under the federal Clean Water Act and Solid Waste Disposal Act if action is not taken to stop the swine waste discharges and clean up the facility within 90 days. In their notice, the Neuse Riverkeeper Foundation and Waterkeeper Alliance expressed a strong desire to work with the owners and operators of the facility to every extent possible to reach a cost-effective solution to their waste management problems.
Three South Carolinians Named to Cotton Board
USDA has announced appointments and reappointments to the Cotton Board. Arthur W. James, Jr. of Sumter, S.C is among those reappointed to the Board, Francis G. Darby from Chester, S.C. is a reappointed alternate, and James C. Self III of Greenwood South Carolina has been appointed as a new member. The Cotton Board is appointed by the Secretary to oversee the Cotton Research & Promotion Program. All three will serve three year terms.
Appropriations Agreement Reached
An agreement has been reached on an omnibus spending bill to fund the government for the remainder of the current fiscal year. The bill provides a total of 1.012-trillion dollars for the government – including 20.9-billion in discretionary funding for USDA, the Food and Drug Administration, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the Farm Credit Administration, which is 350-million dollars more than the fiscal year 2013 enacted level.
Ag Secretary Vilsack Addresses GMO Labels
Ag secretary tom Vilsack spoke at the National Convention of the American Farm Bureau Federation earlier this week on the GMO labeling debate:
“Our view is that people are having a 20th century debate about a 21st century issue.”
But, there is the trend of knowing more about food and where it comes from:
“Our view is that we should be looking at ways that we can provide those consumers that want information, the information they need, but in a way that doesn’t send the wrong set of signals.”
It’s been suggested putting a QR code on packaging, and those that wish to know more can scan it with their smart phones, and those that are satisfied with what they see, don’t have to.