GOP hoots ‘elitist’ as Democrats question USDA’s plan to relocate researchers
Hoping to dissuade Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, farm-state Democrats in Congress asked for a cost-benefit analysis that would justify moving two USDA research agencies out of Washington. Two senior Republicans on the House Agriculture Committee ridiculed the opposition to the relocation as elitism and knee-jerk obstructionism of President Trump.
Decision ‘sooner rather than later’ on whether unplanted cropland gets Trump bailout
Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said he’ll have a decision “sooner rather than later” — maybe by Friday or maybe next week in Iowa with the president — on whether unplanted cropland will be eligible for Trump tariff payments this year.
USDA would exempt many genetically engineered plants from regulation
In its newest attempt to overhaul biotechnology rules adopted in 1987, the USDA said it would exempt new crop varieties, created through techniques such as gene editing, from regulatory review, so long as the modifications are similar to those achieved by traditional breeding and pose no plant-pest risks.
TODAY’S QUICK HITS
Farmers face tough choices on planting (Wall Street Journal): Amid record floods, farmers must decide whether to risk planting any crops in wet soil or attempt to recoup some of their costs through crop insurance.
Senate confirms Tarbert as CFTC chief (Senate): On a 85-9 roll call, the Senate confirmed Heath Tarbert as chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the watchdog agency for the futures markets.
Bill would keep chocolate milk in school (Courtney): Reps. Joe Courtney and Glenn Thompson filed a bill to codify Trump-era rules that allow schools to serve low-fat flavored milk, along with the low-fat and fat-free plain milks that many schools offer in line with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
Chickens against climate change (San Francisco Chronicle): Along with “heirloom” or “organic,” there’s a new claim for chicken meat sold at the Ferry Building in San Francisco — regenerative, for pasture-raised birds with little or no carbon footprint.
EPA is sued over advisory committees (Reuters): The Natural Resources Defense Council filed suit in U.S. district court in New York City to overturn a 2017 EPA decision that bars anyone who received EPA grant money from serving on its scientific advisory committees.