Over the summer, both the House and Senate passed wildly different versions of the Farm Bill. Now, through a conference committee (where both chambers of Congress meet to merge their separate bills into one), your legislators are trying to bridge a $36 billion dollar gap between the two bills.
The Farm Bill doesn’t just affect farmers-it could have a real impact on you and your family: at stake are 16 million American jobs, the price of groceries, several already-passed GMO labeling laws, and $1 trillion of your tax dollars.
For the natural health community, there are multiple areas of concern in both versions of the bill (the House’s version alone is 608 pages long, so this isn’t surprising). However, there’s one amendment the final Farm Bill
should not include, and one section it
definitely needs to keep.
What to Throw Out: The King Amendment (a.k.a. the Interstate Commerce Amendment). It could undo state-level GMO labeling and animal rights laws.
“It’s exactly what our founding fathers wanted to avoid.” That’s what Rep. Steve King (R-IA) had to say about California’s Treatment of Farm Animals Law, which bans caging farm animals (for example, chickens and veal) in a way that does not allow them to turn around, lie down, stand up, and fully extend their limbs.
Rep. King was so offended by California’s law that, this summer, he succeeded in adding his amendment to the House’s version of the Farm Bill. Perhaps some of Rep. King’s outrage stems from the fact that he receives campaign funding from Premier Pork Marketing and Lynch Livestock, and doesn’t want to offend major donors! Simply put, the amendment would forbid any state from imposing its own higher standards or conditions on food produced or manufactured in another state.