- Renewable Fuel – The EPA’s delayed mandates for 2014 biofuel commercial use until 2015 giving opponents another chance to modify or repeal the law that created the Renewable Fuel Standard. This impacts corn growers since the RFS guarantees a market for producers of conventional ethanol, largely corn-based fuel.
- Cuba -Relaxing trade restrictions around Cuba could be a big win for Rice, soybeans and poultry producers, getting the attention of pro-trade agribusiness and farm groups.
- Immigration – President Obama’s announcement regarding immigration this winter left agriculture companies and employers pondering how this will impact their workforce since 70% of farm workers in the United State are here illegally. If there is no need for them to stay in farming, since they can qualify for other jobs now, farm employers wonder who is going to work the farms. This can only lead to higher prices for consumers for fruits & vegetables.
- Meat Labels – U.S., Canadian and Mexican cattle producers say requiring labels showing an animal’s nation of birth, feeding and slaughter raises business costs and discriminates against trading partners. The National Farmers Union and other labeling supporters argue that the labeling requirements provide information consumers want.
- Calorie Labeling – The rule requires retail food businesses with more than 20 outlets to post calorie counts for standard menu items and beverages, including some alcohol, on menus. These industries claim the calorie counts will cost millions to post.
- GMO Labels – Congress may step into the battle over labels for foods containing genetically modified ingredients. The food industry has spent more than $100 million to defeat the measures.
Nutrition & Food Safety
- Meat Eaters – The meat industry is growing more concerned about final recommendations from an advisory committee that Americans should eat less meat because of the environmental impact of raising animals for food.
- Child Nutrition – school meal nutrition standards set under a 2010 child nutrition law expires Sept. 30
- Food safety regulations – Consumer groups will keep an eye on the budgeting process to see if rules implementing the Food Safety Modernization Act (PL 111-353) get adequate funding.
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