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Cautious Optimism Following Omnibus Spending Bill Passage

21 January 2014

US - National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson expressed cautious optimism after the US Senate and House of Representatives’ passage of the $1.1 trillion spending bill that will keep the federal government running through September.

“It isn’t all too often that Congress passes bipartisan legislation. Let’s hope this spirit of cooperation continues through to the farm bill,” said Mr Johnson.

“We are pleased by the activity, even though the omnibus bill – and its accompanying report language – is far from perfect. While the bill includes much-needed funding increases for rural development programmes, it also makes detrimental cuts to the Women, Infants, and Children Programme, and appropriations for the Commodity Futures Trading Commission fall short of the agency’s needs.”

The bill includes nonbinding report language that is critical of Country-of-Origin Labeling (COOL).

“It is a sign of desperation when packers, processors, and our foreign competitors go as far as including misleading rhetoric and scare tactics in the omnibus report language, in order to try to deny consumers the right to know the origins of their food,” said Mr Johnson.

“We urge the US Department of Agriculture to stand firm in supporting COOL and to dismiss this nonbinding resolution.”

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