USDA Dealing With AG Risk Coverage Program; Country of Origin Meat Labeling Hearing Set
Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack says USDA wants to treat all producers “equitably” under the across-the-board government spending cuts known as sequestration. The problem for USDA’s Farm Service Agency in dealing with cuts to the Agricultural Risk Coverage program and the Price Loss Coverage program is that the cuts are different in each fiscal year, and the farm programs are based on crop years. Vilsack said the situation shows “how goofy” sequestration is. So far Congress has not come up with an alternative plan to sequestration.
The World Trade Organization’s hearing on U.S. Mandatory Country of Origin meat labeling is set for September 15th and 16th in Geneva, Switzerland. The arbitration hearing comes as Canada and Mexico continue to demand the U.S. repeal its controversial mandatory COOL law. Canada and Mexico have protested the law as protectionist, a view that has been upheld by the World Trade Organization four times. The U.S. House passed legislation in June to repeal COOL, but the Senate has yet to do the same.