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Buckeye Farm News
House, Senate pass ag spending bills
The U.S. House recently passed its fiscal 2010 agriculture spending bill, containing $124 billion for the Agriculture Department, the Food and Drug Administration and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. It provides funding for a wide array of federal programs including agricultural research; education and Extension activities; natural resources conservation programs; food safety, marketing and inspection activities; rural economic and community development activities. The Senate passed its version of the bill in early August, but several differences will need to be worked out before a final version is passed.
More help for the hungry
American Farm Bureau is urging senators to support a change to the tax code making it more feasible for farmers and ranchers to donate food they grow to charitable organizations. Known as the Good Samaritan Hunger Relief Tax Incentive Extension Act of 2009, the legislation would permanently allow farmers and ranchers to take advantage of tax deductions when they donate food they have grown, regardless of how they file their taxes. Under current law, which expires at the end of 2009, only farmers and ranchers who use the accrual method of accounting may benefit from incentives for charitable donations of food.
Brown to chair Senate Ag Subcommittee
Ohio Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown of Avon was recently announced as the chair of the Senate Agriculture Subcommittee on Hunger, Nutrition and Family Farms. The subcommittee has jurisdiction over legislation relating to domestic food assistance, safe and sustainable agriculture and childhood nutrition programs. The subcommittee also has oversight of commodity futures, options and derivatives. Brown’s subcommittee will oversee the improvement of school and childhood nutrition programs, domestic and international food assistance, hunger prevention and local health food initiatives.
AFBF Task Force provides budget balancing recommendations
An internal AFBF committee, known as the Federal Deficit Task Force, recently made a set of recommendations for Farm Bureau members to consider as they formulate policy for 2010. The primary objective of the task force was to recommend ways to achieve a balanced federal budget by 2019. While analyzing the nation’s deficit, the task force cited increasing healthcare costs as a major impediment to balancing the budget. The group recommended the AFBF policy process look at cutting healthcare spending by implementing a centralized source to coordinate medical records, utilizing incentives for results (not procedures), preventive care, shortening hospital stays and limiting government sponsored coverage to only necessary and cost-effective procedures.
Study linking red meat to cancer ‘flawed’
The author of a much-publicized meat study released two years ago declaring “convincing” evidence linking the consumption of red meat with cancer, has admitted that the study was flawed. Conducted by the World Cancer Research Fund and American Institute of Cancer Research, the study recommended the consumption of red meat (beef, pork, lamb) be limited to 18 ounces per week. A review of the research at the request of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association revealed “no conclusive evidence” of a link between red meat consumption and cancer.