Senate Ag Panel’s 2007 Farm Bill ‘Mixed Bag’

WASHINGTON, DC - While it does contain some good for US pork producers, the bad and the ugly included in the 2007 Farm Bill approved today by the Senate Agriculture Committee far outweigh the positive provisions, according to the National Pork Producers Council.
calendar icon 26 October 2007
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“The Senate Agriculture Committee’s bill is a mixed bag. There are some important programs for pork producers,” said NPPC Past President Joy Philippi, a pork producer from Bruning, Nebraska:

“Overall the legislation likely will restrict and further regulate producers’ access to markets and make the U.S. pork industry less competitive in an increasingly competitive global market. We are very disappointed with the Agriculture panel’s Farm Bill.”

Included in the legislation sent to the full Senate, which may take it up as early as next week, are provisions that would:

The Good
  • Fix the Mandatory Country-of-Origin Labeling law.
  • Fund swine genome research.
  • Authorize a national trichinae certification program.
  • Fund conservation programs, including the Environmental Quality Incentives Program.
  • Establish – through a Sense of Congress resolution – that eradication of pseudorabies in swine should be a top animal health priority.
  • Authorize “Regional Centers of Excellence,” which would conduct research on agricultural commodities, including swine.

The Bad
  • Establish an Office of Special Counsel for livestock competition issues.
  • Restrict certain business practices related to contracts between packers and producers.
  • Prohibit arbitration clauses in contracts between packers and producers.

And The Ugly
  • Ban packer ownership of hogs and marketing contracts.

NPPC supports the Farm Bill approved in July by the House. It includes increases in investments in renewable energy, nutrition and conservation programs, as well as much-needed changes to the Mandatory Country-of-Origin Labeling law. It has no competition or animal welfare provisions.

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