Dawn of September 21: Democrats force vote on debt limit, risking closure | 2021-09-21

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Democratic leaders have made it official: A continuing resolution needed to avoid a government shutdown on October 1 will include a provision to increase the debt limit.

“Tackling the debt limit is about meeting obligations the government has already taken on, like December’s bipartisan COVID emergency relief legislation as well as life-saving payments to Social Security beneficiaries and our elders. fighters, ”said Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer, DN.Y., and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said in a joint statement.

Republicans will not support the increase, saying it is necessary to accommodate the Democrats’ $ 3.5 trillion Build Back Better spending plan.

“Democrats don’t get a chance to push through radical far-left policies on party line votes, brag about how they’re transforming the country, but then demand bipartisan coverage to rack up a historic debt ”, Senatorial Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., Said in a tweet following the Schumer-Pelosi announcement.

US, UK discuss free trade deal

The Biden administration may not yet have completed its review of the US-UK free trade deal negotiations under the Trump administration, but the prospect of an FTA was the topic discussion when US Trade Representative Katherine Tai spoke to UK Secretary of State. for international trade Anne-Marie Trevelyan Monday.

Tai and Trevelyan, the USTR office said in a statement, “discussed the USTR’s ongoing review of negotiations for a free trade agreement between the United States and the United Kingdom for assess how a potential deal might support the administration’s broader Biden-Harris Build Back Better agenda.

The US agricultural sector wants to sell significantly more rice, cheese, poultry and other products to the British, and an FTA is seen as necessary to reduce tariffs and remove restrictions.

Economists: Demand for biofuels is changing the soy market

Growing demand for renewable diesel driven by California’s standard for low-carbon fuels is changing biofuel policy while stifling food companies that rely on vegetable oils, economists say.

Renewable diesel, unlike biodiesel, can be used interchangeably with conventional diesel. The R&D factories “are being built by big oil companies who will put these factories, if not inside the refinery door, next to the refinery,” Seth Meyer, chief economist of the USDA, said on Monday. at the annual Ag Outlook Forum in Kansas City, Missouri, sponsored by Agri-Pulse and the Kansas City Farm Business Council.

The investment by oil companies in renewable diesel is changing the “political dynamic” with respect to the renewable fuels standard, Meyer said.

American Soybean Association economist Scott Gerlt said demand for renewable diesel will continue to grow, but will likely be below the 7 billion gallons of production capacity currently on the drawing board. That’s more than California needs and it would crash the state’s market, he said. For comparison, the United States has about 2.5 billion gallons of biodiesel capacity.

Federal government must coordinate food-related efforts, GAO says

Reducing duplication and improving coordination of more than 200 federal food-related efforts could improve health outcomes in the United States, according to a new report from the Government Accountability Office.

Federal agencies “have not effectively managed the fragmentation of food-related efforts or the potential for overlap and duplication,” GAO said. A striking example, which has become clear in the effort to rewrite the latest dietary guidelines for Americans, is that “agencies have not fully addressed significant gaps in scientific knowledge where research is scarce, including on healthy eating for infants and young children, ”GAO said. .

“This GAO report highlights the need to re-imagine and reorganize our efforts to tackle diet-related illnesses,” said House Credit Committee Chair Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., Criticizing the current “scattershot” approach.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the dangers of obesity, cardiovascular disease and diabetes, all of which could be prevented through healthy eating and other behaviors like exercise. “

The report states that 42% of American adults – or roughly 100 million people – are considered obese.

Brazilian farmers start sowing next year’s soybeans

Brazilian farmers have started planting the country’s next soybean crop, but slowly and despite widespread heat and less than ideal soil moisture, according to consulting firm AgRural. Farmers in the southern state of Paraná started two weeks ago and planting started last week in the center-south, although most are waiting for better weather conditions.

The company said about 0.1% of the area was planted on Thursday last week, but also pointed out that most planting would not start in earnest until October.

“With maps showing predominantly dry and warm weather through to the start of the month in much of the Center-South, most growers tend to wait for an improved forecast to speed up plantings, avoiding the need to replant. “, said the firm.

FSIS says labeling of herbal products is outside its purview

The USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service says it has no jurisdiction to regulate the labeling of herbal products.

In a 2019 petition, the US Cattlemen’s Association called on the agency to limit the use of “meat” and “beef” to only animal products, thereby preventing the use of those terms by products from other sources. herbal or cell culture.

But FSIS said under federal food, drug and cosmetic law, the Food and Drug Administration is responsible for regulating the labeling of these products. And, FSIS said, it is currently seeking comment on the status of cell culture meat.

The agency said in its response to the USCA that when he learns that a non-animal product is labeled as “meat” or “beef,” he informs the FDA.

EPA assesses use of dicamba as growers consider next year’s growing season

Environmental Protection Agency administrator Michael Regan said farmers will be able to purchase dicamba-related products for next year’s growing season. But he warned the agency was still receiving and analyzing new information about the use, since the Trump administration authorized its use for five years in October 2020.

“The EPA is extremely concerned about these reports and is taking steps to better understand the nature and severity of these incidents in order to assess the sufficiency of the 2020 decision,” Regan said at the Association’s annual meeting. National State Departments of Agriculture.

NASDA President Ryan Quarles hopes state administrators will be included in the continuous review process.

“Whether it’s dicamba-related products or not, we need to make sure that the crop technology is adopted through appropriate regulatory frameworks and not through the court system,” Quarles said. Agri-Pulse.

He said it: “I’m from Georgia, I can’t tell you who I am in ten minutes.” – Zippy Duvall, President of the American Farm Bureau Federation, commenting on his time to speak to attendees at the NASDA meeting.

Questions, advice, comments? Email Steve Davies at [email protected].



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