Occasional thoughts on the politics and activities of Washington, D.C., as they may have relevance to our tree fruit industry.
● USDA announced last Friday its deregulation of a Canadian firm’s–Okanagan Specialty Fruits, Inc.–two varieties (Granny Smith and Golden) of GMO apples, one day in advance of a three-day weekend. This is not unusual timing for controversial announcements by federal agencies. It almost guarantees a muted response in the [...]
● The Foreign Agricultural Service has long been viewed as an elite arm of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, staffed with talented, aggressive trade negotiators and export marketing experts. Employee morale once seemed high to me and many others who work with this agency. Over the past several years, [...]
● This fall’s disruptions of ocean shipping–that have lacerated our tree fruit exports–beg for some type of long-term remedy. Unionized longshoremen should not have the kind of economic clout that can be misused to so deeply harm our growers, other innocents, and, in general, the entire U.S. economy.
● Now that President Obama has issued his executive order related to immigration, advocates for agricultural employers who have been working intensively but fruitlessly for many years seeking a federal legislative solution–will need to rethink the matter over the course of this winter.
When the new 114th Congress convenes next [...]
● A virtual shutdown of West Coast ports has severely damaged export efforts of our tree-fruit industry. Efforts by many of the commercial industries adversely affected, including ours, had requested President Obama to use special powers to intervene.
This was a long shot given that labor unions are part [...]
● Greg Walden (R/Oregon) should be happy today. The chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee sheparded his flock of candidates to a significant national victory in yesterday’s mid-term election. However, the delegation from the Pacific Northwest did manage to stand pat, with the only change being in the [...]
● The Produce Marketing Association has hired a new team, Cornerstone Government Affairs, to represent it in Washington, D.C. Hunt Shipman will be the main contact for Cornerstone with PMA, for what is being called “Issues Management.” Mr. Shipman and his colleagues, such as my friend Vernie Hubert, have sterling [...]
● The New York Times Magazine issue of October 12 contains a feature article on the school lunch lobbying wars in Washington, D.C. Mentioned in this article are some old friends of mine: the lobbyist Marshall Matz, Tom Stenzel the president of the United Fresh Produce Association, and Kraig Naasz, [...]
● Last Friday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued its anticipated revisions to four proposed rules implementing the Food Safety and Modernization Act (FSMA), with comments due by December 15. Our growers will be especially interested in changes to the FSMA rules for determining the safety [...]
27 - 28
Pear Bureau Annual Meetings(All Day) Organizer: Pear Bureau Northwest
Meetings include Processed Pear Committee, Pear Bureau Northwest and Fresh Pear Committee. For more information call 503-652-9720.
27 (Wednesday) - 28 (Thursday)
Embassey Suites, Downtown Portland Hotel, Portland, Oregon
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Pear Bureau Northwest