● As a result of this year’s redistricting, commercial tree fruit growers will have reason to have constituent contact with four out of the ten representatives to be sent from Washington state to the nation’s capital for next year’s 113th Congress. Each of the four districts are now held by Republicans: Jamie Herrera Beulter/3rd District; Richard (Doc) Hastings/4th District; Cathy McMorris Rodgers/5th District; and Dave Reichert/8th District. In my opinion all four of these incumbents will be reelected on November 6. The bulk of apple, pear, cherry, and stone fruits–over 200,000 acres—are  in the 4th congressional district, with the 8th having about 22,000 acres. The other two districts have between 3,000 and 4,500 acres each.

● As of today 647 public comments have been received by USDA on a petition for nonregulated status filed by Okanagan Specialty Fruits, Inc., for its nonbrowning Arctic Apples. Most of these comments oppose the idea of approving GMO apples for commerce. Comments will be accepted until September 11.

● FSMA Watch: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s proposed rules implementing the new federal food safety law still have not been issued. Comments of late point to the possible initial publication in the Federal Register by FDA of just a segment of its full package of contemplated rules. Other comments floating about indicate resistance by the European Union to the way oversight and enforcement of food safety for imported food would be handled by FDA.

Political Past:  In a letter dated November 28, 1848, Thomas Carlyle commented thus on British Prime Minister John Russell’s ruling government:  “…a noisy insane Coil of red tape and Palaver, disowned of gods and men!”