The plea by some southern agriculture groups for a delay in the Senate Agriculture Committee's farm bill markup was heard.

Sen. Debbie Stabenow, Chairwoman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, issued the following statement regarding the postponement of tomorrow morning’s farm bill mark-up.

“The Agriculture Committee has made significant progress and have bipartisan agreement on the bulk of the Farm Bill.  We are committed to continuing to work together in a bipartisan way as we come to agreement on a few outstanding issues.  This is a bill that impacts 16 million jobs and a huge sector of America’s economy, and it is important that we move prudently to create the best possible product.”

Stabenow's office said a  new date and time for the rescheduled hearing will be announced shortly.

Farm bill markup delay and  "alleged ready-to-eat convenience"I was reading a Kansas City columnist this morning and she hit on fresh produce safety in an entertaining piece called "Suspicious germaphobe eyes Caesar salad and asks ‘Et tu?’". Check out Denise Snodell here, explaining her alarm that even bagged salads are subject to food recalls because of salmonella.

From her column:

Let’s explore the whole salad bag phenomenon, shall we? I’ve been guilty of purchasing way too many of these almost weightless, overpriced packages. Not for the alleged ready-to-eat convenience. No. I’ve been shelling out 5 bucks per green leaf for the bag itself. Why? Have you seen fellow shoppers (who might have colds) palming bundle after bundle of loose escarole, then putting it all back down, only to walk away empty-handed? The old contaminate and run trick.

For me, salad bags used to be mini HAZMAT suits for the leafy stuff. They were sealed barriers between my dinner and serial produce fondlers. But now more than ever, an antiseptic-looking, pre-packaged offering of greens claiming to be “ready to eat!” cannot be taken lightly. My re-triple-washing won’t cut it anymore. It’s quadruple spinach baths from now on. I am doomed to be hunched over the running faucet with one of those jeweler loupes in my eye, double-checking my quadruple efforts.


TK: Other links of particular interest include this study looking at crop insurance issue and specialty crops here and coverage of the Washington asparagus outlook by the Seattle Times.


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