'Treasure MAP:' Under fire again - The Packer

'Treasure MAP:' Under fire again

06/15/2012 02:45:00 PM
Tom Karst

• Prunes and plums are already directly targeted for assistance by USDA through the California Prune Board ($3.6 million, 2010) and the California Tree Fruit Agreement ($2.5 million, 2010), the Western United States Agricultural Trade Association ($9.6 million, 2010) brags in a recent association newsletter that “CropSource International of Walnut Creek, CA has been a part of the WUSATA’s Branded Program since 2004, when they received $50,000 towards marketing their Sunsweet® brand prunes and prune juice in New Zealand (NZ).” The Organic Trade Association, a MAP funded organization, also promotes dried plums.

• The Popcorn Board, funded by USDA at more than $250,000 annually, promotes American popcorn and related products. Similarly, Food Export, USA ($11.2 million, 2012) recently assisted a Nebraska-based gourmet popcorn maker with sales in Japan.

To read the full report, click here.

TK: Another lawmaker taking swings at the MAP is Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. In a rant-filled floor speech yesterday, McCain beat up on MAP and other farm bill programs.

One of 300 farm bill amendments or so, Coburn's farm bill amendment on MAP is below. Besides taking $40 million from the $200 million annual funding, the amendment offers some grandstanding with its explicit exclusion of "animal spa products" and "reality television shows.

The amendment:

SA 2289. Mr. COBURN submitted an amendment intended to be proposed by him to the bill S. 3240, to reauthorize agricultural programs through 2017, and for other purposes; which was ordered to lie on the table; as follows:

    On page 293, strike lines 16 through 19, and insert the following:


    Section 211(c) of the Agricultural Trade Act of 1978 (7 U.S.C. 5641(c)) is amended--

    (1) in paragraph (1)(A)--

    (A) by striking ``and'' after ``2005,''; and

    (B) by inserting ``, and $160,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2013 through 2017'' after ``2012,''; and

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