Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Omnibus spending bill would repeal COOL, no WOTUS language

House and Senate Appropriations committees have agreed on a $1.15 trillion federal spending bill that includes potential “fixes” to SOME agricultural issues. The spending measure, released early Wednesday morning, would repeal mandatory country-of-origin labeling (COOL) in hopes of preventing retaliatory tariffs from Canada and Mexico. COOL repeal would come just in time as the World Trade Organization (WTO) is scheduled this Friday to approve Canada and Mexico’s $1 billion in tariffs on U.S. products. National Farmers Union president Roger Johnson says NFU is frustrated by the language because it would repeal labeling for not only muscle cuts of beef and pork but also for ground beef and ground pork – which were found to be trade-compliant. The spending measure also includes language that would try to limit the impact of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines and reinstates the expired biodiesel tax incentive. However, the bill abandons several controversial policy riders that would have rolled back the EPA’s clean water rule (formerly known as Waters of the US, WOTUS); it also does not contain language that would pre-empt state GMO-labeling laws...more

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