Livestock Amendments in Farm Bill

A number of amendments filed would affect the livestock and meat industries, including:

  • Packer Ban by Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) – The amendment would ban packers from owning, controlling or feeding livestock 14 days prior to slaughter.
  • Egg-Laying Hens Housing by Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) – The amendment implements the agreement between Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and United Egg Producers (UEP), which requires national standards for the housing and treatment of egg-laying hens.
  • Checkoff Programs by Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) – Amendment calls for the elimination of mandatory checkoff programs.
  • Forward Contracts by Senator Mike Enzi (R-WY) – Requires marketing agreements to have a firm base price derived from an external source; calls for future forward contracts for livestock to be traded in public markets where buyers and sellers can witness bids and make their own offers.  Producer-owned cooperatives, packers who own one processing plant, and packers with low volumes are exempt.
  • Marketing Arrangement by Senator Mike Enzi (R-WY) – Requires the reporting of the quantity of cattle delivered for slaughter using “alternative marketing arrangement.”
  • Lean, Finely Textured Beef (LFTB) by Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) – Requires Secretary of Agriculture to allow schools the option of using LFTB and the labeling of LFTB.
  • Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) Labeling by Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) – Requires labeling of food that contains genetically engineered or altered ingredients.
  • Market Access Program (MAP) by Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) – Would reduce the USDA Marketing Access Program funding from $200 million per year to $140 million per year. 
  • End Mandatory Spending by Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) – Focus is to convert all mandatory agricultural spending to discretionary spending, subject to annual appropriations.  This would affect farm program payments, trade promotion programs (Foreign Market Development, Market Access Program), nutrition, conservation and other programs. 
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