Iowa Farm Bureau approves 50-14 policy, MCOOL
- County Farm Bureau voting delegates recently adopted policy language on livestock, biofuels, biosecurity and other crucial state and national issues at the Iowa Farm Bureau’s 2020 Summer Policy Conference in Des Moines.
- Some notable policy that resulted from the conference includes:
- Support of MCOOL for cattle and beef that meet WTO requirements.
- Reported data by the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service needs to be considerably more transparent and flexible.
- This reporting process should include information about futures-based cash pricing.
- All cattle sales information should be reported regardless of how the cattle are marketed.
- Packers should be required to purchase a minimum of 50 percent of the cattle they purchase as negotiated cash sales with a 14-day delivery period (50/14 legislation.)
- Incentives should be made available to small and start-up meat processing facilities to increase overall processing capacity.
- USDA and the DOJ should increase their enforcement of GIPSA regulations to protect small and start-up packing facilities from price manipulation and other monopolistic practices.
- Any national policy statements that came forward from the conference are not final Farm Bureau policy, however these policies will direct Iowa Farm Bureau efforts on national policy at the American Farm Bureau annual convention in January 2021.
Plant-based food producers sue state in federal court to block disclaimer requirement
- Last week, Upton’s Naturals Co. and the Plant-based Foods Association sued the state of Oklahoma in federal court, seeking an injunction to prevent the Meat Consumer Protection Act from taking effect on November 1st.
- This Act will prohibit sellers of plant-based foods from using “meat terms” to describe their products without a disclaimer that their product is actually plant-based.
- The Meat Consumer Protection Act will make it illegal to sell vegan bacon or other products that will be labeled as meat without a “compelled disclaimer” that the product is plant-based in lettering that is the same size and prominence as the product name.
- The Act specifically forbids advertising a product as meat if it is not derived from harvested production livestock.
- According to the plaintiffs, the Act would fail any level of First Amendment scrutiny and is a content-based regulation of speech.
- The plaintiffs claim that during the last legislative session, powerful meat industry lobbying groups asked the Oklahoma Legislature to make it more difficult for sellers of meat alternatives to compete with the meat industry.
- In a recent press release, the plaintiffs stated that the Act doesn’t have anything to do with health and safety, but instead has everything to do with protecting the meat industry from competition. “This law, which was passed to prevent competition within the meat industry, clearly violates the First Amendment,” said plaintiff attorney Milad Emam.
- Under Oklahoma’s 2019 statutes, the state already requires plant-based foods to list that the product is derived from plant-based sources, however it doesn’t require this statement to be displayed uniform in size and prominence to its product name.
U.S. details up to $14 billion in new aid for farmers
- On Friday, the USDA released details of a second round of Covid-19 aid for farmers and ranchers that will pay up to $14 billion to producers of corn, soybeans, wheat, livestock, dairy and tobacco.
- These new funds will be largely funded by the Commodity Credit Corporation and will include money for growers of specialty crops.
- This second round of relief payments follow an initial relief program from April that set aside $19 billion. To date, less than $10 billion has been paid out.
- Since the Trump administration took office, $28 billion in trade aid has been provided to the farm sector.
Boxed beef prices
- Choice boxed beef: $215.64 (+0.59)
- Select boxed beef: $203.94 (+0.55)