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Cell-based meat issue could still be settled on the Hill

November 20, 2018
In The News

IN THE HOPPER: Key lawmakers with power over USDA and FDA spending want more information on the two agencies’ plan to divide up jurisdiction over cell-cultured meat before they’ll consider nixing a provision in an upcoming funding bill that would give USDA lead responsibility over the budding sector.

— Trade aid and city life: USDA records show that trade aid payments have been made to hundreds of people who live in urban areas. The Environmental Working Group said it’s evidence that the next farm bill should tighten payment limits for farm subsidies.

— Pressure building for tariff deal with Mexico, Canada: The new North American trade agreement is in line to be signed at the end of next week, but Mexico and Canada want relief from U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum by then...

FARM BILL CLOCK RUNS DOWN: House and Senate agriculture leaders and their staff continued negotiations Monday, trading offers and insisting they’re getting close to a final deal. With lawmakers out of town this week for the Thanksgiving holiday, updates have been few and far between.

Time is of the essence: MA readers are well aware that negotiators don’t have much time to make a deal and get the details wrapped up so Congress can move in early December. Significant policy tweaks at this stage will also need new CBO scores (not the easiest thing to accomplish the week of Thanksgiving).

Abraham blames Democrats: Rep. Ralph Abraham (R-La.), a member of the House Agriculture Committee, on Monday accused House Democrats of trying to delay farm bill talks to punt the issue to the next Congress. "We can ram this through, and I think that's what we've got to do at this time,” he told a local outlet. A spokesperson for House Agriculture Chairman Mike Conaway did not respond to an inquiry about whether he agrees with Abraham.

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