Note: This newsletter from the American Farm Bureau has items of interest to Alaska producers.
Industrial Hemp Legislation Introduced
Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) and 46 bipartisan co-sponsors recently introduced H.R. 525, The Industrial Hemp Farming Act. The bill would make the crop legal to plant by removing it from the federal list of controlled substances. The companion bill, S. 134, was introduced in the Senate earlier this month by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and has three co-sponsors.
Farm Bureau opposes the classification of industrial hemp as a controlled substance and supports theproduction, processing, commercialization and utilization of industrial hemp.
The Obama administration wants to double the amount of federal funding dedicated to combating antibiotic-resistant bacteria, a mounting problem that causes an estimated 2 million illnesses and 23,000 deaths annually in the United States. President Barack Obama will ask Congress for the $1.2 billion as part of his annual budget request, scheduled to be unveiled next week, White House officials said.
The funding would be used to speed development of antibiotics and diagnostic tools, improve surveillance for “superbugs” and better prevent the spread of antibiotic-resistant microbes in hospitals and other health-care settings. The proposal comes several months after Obama released a five-year plan to curb antibiotic resistance and directed federal agencies to significantly ramp up their efforts to deal with the growing threat, saying it was necessary “to better protect our children and grandchildren from the reemergence of diseases and infections that the world conquered decades ago.”
The Agriculture Department would receive an additional $77 million, in part to help develop alternatives to the antibiotics used in farm animals.
MilkTruth.com: It’s Time to Get Real About Milk
For some reason, milk has been under attack. Some critics are saying don’t drink milk – it’s unneeded, unnatural and bad for you. That couldn’t be further from the truth, points out the MilkTruth.com website.
Thousands of scientific studies have documented the benefits of drinking milk. Don’t be misled by alarming headlines or passionate critics. Get the full story about milk. Nutrition is a science, not a point of view. See what the real experts are saying about milk – one of the most naturally nutrient-rich beverages you can find. Some are avoiding dairy milk or replacing it with an alternative. But it’s tough to make up for the nutrients that real milk provides – which is particularly troubling for growing kids, who will likely suffer the most.
Go online to learn about the “Get real about milk” tagline and the just-launched website and campaign, organized by MilkPEP, which aims to set the record straight about the science behind milk.
The Agriculture Department’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has confirmed the presence of highly pathogenic H5N8 avian influenza in a commercial turkey flock in Stanislaus County, California. This is the first finding of HPAI in commercial poultry during the ongoing disease incident in the Pacific Flyway. No human cases of these avian influenza viruses have been detected in the U.S., Canada or internationally and there continues to be no public health concern.
Samples from the flock, which experienced increased mortality, were tested at the California Animal Health and Food Safety Laboratory System and the APHIS National Veterinary Services Laboratories in Ames, Iowa, confirmed the finding. APHIS is partnering closely with the California Department of Food and Agriculture, which has quarantined the facility. APHIS and CDFA have initiated an incident command response, and APHIS will assist CDFA in depopulating the remaining birds on the property to prevent the spread of the disease. Birds from the involved flock will not enter the food system.
H5N8 has not been shown to present a health risk to the public. The proper handling and cooking of poultry and eggs to an internal temperature of 165 F kills bacteria and viruses.
Executive Newswatch is published by the American Farm Bureau Federation, 600 Maryland Avenue, SW, Suite 1000W, Washington, DC 20024. Phone: 202-406-3600.