GOP Platform Touches on Ag Issues

Dan General, Industry News Release

GOP Platform Critical of GMO Labeling, ‘Gipsa” Rule, ‘;Wotus” Regulation, EPA

gop platformThe Republican Party platform cobbled together and unveiled at the GOP presidential convention in Cleveland touches on a number of agricultural issues. Among other things, the 58-page document urges Congress to remove the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) – food stamps – from the Farm Bill. More than 75 percent of Farm Bill funding goes to SNAP. The platform also opposes mandatory labeling of foods that contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Congress last week approved legislation requiring such labeling as a way to avoid a patchwork of 50 state GMO-labeling laws. It also calls for a “fundamental restructuring of the regulatory process,” citing the pending “draconian” rules on the buying and selling of livestock and poultry – the so-called GIPSA Rule – from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration. The platform calls the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Waters of the United States (WOTUS) Rule a “travesty” that will micro-manage and over regulate “puddles and ditches on farms, ranches and other privately-held property.” The document proposes eliminating EPA in its current form. Dropped from the 2016 platform was any mention of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement. A draft document urged Congress not to “rush” passage of the 12-nation TPP deal; the final platform simply states that “significant trade decisions” should not be rushed. (The 2012 GOP platform said a Republican president should finish the trade talks begun in 2008 “to open rapidly developing Asian markets to U.S. products.”)