It doesn’t matter which side of the fence you’re on, electing Trump was … well, electrifying. It was a new wind blowing across the land, and it isn’t just hot air. These guys are following through on their promises. Business and farm-friendly management is now the order of the day at the Federal building, and that is continuing to bring big time change.
One of the first changes we saw was the application of common sense on pesticide regulatory changes. Under Obama there was a movement to ban Chlorpyrofos, a pesticide used in many crops. The science was sketchy, and long experience has shown it is safe to use, as long as the rules are followed. But the EPA was all set to ban it completely. Scott Pruitt killed the ban, opting to allow the continued use of a material that many growers consider essential.
And here’s something new. The government wants to change the public’s attitude toward GMO food. Despite the fact that about 90 % of the corn and soybeans grown in this country are GMO, about 40% of the population thinks that GMO foods are bad for our health. So the feds are spending $3 million for an advertising campaign to educate citizens that GMO foods are just as healthy as non-GMO foods.
The democrats were outraged, and called it ‘propaganda’. But this is such a hot button issue. So many citizens fear GMOs, even though the American Medical Association and the World Health Organization both have said GMO foods are as safe as the non-GMO varieties. Essentially, it’s a Public Health question. Shouldn’t the Government be able to help get the facts out?
Another major policy change is, Agriculture secretary Sonny Perdue withdrew the Obama administration’s attempts to improve the quality of the foods served in schools. He’s giving back control of the menu to the local school districts. This came about because of studies that show kids are not eating the new foods. Obviously, If kids aren’t eating the food, it’s ending up in the trash. The kids aren’t getting the nutrition and our tax dollars are just being wasted.
These are just a few examples of the changes that new wind is bringing to Washington. There’s lots more ahead – trade issues and public lands come to mind. For sure it’s going to be an interesting four years.
I’m Len Wilcox and that’s the Western View from AgNet West.