As the 2012 Senate Farm Bill was released to the floor, Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., has said she expects amendments. Now that the bill has cleared a 90-8 cloture vote, those amendments are starting to surface ahead of initial debate on the bill slated for Monday afternoon. In fact, so far 90 amendments have been filed for consideration as S.3240 moves along.
You can see the list of amendments filed here, and they range from wording changes to parts of the bill to significant ideas that are already getting reaction. Here are just a few in detail thanks to the Obama Foodorama Blog. We run down a few in more detail below.
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., has introduced an amendment that would allow direct sale of raw milk products across state lines, which two major dairy groups oppose. In a letter to the Senate, the National Milk Producers Federation and the International Dairy Foods Association expressed their concerns over the idea. The groups say the amendment, if passed, would enhance the "chances of that people will become sick because of increased consumption of unpasteurized milk."
Adds Jerry Kozak, president and CEO of NMPF: "Pasteurization is one of the greatest public health tools. To compromise or reduce its use through this legislation is not just bad politics - it's a huge, inhumae step backwards, and one that will cause sickness and death." Federal law currently prohibits interstate sale of raw milk, but allows states individual discretion to regulate raw milk sales within their borders.