Olive oil was a hot topic as well during second round discussion. An amendment to prohibit imported olive oil from essentially being added to a list of products that require rebranding to U.S. standards was voted down.
Though the heated discussions regarding SNAP, dairy policy and interstate commerce took center stage, Committee members did approve a series of amendments en bloc, which accounted for approximately one-quarter of the amendments offered to the bill.
Among them, Rep. Kristi Noem, R-S.D., Rodney Davis, R-Ill. and Bob Gibbs signaled support for greater oversight on the Environmental Protection Agency as related to agriculture.
Specifically, Davis had two amendments in the en bloc – one to rein in EPA oversight of seeds treated with pesticides, which he said are already regulated by USDA, and another to ensure USDA works more closely with the EPA.
Gibbs' amendment mandated that EPA, USDA and other federal agencies many not release any personal information of participants enrolled in Title I and Title II programs of the Farm Bill.
"This should be a no-brainer," Gibbs noted. "These farmers have done nothing wrong and yet their personal information, emails, phone numbers and addresses are being disseminated to groups who are opposed to their livelihood."
Also in the package were amendments to eliminate loopholes in the SNAP program, improve river infrastructure to mitigate drought and flooding effects, and create a study to examine the long-term effectiveness of certain Farm Bill programs.
Representatives also approved a measure to eliminate what some legislators called a "duplicative" catfish inspection program and a measure that would support rural technical and community colleges.
Also approved was an amendment to repeal USDA's Grain Inspectors, Packers and Stockyards Administration rule. Legislators did not consider amendments regarding Country of Origin Labeling.
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