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Inside The Beltway -- August 2000
Ag policy update from the Midwest Sustainable
Agriculture Working Group.
Jump down menu:
House Farm Bill Hearings
Pomeroy/Minge Safety Net Bill
Harkin Conservation Security Act
National Uniformity of Food Act
Biotech Committee Meets
USDA to Announce Ag Contract Regs
TMDL Rule Final, But...
EPA Issues Nutrient Manual
New & Notable:
Greenpeace withdraws Bt Crops Lawsuit
National Consultation on Food Security
Previous editions of Inside the Beltway
the Beltway is Sustainable Farming Connection's online version of the Midwest
Sustainable Agriculture Working Group's Washington Report. We reproduce
it with MSAWG's permission. Do not reproduce or post to any electronic network
without specific permission. Contact Brad DeVries
email@example.com for more information.
On July 21, the Senate approved the regular agriculture appropriations bill for fiscal year 2001, along with an additional $2.1 billion in emergency
spending. As we predicted in the Washington Report in early July, House-Senate conference consideration of the bill is being put off until
September. It is quite likely at that time to become part of a large, omnibus spending and catch-all bill that may well be the last thing to pass
before members of Congress head off for the campaign trail in early October.
Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP) -- The best piece of good news to emerge from Senate action was a 100,000 acre ($117 million) increase in the
WRP, passed as part of a $900 million package of emergency spending amendments approved on the floor. The significance of the emergency designation is
that it does not count against the budget caps the bill otherwise operates under and does not therefore need to be offset by spending cuts to other
programs. The amendment was offered by Chairman Thad Cochran (R-MS) with the support of ranking member Herb Kohl (D-WI). With our earlier victory
during House floor consideration -- reversing a move to use remaining WRP budget authority (equal to approximately 39,000 acres) to offset apple and
potato disaster spending -- the way is now clear for the conference agreement to provide for at least 139,000 acre WRP enrollment during
2001 This is not far below the enrollment levels of recent years. House conferees (i.e., all subcommittee members) should be contacted and urged to
accept the extra 100,000 acres for WRP in the Senate bill.
Conservation Assistance -- A few other items in the emergency spending floor amendment package bear mention. The appropriators reached back into
the crop insurance/emergency bill signed into law earlier this year and made two adjustments to the $10 million in farmland protection and $40
million in conservation assistance provisions in that previously-passed bill. First, it solved
a problem caused by the Agriculture Committees when they insisted, in the crop insurance bill, that none of the $40 million
could be spent by NRCS to administer the program. At a cost of $6 million, the appropriations emergency package reverses this silliness. Second, the
appropriations amendment would allow the Department to spend some or all of the combined $50 million on the Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program (WHIP),
a favorite of Chairman Cochran. How the money might be further divided among programs by USDA under this amendment - FFP, EQIP, WHIP, etc. -
remains to be seen. The SAC office has already been working closely with USDA staff on a variety of implementation issues related to these one-time
Floodplains; Biotech -- The emergency package also contained $70 million
for the Emergency Watershed Program for flood prevention operations, but with new language, sponsored by Senator Harkin (D-IA), allowing part of
these funds to be used to purchase floodplain easements. Also sponsored by
Harkin, with Senator Bond (R-MO), is $600,000 in emergency spending for a GIPSA biotech reference center. The center is to develop new testing
procedures to ensure accurate, certified public testing and identification of agricultural products derived from biotechnology.
Emergency Payments -- The rest of the emergency package included $450 million for crop and livestock disaster payments, especially for the
Dakotas (floods) and the Southeast (drought), $160 million for apple and potato disaster payments, $60 million for boll weevil eradication, $50
million for rural facilities in North Carolina, $40 million for payments related to citrus canker, and a variety of smaller items. The underlying
bill already included $1.1 billion in emergency spending, including $450 for payments to livestock producers, $443 for payments to dairy farmers,
$39 million in additional FSA salaries, and $35 million for conservation technical assistance to implement CRP and WRP.
Other Floor Amendments -- In addition to all this emergency spending action, there were a few "normal" amendments to the "regular"
appropriations bill that deserve mention. In a partial victory for the Humane Society, a successful amendment by Senators Boxer (D-CA) and Smith
(R-NH) would authorize APHIS to choose four states for a pilot project to convert to "non-lethal" methods of wildlife control in its Wildlife
Services program. Responding to the USDA ranking of states for food "insecurity", Senator Wyden (D-OR), noting Oregon's very low ranking,
obtained $176,000 for the Oregon Food Electronically and Effectively Distributed (FEED) food bank program, taking the funds out of the research
account for Food Quality Protection Act risk mitigation. The National Research Initiative (NRI) served as the appropriations equivalent of an ATM
machine for 3 successful "special grants" amendments - $950,000 for gasification R&D at Oklahoma and Mississippi State Universities, $500,000
for "bioinformatics" at Virginia Tech, and $700,000 for Extension's AgrAbility program. These amendments combined reduced NRI funding to its FY
2000 level of $119.3 million.
Legislative Amendments -- A SAC-supported amendment sponsored by Tim Johnson (D-SD) to extend and revise the authorization for the State
Mediation Program matching grant program, previously attached to other legislation, is now part of the Senate appropriations bill - the most
likely vehicle for it to become law. The Organic Foods Production Act was amended to allow sulfites in the production of organic wines. Finally, an
amendment by Senator Daschle (D-SD) was approved to require USDA to provide relief to conservation program participants who are found to be in
violation of their conservation program contract but who in good faith had relied upon the advice of agency field staff.
Big Picture -- Ag conferees will be meeting at some point in September to
work out differences between the House and Senate bills. On major ticket items, we now have two victories to defend. First, the Senate bill, but not
the House, would allow the Fund for Rural America ($60 million/year) and the Initiative for Future Agriculture and Food Systems ($120 million/year)
to continue, albeit technically speaking on a one year time delay. The continued existence of these special funds is critical to our efforts to
obtain funding for research, marketing, value-added enterprise development, beginning farmer, and other initiatives to support sustainable systems and
small and moderate-sized farms. Second, the Senate bill, but not the House, now contains an extra 100,000 acres ($117 million) for the Wetlands Reserve
Program for 2001. While this does not solve the bigger issue of reauthorizing the program and ramping up its funding and acreage levels, it
would keep the program alive for another year - during which the bigger battle can be fought.
In addition, we also have a number of smaller priority programs at issue in the conference, including House increases for ATTRA (+$500,000) and
Federal-State Marketing Incentives Program (+$300,000)) and Senate increases for Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (+$2.2
million) and Farmers Market Nutrition Program (+5 million). Finally, we also are still working toward restoring anti-sodbusting protections to CRP
that were removed by legislative rider in last year's appropriations conference. Without restoring some anti-sodbusting requirement, 7 million
acres of native prairie and grasslands with a high rating for conversion to cropland will continue to be at risk.
House Farm Bill Hearings
The House Agriculture Committee held three farm bill hearings in July, taking testimony from farm groups, program commodity groups, and
non-program commodity groups. We offer free-of-charge, and without commentary, the following synopsis of the farm program views articulated at
the truly dreadful hearings.
National Corn Growers Association: pro Freedom to Farm; pro flexibility;
against return to supply management; against any payment limitation on LDPs; pro restoration of storage facility loans; against expansion of CRP;
against any legislation to address concentration that would prevent growers from forming alliances and partnerships with corporate America.
National Grain Sorghum Producers: pro Freedom to Farm; pro flexibility; against supply management; against all payment limitations; pro increasing
farm program budget baseline to at least $13 billion/year; against Flex Fallow; pro counter cyclical payments with no flexibility; pro tax-deferred
"transition" payments for farmers to invest in corporate agribusiness, with the stock fund established as a producer-owned cooperative.
National Association of Wheat Growers: pro flexiblity; pro increasing farm
program budget baseline; against restoration of Farmer Owned Reserve; against any supply management other than CRP; against Flex Fallow; pro
increased export subsidies; pro counter cyclical payments but based on cost of production, not price average.
National Barley Growers Association: pro flexibility; against any supply
management; pro counter cyclical payments; pro upward relative adjustment of barley loan rate (and hence increased LDPs); pro increased export subsidies.
National Cotton Council: pro increasing farm program budget baseline; no
payment limitations; no targeting; pro flexibility; no supply control; pro increased export subsidies.
USA Rice Federation: pro double AMTA payments for 2001 and 2002; pro
flexibility; against supply control; pro USDA "management" of world market price for marketing loan gain purposes; no payment limitations or at least
big increase; pro increasing export subsidies.
US Rice Producers Association: pro increased export subsidies; pro increasing payment limitation; pro increasing farm program budget baseline.
United Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Association: pro continuation of prohibition of using planting flexibility to grow fruits or vegetables on
Western Growers Association: pro continuation of prohibition on F&V on AMTA
National Cattlemen's Beef Association: pro flexibility; against supply control; against Flex Fallow; against Farmer Owned Reserve; no increase in
CRP acreage cap; against EQIP herd size limit; pro allowing managed grazing on CRP and CREP !!! (ok, one wee little editorial comment).
American Farm Bureau Federation: pro Freedom to Farm; against raising loan
rates at all; pro counter cyclical payments for all crops and livestock; pro increasing export subsidies; pro Adjusted Gross Revenue insurance; pro
National Grange: pro flexibility; pro increased export subsidies; pro funding for conservation programs; pro increasing dairy loan to $12.50; pro
Dairy Compact; pro regional compacts for other commodities; pro marketing loan programs for all crops, including nonprogram crops, with $50,000
payment limitation; pro farmer owned reserve programs with storage payments for all commodities; allow assignment of checkoff dollars to non-profits,
farmer coops or organizations.
National Farmers Organization: pro Flex Fallow; pro increase in CRP to 50
million acres; pro a 1-3 year Soil Bank program; pro reinstating Farmer Owned Reserve.; pro check off votes every 5 years.
National Family Farm Coalition: pro nonrecourse loan and increase in loan
rate to cost of production; pro reinstating Farmer Owned Reserve; pro substantial supply control; against Flex Fallow; against any crop insurance
program and pro return to pure disaster aid program.
National Farmers Union: pro targeted counter cyclical payments without flexibility; pro $12.50 dairy loan; pro targeting to family farms; pro
expansion of flexibility; pro safety net payments for specialty crops and livestock; pro reserves to ensure supplies for renewable fuels and
humanitarian food assistance; pro reduced export subsidies; pro increase in CRP to 40 million acres; pro 3-5 year conservation land retirement program;
pro Conservation Security Program.
Pomeroy/Minge Safety Net Bill
Rep. Earl Pomeroy (D-ND) and David Minge (D-MN) introduced their "Family Farm Safety Net Act" (H.R. 4979) on July 26. The bill increases the loan
rates for marketing loans to near the cost of production (thus vastly increasing loan deficiency payments), increases the loan duration from 9 to
20 months, and increases the loan deficiency payment limitation. The new support would be in addition to current farm program payments and is
estimated to cost about $9 billion more a year, or just a bit more than current supplemental emergency bailout packages.
Harkin Conservation Security Act
We now expect the Conservation Security Act to be introduced by Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) in September. During the August recess, final draft versions
of the legislation will be tinkered with and other Senators will be invited to co-sponsor the legislation. As we go to press, several last minute
problem areas are being reviewed. The bill will then be the subject of a meeting of representatives from farm, commodity, and conservation groups.
If all goes well, we will be sending out an action alert soon to encourage you to contact your Senators to urge them to sign up as sponsors of this
major conservation incentive proposal. If you would like additional information on the bill, please contact us at the DC SAC office.
National Uniformity of Food Act
Without holding hearings, the Senate Agriculture Committee in early July approved the National Uniformity for Food Act of 2000, S. 1155, introduced
by Senator Roberts (KS),. The Act severely limits the ability of state and local governments to set food safety standards or require food safety
warning labels. States may set food safety regulations only if there is no federal regulation under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act
concerning the food safety issue. Product warnings must be uniform throughout the U.S. Even if the federal government requires no warning
label, the states cannot require a warning label without federal government permission.
The Grocery Manufacturers of America led a coalition of food and dietary supplement industry interests in formulating the bill. The Act would
supersede both future and existing state law and is aimed, in part, at nullifying California's Proposition 65, a 1986 voter initiative that
requires warning labels on all products that contain chemicals that cause cancer or birth defects. Proposition 65 has been a longtime target of the
food processing industry. The law would also prevent states from enacting label requirements for genetically engineered foods and dietary
supplements, as well as nutritional information related to food safety. The Act explicitly allows states to establish standards and labels
only for State inspection stamps, organic or natural designations, geographic origins, freshness dating, open date labeling, grade labeling,
religious dietary labeling, return bottle labeling, and unit pricing.
Both the Senate bill and an identical House bill have bipartisan support. Among others Senators Daschle (S.D.), Harkin (IA), Kerrey (NE),
Lugar (IN), Brownback (KS), Ashcroft (MO), Grassley (IA), and Fitzgerald (IL) are sponsors of the bill. In opposition, Senator Boxer (CA) has
circulated a sign-on letter among the Senators, addressed to the Senate leadership, urging the leadership to reject any attempt to attach the bill
to an appropriations bill or conference report. Senator Boxer's staff is also working with some Senate offices to see if current sponsors will agree
to withdraw sponsorship of the bill. For more information on this bill, contact Martha Noble at the SAC office.
On July 25, the USDA announced 14 matching grants totaling $600,000 under the Federal-State Marketing Improvement Program (FSMIP) to support
agricultural marketing initiatives. The grants included the following Midwest and other notable awards:
Indiana: $78,000 to Purdue University for developing a marketing system to
enhance the "profitability and sustainability" of small to midsize beef producers & processors in the eastern Corn Belt.
Iowa: $55,000 to the Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship,
along with Practical Farmers of Iowa, to expand local food systems through direct marketing to Iowa institutions.
Michigan: $40,000 to the Michigan Department of Agriculture, Michigan State
University, and the Midwest Nut Producers Council on the development of quality criteria for Midwest-grown edible chestnuts.
Missouri: $27,500 to the Missouri Department of Agriculture, and University
of Missouri Outreach and Extension to increase direct market access and communication between producers and consumers.
North Dakota: $35,500 to the North Dakota Department of Agriculture to explore central order fulfillment for the "Internet Shopping Mall for North
South Dakota: $24,000to the South Dakota Department of Agriculture and the
Mid-U.S. Honey Producers Marketing Association to determine feasibility of locally produced honey mead.
Pennsylvania: $31,000 to the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, in cooperation with the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture
(PASA) to develop and implement a business plan for a community farmers market on Pittsburgh's south side.
Biotech Committee Meets
The USDA Advisory Committee on Agricultural Biotechnology held its second meeting on July 26-27, 2000 in Washington, D.C. Issues before the Advisory
Committee included the amount of funding devoted to biotechnology in the federal budget and Terminator Technology. USDA staff prepared a discussion
paper, entitled "Control of Plant Gene Expression" on USDA's role in developing, holding and licensing several patents for genetically
engineered seed sterilization known as terminator technology. The paper is posted on the web at
http://www.usda.gov/agencies/biotech/downloads/paper72000.html. USDA made
clear at the meeting that it is not going to abandon terminator technology and end USDA patent agreements with Delta Pine and Land Company for
commercializing the terminator technology nor will the USDA condemn the use of terminator technology. Instead, USDA intends to negotiate as yet
unspecified limitations on use of the terminator technology with the company as part of granting the company exclusive use of the patents. With
a majority of the Committee's 38 members representing pro-biotechnology interests, the only terminator technology resolution considered by the
Committee was one requesting that Delta Pine and Land Company not apply terminator technology to heirloom seeds and plant varieties. Those
Committee members who object to USDA involvement with terminator technology have 30 days to submit a minority viewpoint on the issue.
Another contentious issue concerned public comment. USDA staff released a one page summary of public comment submitted to the Committee prior to the
meeting that indicated that 207 of 213 public comments submitted to the Committee were negative towards biotechnology, with 162 of the comments
calling on the USDA to ban the use of terminator technology and abandon its development and promotion of terminator technologies. The staff then
indicated that USDA currently did not have the resources to post public comment on the web nor even make copies of comments for Advisory Committee
members. Moreover, the staff did not even distribute to the Committee comments submitted by Martha Noble of the SAC office, even though she
presented 40 copies of the comments directly to the Committee's "designated federal official" at the end of the first day of the 2-day meeting. She
had used the 5 minutes allotted in the public oral presentation period to focus on the extreme unbalance in USDA funding for biotechnology research
relative to funding for sustainable and organic agriculture funding but had included. Other points in the written comments were highly critical of
Terminator technology and the potential use of intellectual property rights and sterilization technologies to lock up the world's seed resources in the
hands a few multinational corporations, while also urging the USDA to protect and maintain germplasm repositories and to ensure that plant
varieties protected and developed with public resources remain in the public domain.
The SAC office will continue its request to USDA that USDA post public comments on the web and distribute copies to Advisory Committee members.
You can send written comments on Terminator Technology, or other issues concerning agricultural biotechnology, to Dr. Michael Schectman, Designated
Federal Official, Office of the Deputy Secretary, USDA, 202B Jamie L. Whitten Building Federal Building, 12th and Independence Ave., SW,
Washington, D.C. 20250; Phone: (202) 720-3817; FAX: (202) 690-4265; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. We suggest that you urge USDA to post the
comments on the web and make copies available to the Committee. In addition, we recommend that you request that at least one or more of the
Committee meetings be held outside of Washington, D.C. in a farming region.
The next meeting of the Committee is scheduled for November 14-15 in Washington, D.C. Topics to be addressed include gene drift issues and
public sector breeding programs. Additional information on the Committee is posted on the web at
USDA to Announce Ag Contract Regs
Late on Friday afternoon, July 28, Secretary Glickman announced plans to issue rules sometime in the fall to regulate contracts in livestock and
poultry production. The USDA announcement touched on five basic parts of the expected regulations:
- Mandate disclosure of basic contract terms, in order to improve understandability of
- Prohibit restrictions on disclosure of contract terms, which would limit
packer tactic that prevents growers from obtaining legal or financial
advice before entering into a contract.
- Clarify record keeping requirements for packers.
- Prohibit conditional purchases in which the purchase of animals from one
seller is tied to the purchase of animals from another seller.
- Require that packers specify the basis on which they pay different prices for like quality livestock.
At the same time, USDA announced another set of public forums in September, on the issues of livestock concentration and captive supplies.
The Western Organization of Resource Councils (WORC) issued a quick reaction, calling Glickman's announcement "one small step to restore fair
competition in livestock markets, and one big step sideways." The announcement falls well short of WORC's petition to restrict packer use of
forward contracting and packer feeding of cattle. WORC notes correctly that it's awfully late in the day to be having yet another round of "public
input" as a substitute for action.
TMDL Rule Final, But...
In the July MSAWG D.C. Report, we left you with a cliffhanger on this issue. Would the Clinton administration finalize a proposed revision of the
Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) rule before the President signed a military spending bill with an attached rider that would block release of the final
TMDL rule? Two days before the deadline, on July 13th, the Clinton administration released the final rule. See Federal Register, Vol. 65 at
pp. 43586-43670 (July 13, 2000). The TMDL rider prevents the EPA from using FY2000 or FY2001 funds to implement any changes to the current TMDL
program. In a press conference announcing the signing of the rule, EPA Administrator Carol Browner criticized the tactic of using environmental
riders to appropriations bills to block the rule but acknowledged that the rider will block the rule from taking effect until October 1, 2001.
In a strategic move to force Congress to take separate action on the rule, the administration declared that the rule was a major rule, which is
subject to congressional disapproval under the Congressional Review Act. A group of Senators, lead by Senator Crapo (R-ID), have introduced a Senate
resolution to disapprove the rule and similar resolutions have been introduced in the House of Representatives. The Congressional Review Act
gives Congress 60 session days to disapprove the rule. It remains to be seen if congressional leadership will try to move the resolutions in this
session, because the adoption of a resolution may require a stand-alone "dirty water" vote from members of Congress in an election year. The 60
days will not run out until next February or March.
The final TMDL rule has a number of significant changes from the proposed
rule. Changes that are weaker include:
- No requirement for states, territories and authorized Tribes to list threatened waters on 303(d) lists or to prepare TMDLs for threatened
- Elimination of a codified citizen petition process against EPA but note that citizen petition right still exists under Administrative Procedures Act.
- No offset requirements for new and significantly expanded discharges.
- Elimination of provisions that authorized the EPA to issue NPDES permits for
CAFOs, aquatic feeding operations, and forestry activities in the situation in which EPA takes over the TMDL process in a state that is
authorized to issue NPDES permits, after the state fails to implement an adequate
TMDL. The EPA has informed Congress that it may still pursue this issue separately.
Measures in the final rule that strengthen the program include:
- TMDLs must contain implementation plans as a required element.
- Requirement that substantial progress must be made in attaining Water Quality Standards for a water body with an established
TMDL; if not, a new TMDL must be established for the water body.
- Provisions for reasonable assurance of waste load allocations for a
waterbody, particularly for the inclusion of waste loads from nonpoint pollution sources.
The final rule also shortens the time allowed states to implement TMDLs from 15 years to 10 years, but an additional 5-year extension is available.
EPA has posted a fact sheet summarizing the final rule on the web at www.epa.gov/owow/tmdl/finalrule/. The current TMDL rule remains in
effect until the new final rule becomes effective.
The EPA and the USDA have taken no official action to implement the Unified AFO Strategy since the July MSAWG D.C. Report. The EPA has been focused on
the TMDL rule but we have heard that the EPA is not going forward in its guidance to the states on CAFO NPDES permits with a scheme that would allow
CAFOs over 1,000 animal units to avoid having to obtain a NDPES permit if they have an approved Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plan (CNMP) from
USDA. We hope that the EPA is heeding the advice of SAC and other groups that CNMPs based on NRCS conservation practice standards are not adequate
substitutes for NPDES permits with clear performance standards and operational requirements for regulated CAFOs.
Another recent development that may have an effect on both EPA and USDA is the signing on July 25, 2000, of an agreement between the North Carolina
attorney general and Smithfield Foods that is intended to facilitate the phase-out of large-scale hog waste storage lagoons and waste effluent
sprayfields in the state. Under the agreement, Smithfield will fund research and assessment of alternative methods for waste handling and
disposal. The agreement provides that alternative technologies that cost more than lagoons and sprayfields may be considered economically
feasible. The 23 page agreement is posted on the web at www.jus.state.nc.us/in/AGREE.PDF.
The NRCS, at the national level, has refused in its conservation practice standards to disapprove open-air waste lagoons and sprayfields as methods
of waste storage and disposal, even for the largest CAFOs. As states such as North Carolina implement more stringent requirements on CAFOs, perhaps
the EPA and USDA will be less reluctant to exert national leadership in protecting rural communities and the nation's waters from CAFO pollution.
EPA Issues Nutrient Manual
The EPA has released a "Nutrient Criteria Technical Guidance Manual: Rivers and Streams" which provides guidance to water quality managers and others
in the states and Tribes in setting numeric nutrient criteria for rivers and streams. See Federal Register, at pp.46167-46169 (July 27, 2000). The
Manual is posted on the web at www.epa.gov/OST/standards/nutrient.html
or is available from the EPA's Water Resource Center by phone at 202-260-7786 or by e-mail at
email@example.com. EPA has closed the general
public comment period on the document but will accept public comments providing scientific views and information until September 25, 2000. The
original copy and two copies should be submitted to Robert Cantilli (MC-4304), U.S. EPA, Ariel Rios Building, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW,
Washington, D.C. 20460; or by e-mail to OW-General@epa.gov.
Greenpeace Withdraws Bt Crops Lawsuit
On July 21, Greenpeace and other organizations withdrew a lawsuit in which they had sought a cancellation of EPA's approval of crops genetically
engineered with Bacillus thuringiensis genes to resist various pests. The organizations withdrew from the case after the EPA filed a response in the
case which indicated its reassessment of Bt crops would address questions raised by the organizations, including risks and benefits of Bt crop
use. EPA is expected to announce its process for reassessment of Bt under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act this week,
including the process for public comment. The major concerns of Greenpeace and the other plaintiffs about Bt crops include detrimental effects on the
soil and nontarget organisms - including Monarch butterflies - and genetic contamination of non-GMO crops by GMO crops.
National Consultation on Food Security
The USDA Foreign Agricultural Service is holding a national consultation on food security in Washington, D.C. on August 22, 2000. The purpose of the
consultation is to get input from citizen's groups on implementation of the U.S. Action Plan for Food Security in order to prepare a national report on
progress in achieving food security goals. The USDA will submit the report to the United Nation's Food and Agriculture Organization in
September. USDA Secretary Glickman recently appointed Patricia Garamendi as the new USDA National Food Security Coordinator. Also, the USDA plans
to reconstitute its Food Security Advisory Committee and may have openings on the Committee. Meetings of the Committee will be held periodically in
Washington, D.C. and no expenses are paid for Committee members, For more information about participating in the consultation, either in person or by
teleconference, or if your organization wishes to nominate a representative to the Food Security Advisory Committee, contact Linda Elswick, the
Community Food Security Coalition Washington representative, by phone at (202) 778-6119 or by e-mail at
Previous editions of Inside the Beltway
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