Who We Are
Food for Thought
Junior science academy
This section is devoted to important
articles of legislation that requires your attention as it impacts
agricultural issues. If you know of a particular piece of legislation
that is pending action and we do not have it posted, please drop us a line
and we will list it!
Excerpts from the
Illinois Agri-Women newsletter, Eleanor Z's legislative report
and The President's E-letter
AAW 2011 Position
August and September 2011
Public Act 97-0122 - Changes the requirements for lifting patients to
minimize the risk of injury to patients and nurses. Effective
immediately. Source LaSalle News Tribune
Public Act 97-0144 – Permits local units of government to pass
ordinances allowing low-speed vehicles on
streets. Effective immediately. Source LaSalle News Tribune
Public Act 97-0100 - Removes paper copies of library registration
records from the definition of public records one the information is
transferred into a secure electronic format and checked for accuracy.
Effective immediately. Source LaSalle News Tribune
Public Act 97-106 - Eliminates two cost-ineffective methods of emissions
testing from the Vehicle Code, known as the steady state idle exhaust
gas analysis (-idle exhaust), and the evaporative system integrity test
(-gas cap) Effective immediately. Source LaSalle News Tribune
The business community benefited by legislation to streamline the
Illinois Environmental Protection Agency permitting process, along with
an agreement to raise fees for the agency to operate its programs. The
IEPA funding structure is fully funded through it fee and other revenue,
and does not received general revenue fund for its operations. The
compromise legislation raises fees about 19%. Source IL Corn Growers
S.560 - The Medicare Prescription Drug Savings and Choice Act of 2011.
Amends Medicare Part D to establish prescription drug plan options as
well as an appeals process for denial of coverage. Filed 3-10-11 by Sen.
Dick Durbin. Source LaSalle News Tribune
USDA's Agricultural Research (ARS) service has developed high-speed
imaging, known as spectral sensing, technology which could improve the
quality of food inspections nationwide without slowing processing time.
Automated imaging methods can capture photos on high-speed processing
lines that can help detect contamination of food products or food
Methods to improve the inspection of fruits and vegetable have become a
priority due to various outbreaks of food borne illnesses such as E.
coli and salmonella. They can detect indicators (such as fecal matter)
that may lead to E. coli. Surface defects on fruits and vegetables,
which can be detected spectral imaging, also can favor bacterial growth.
ARS is also studying the use of spectral sensing for the high-speed
inspection of single kernels of cereal grain. The technology could be
used to detect scab-damaged wheat kernels, for example, that often are
shrunken, under weight, difficult to mill, and contaminated with
From "The 2011 Almanac of Environments Trends" by Steven Hayward: Air
quality is being cleaned up. The entire nation has achieved clean air
standards for four of six main pollutants regulated under the Clean Air
Act. Ozone and particulates are the exceptions, but areas with the
highest levels have shown the greatest improvements.
Water quality is improving. U.S. water quality has improved
substantially over the past 40 years. Toxic chemicals are declining.
Dioxin compounds in the environment have declined more than 90% over the
past two decades.
Land quality is improving. U.S. forested lands have rapidly expanded
over the past 30 years. Between 1995 and 2005 Asia reversed it
deforestation trends. Soil erosion on U.S. farmlands has steadily
declined for the past 2 years. Source: Prairie Farmer
Thirty four senators from both sides of the aisle are urging the EPA to
halt its proposal for new air quality standards for ground-level ozone.
Not only has the five-year review period for the 2008 National Ambient
Air Quality Standards (NAAQs) not ended, or any new scientific evidence
emerged to recommend changing the statute, but that the proposed new
regulations would drastically harm the economies of affected states and
cost thousands of jobs. Source: Human Events
Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) has proposed new legislation to regulate the
regulation of the EPA. The bill, called the CARE Act, would require the
economic costs of the regulations published under the Clean Air ad Clean
Water Acts by the EPA and Department of Transportation be made public.
It would also establish a Cumulative Regulatory Assessment Committee
with broad representation, to determine the effects of environmental
regulations on all segments of the economy, including production and
labor demands and the possibility of undermining the U.S. manufacturing
industry. Inhofe has long contended that the growing number of
environmental regulations not only harms the economy but usurps the
authority of Congress. Source: Human Events
Farmers are looking for new seed traits that can improve yields,
withstand extreme weather, and provide greater end-use value.
Brazil, where regulators are steadily approving new biotech seed traits,
has signaled that it is open for biotech business. That's unlike
the United States, where the regulatory approval process has slowed to a
snail's pace. Brazilian regulators approved eight new genetically
engineered traits for corn, soybeans and cotton in 2010 and two more
this year, bringing their total to 30 since 2005. U.S. regulators
deregulated a paltry three new traits last year only two new traits in
Biotech companies first started petitions for the non-regulated status
of specific traits in the early 1900s. Deadlines for decisions on
regulatory status, which are required by statue to be made within 120
"routinely met or beaten" at that time. Lately, petitions have
taken years, not months. "Minor" crops, like almonds, grapes,
stone frits and other crops important to California agriculture, have
really great biotech solutions that could be employed, but they are not
being pursued the way they were 15 years ago because researchers are
discouraged and think the regulatory hurdles are insurmountable. The
difference is not that regulators have become incompetent, the real
problem is that we have seen a multiplication of harassment lawsuits
from career opponents of biotechnology. Source: Truth about Trade
Quick Congressional Links