Ag Policy Blog
Chris Clayton DTN Ag Policy Editor

Monday 05/06/13

Egg Bill Goes Way of Humpty Dumpty and Takes a Fall

Backlash from livestock groups and fellow senators has likely prompted Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., to put the egg bill back in the carton.

The egg bill is language struck from an agreement reached by the United Egg Producers and the Humane Society of the United States that would establish a national standard for confinement of egg-laying hens. The bill would supersede state standards for cages, some of which have come from HSUS-led voter initiatives. Stabenow is a co-sponsor of the legislation in the Senate, along with Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine.

But the egg bill has had critics since UEP and HSUS struck their agreement in 2011. Other livestock and poultry groups have been appalled at the idea of Congress and the federal government implementing a national standard for livestock or poultry.

The National Cattlemen's Beef Association and National Pork Producers Council lashed out last week after learning Stabenow would add the egg bill to her initial draft of the farm bill, typically referred to as the "chairman's mark." NCBA's president had threatened to oppose the entire farm bill over the language.

Following the backlash, Mary Kay Thatcher, a lobbyist for the American Farm Bureau Federation, said Monday on radio show Agri-Talk that lobbyists now are hearing from Senate Agriculture Committee staff that Stabenow won't be including the egg bill as part of the her initial draft of the farm bill.

"Most of agriculture was very, very concerned about the precedent something like this would set," Thatcher said on the radio show.

A spokesman for NCBA also confirmed the group had heard that the egg bill would not be in Stabenow's mark.

Sen. Mike Johanns, R-Neb., had said if egg bill were included in the farm bill, "We're dead in the water."

Thatcher also said in her radio interview Monday that the Senate Agriculture Committee was continuing to push for a markup on Thursday. If that's the case, then Stabenow's office would be expected to release the chairman's mark on Tuesday.


I can be found on Twitter @ChrisClaytonDTN

Posted at 3:26PM CDT 05/06/13 by Chris Clayton
Post a Blog Comment:
Your Comment:
DTN reserves the right to delete comments posted to any of our blogs and forums, for reasons including profanity, libel, irrelevant personal attacks and advertisements.
Blog Home Pages
March  2015
S M T W T F S
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30 31            
Subscribe to Ag Policy Blog RSS
Recent Blog Posts
  • Enviros Push EPA to Take Second Look at Glyphosate
  • Down to the Wire on ARC and PLC Decisions
  • Taking the Dietary Guideline Debate With a Grain of Salt
  • Dairy Exporters Press for Increased Access to Canadian Market
  • Ag Groups Stress Opposition to Mandatory E-Verify
  • EPA Releases Reports on Chesapeake Bay Nutrients Runoff Reduction Efforts
  • Kansas Confirms H5N2 in a Backyard Flock
  • Acrimony Blocks Path for TPA and Pacific Trade Deal
  • GAO Says Crop Insurance Rates Should Be Higher in Some Areas
  • Farm Bureau Files Brief in California Egg Case
  • Talking Climate-Smart Agriculture in Abu Dhabi
  • GOP Candidates Explain Views on Immigration Reform
  • Former Fla Gov. Jeb Bush at the Iowa Ag Summit
  • New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie at the Iowa Ag Summit
  • Ag Groups Ask GOP Candidates to Check Out Green Power
  • Iowa Political Event Puts Spotlight on Ag Policy
  • ASA Seeks to Change Dialogue on GMO Labeling Debate
  • Farmers and Battles Over State Taxes
  • Former Congressman Looks at Ag Policy Challenges Ahead
  • One More ARC-PLC Analysis as Base Acre Deadline Looms