As the amendments to the 2012 Farm Bill are piling up in the Senate, one of the more than 240 stands out as causing the most concern to many agricultural organizations, including the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), and that is the rotten egg amendment.
A “dangerous piece of legislation” is what NCBA calls amendment #2252, put forward by Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA). “This amendment actually codifies an agreement reached by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and the United Egg Producers (UEP) in July of last year that would actually for the first time ever have members of Congress involved in production practices for food producing animals,” said NCBA Executive Director of Legislative Affairs Kristina Butts in an interview today. “This really creates a precedent where Congress has never been before.”
The amendment was developed from a stand alone bill introduced in both the House and Senate this year that would set certain specifications for cage sizes of laying hens. The agreement made by HSUS and UEP to get legislation regulating cage sizes passed actually expires June 30, so Kristina says supporters are using the Farm Bill as a vehicle to move it considering the short period of time left before Congress adjourns for campaign time. “This is NCBA’s number one priority to defeat in the Farm Bill,” she said. “We’re not sure if this is one of the amendments that leadership will agree to actually have a vote on but our membership wants us to consider this a very serious threat.”
Work on the Farm Bill ground to a halt after Wednesday when just two of the growing list of amendments were considered by the Senate. Kristina says now it looks like it will be Tuesday before any more votes will be taken.
Listen to my interview with Kristina here: NCBA's Kristina Butts