There is never any shortage of legislative and regulatory issues that could impact agricultural producers, which is why GROWMARK Executive Director for Corporate and Government Relations Chuck Spencer is a busy guy.
I just happened to catch him in the office when I stopped by GROWMARK headquarters in Bloomington, Illinois this week and was able to chat with him about some of the issues he is watching on both the state and federal level. Not surprisingly, WOTUS is up at the top of the list. “We provided comments and helped work through with our national associations providing input into the process,” said Spencer. Their major concern is the process the agency used to push through the regulation. “It was very quickly done … the question becomes what are going to do from this point foward,” he said, noting that they are supporting efforts in Congress that would put EPA’s rulemaking process “back into a more regular order.”
In another area of interest, Spencer says GROWMARK is supporting the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act in the House that would create a uniform national food labeling standard for products made with genetically modified organisms. “We understand that consumers want to know more about their food and we need to be increasingly transparent,” explains Spencer. “The National Organic Standard administered by the USDA is a wonderful example of a voluntary program that is nationally consistent and recognized. We feel it could be put to use in that same framework, that USDA could have a non-GMO standard, and it would be a voluntary framework just like the organic standard.”
In this interview, Spencer also comments on EPA’s proposed volume obligations under the Renewable Fuel Standard and what they are watching in the House appropriations process. Interview with Chuck Spencer, GROWMARK
We also talked about some state level issues in Illinois, particularly with the budget and nutrient management strategies. Chuck Spencer, GROWMARK, discusses Illinois issues