Four Issues

September 25, 2015

September 25, 2015

Hello everybody out there in farm country. This radio commentary is brought to you by Monsanto, and John Deere. They are all friends, supporters, and allies of a healthy farm economy and prosperous rural America. Thank you.

And now for today’s commentary—

I have four issues to put on the table today.

The first is Pope Francis’s visit to Cuba. I think his visit will help improve relations between our two countries. President Obama is moving to reduce business and travel restrictions between the U.S. and Cuba. However, the trade embargo is still in place. That will require Congressional action. Get it done! Cuba is a $3 billion ag market only 90 miles from our shore.

Issue number two – Country of Origin Labeling (COOL). Canada and Mexico are positioned to impose as much as $3 billion of trade tariffs on our exports to their countries unless we get rid of COOL. Our House voted to repeal it. The Senate is talking about a voluntary COOL. I don’t think that Canada and Mexico would ever accept that.

Now, I have to say something about last week’s Republican debate. I watched it. I thought it was too long. I kept going back to check on the Cardinal baseball game. I would credit CNN for asking at least some questions about where the candidates stood on serious issues. However, it was disappointing to me that more emphasis was not focused on the economy, our ballooning debt, and a bloated government that overregulates. Congratulations to Carly Fiorina – moving up in the polls and Donald Trump going down.

If you have a sweet tooth, you should find this last issue interesting. The public has the idea that honey which is not processed must be more healthy than other sweeteners. Also, some people have come to question if high fructose corn syrup is safe. This debate should be settled. Susan Raatz (Research Nutritionist) at USDA conducted a comprehensive study. She says, “A sweetener is a sweetener no matter the source. We are not aware of any evidence that there is a difference in safety.” Think about this. Honey is not processed. White sugar and corn sweetener are both processed. In fact, white sugar can come from very different plants – sugar cane or sugar beets. When all is said and done, they are all sweet, all safe, all taste good and all add a lot of calories.

Next week, I’ll be on the farm.

If you would like to review my radio shows going back more than 20 years, just go on- line to Have a great weekend.

Until next week, I am John Block from Washington, D.C.