This and That

June 19, 2014

June 19, 2014

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 want to open today by congratulating President H. W. Bush, who celebrated his 90th birthday by parachuting from a helicopter 6,000 feet in the air. President Bush has celebrated his birthdays by jumping out of a plane on his 75th, 80th, 85th, and now 90th birthdays. His first jump, years ago, was unplanned. His plane was shot down in WW II over the Pacific.

I’ve jumped out of airplanes – 27 jumps. But, I don’t do that anymore. I’ve run with President Bush – ran a 10K with him, played golf with him, he and I held a big ag leadership event on my farm. He drove my combine. I know George Bush – an outstanding President and an all-around great guy.

Turn the page. We have a new number 2 leader in the House of Representatives. Kevin McCarthy from California. Not just California, but from the Central Valley of California, great farm country. He’s not on the House Ag Committee but his district is big in fruits and vegetables. Tom Nassif, President of Western Growers Association, says Kevin McCarthy knows agriculture and can be counted on.

You have heard about Eric Cantor losing his primary. Now, we have Kevin McCarthy stepping into his shoes. As House Majority Leader, he will be a positive voice for American agriculture.

Finally, I think we are all aware that there is a campaign to demonize GMO crops. The State of Vermont last month passed a law to require labeling of foods that contain GMOs. I am happy to report that we are fighting back.

The Grocery Manufacturers Association and three other associations have filed a lawsuit challenging the Vermont law. They argue it is unconstitutional to require companies to “convey an opinion with which they disagree, namely that consumers should assign significance to the fact that a product contains an ingredient derived from a GE plant.”

We all know the critics of GE foods will do anything to suggest to the public that there may be something bad about GE foods, and all the while science says otherwise. Can you just imagine the patchwork requirements if every state has their own labeling laws?

It’s time for us to stand up for new technology, sound science, and a bountiful future.

That’s it for this week. Until next week, I am John Block in Washington, D.C