Current Week

COOL

November 20, 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—

Country of origin labeling (COOL) violates the trade rules of the World Trade Organization. WTO has ruled, for the second time, that the legislation which became law in 2002 as part of our farm bill is illegal and discriminates against Mexico and Canada. I met with two representatives of the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association this week, and they expressed their disapproval of the law.

The law requires that meat labels must specify where the animal has been. Think about it this way. The label could read: “Born in U.S. – fed in Canada – slaughtered in U.S.” Or maybe: “Born in Canada – fed in U.S. – slaughtered in U.S.” Our processing plants cannot afford to separate each animal coming in for slaughter and processing. But the law requires this because it is the only way to inform the consumer where the pig or cow has been throughout their life.

It is a bad law and always has been. It can’t be fixed. We should get rid of it.

Last week at the National Association of Farm Broadcasters meeting, which I attended, Secretary of Agriculture Vilsack said, “I can tell you that we do not think there is a regulatory fix that would allow us to be consistent with the law and to satisfy WTO.” COOL is a “barrier to trade” and discriminates against meat imports.

The U.S. still has the right to appeal the WTO decision. An appeal will not work. Canada and Mexico are our closest neighbors and allies. They are two of our biggest trading partners. Most of our meat companies and farm organizations oppose COOL.

Since the Secretary does not think he can change the COOL regulation to satisfy WTO, I would like to see USDA refuse to enforce COOL until the Congress rewrites it or gets rid of it entirely. If we go down this path of leaving COOL in place, at some point, Canada and Mexico will be authorized to impose huge tariffs on our exports to their countries. It will cost us billions of dollars in farm exports. Why take the risk?

I’ve made my case.

If you would like to review my radio shows going back more than 20 years, just go on-line to www.johnblockreports.com.

Have a great weekend. Until next week, I am John Block in Washington, D.C

Previous Weeks

Bring in the Harvest

November 13 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. The sound (audio file only) may be a little different today because I am talking to you on the phone – from the farm in Illinois.

And now for today’s commentary—

There is nothing more exciting, exhilarating, or rewarding than bringing in the harvest. After a whole…

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Mid Term Elections

November 6 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—

At last – the mid-term election is behind us. President Obama had said that although he was not on the ballot, his policies were. The nation’s voters repudiated those policies. Republicans were voted in and Democrats voted…

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Dietary Guidelines 2015 – Part 2 – Sugar

October 29 2014

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

And now for today’s commentary—

There are a variety of disturbing questions surrounding the Dietary Guidelines for Americans now being drafted for release in 2015. The questions relate to whether the Dietary Guidelines…

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Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015 Edition – Losing It’s Way on Caffeine

October 22 2014

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

And now for today’s commentary—

There are a variety of disturbing questions surrounding the Dietary Guidelines for Americans now being drafted for release in 2015. The questions relate to whether the Dietary Guidelines…

Read More/Listen

GE Apple

October 16 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 had half of an apple a couple of days ago -- fresh, white in color and delicious. The next day, I ate the other half. Not surprising, the white had turned a little yellow, even brown. The apple still tasted good. However, that browning…

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Priority Issues - My Thoughts

October 9 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—

Here are some of my thoughts on a list of priority issues. We are going to have an election in about 3 weeks. If Republicans can win 6 additional Senate seats, that could change the political dynamics in this town. We need to shake…

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Three Issues

October 2 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—

Another week – harvest moving ahead at a fast pace. I have three hot new issues to put on the table today.

I’m sure you heard about that guy that scaled the fence in front of the White House – ran for the front door. Guess they…

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Down on the Farm

September 25 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—

Down on the farm in Illinois. That’s where I was last week. We started our corn harvest – a little wet (27% moisture), but time to start. It is a bumper crop, that’s why prices are down.

While on the farm, a lot of thoughts come to…

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Water Rule

September 18 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—

The ag industry has been hammering Congress to stop EPA’s new Waters of the United States rule, and last week, the House voted to block EPA’s rush to extend their jurisdiction.

EPA wants to take control of farm and ranch streams, wet…

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Energy Security

September 11 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—

Perhaps it took 2 or 3 years, but it seems like overnight. We are not going crazy worrying about a possible energy shortage. We had long gas lines in the 70s. Prices skyrocketed. We were begging Saudi Arabia to pump more gas in the 90s.

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