Current Week

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 color made it not quite as appetizing.

I’m sure you have noticed this. That’s just the way it is. Well, not necessarily. Okanagan Specialty Fruits Co. has genetically modified an apple that does not brown when sliced. It has not been approved yet by USDA, but the Arctic® apple could be the first non-browning variety on the market.

What will consumers think about a GE apple? Consumers are already eating their weight in GE foods with no negative effects. None of the GE food on the market today has ever posed any human health problem. No problem for livestock either. A new comprehensive study by the Journal of Animal Science has concluded that feeding livestock diets of GM crops has no input on the health of those animals.

As I am sure you would expect, there are many consumers that don’t like the idea of a GE apple, and they are speaking out against it. They will say, “Just squeeze lemon juice on it and it won’t turn brown.” Then, there are those that wonder why we even need to try to find a market for a GE apple. The U.S. Apple Association agrees that the Arctic® apple is safe, but there is some worry it could hurt the overall apple market. I believe the Arctic® apple could help to open the door for broader acceptance of GE crops.

It looks like we will have a GE apple on the table one of these days. The Arctic® apple might not be alone. GE oranges also may not be too far behind. Citrus greening disease in the Florida orange country is devastating crops and challenging the industry to find a way to fight back. GE may be the answer.

Stay tuned – this debate is not settled. Next week, I’ll be down on the farm.

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

Previous Weeks

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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Cool

September 4 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—

Turn back the clock to year 2002 and, that year, the farm bill added COOL (country of origin labeling) for meat. That has been a problem for the last 12 years. Consumer groups argue that they have a right to know where their meat comes…

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Labor Day

August 28 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—

Hard to believe, but summer is over. It’s Labor Day. On that note, I want to say how much respect I have for the hard-working men and women that labor in the trenches. I’m not talking about big corporation managers, not talking about…

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Salt

August 21 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—

What should we be eating? We are getting hammered from every angle about what is good for us versus what is bad. Too many carbs, stay away from red meat, don’t trust GE foods, sugar will make you fat. The government wants to…

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Russian Food Embargo

August 14 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 August crop report confirms what we already knew. We are going to harvest a very big corn crop and soy beans are not far behind.

Not surprising, the price of corn is bouncing around at a level that could result in government safety…

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Middle East

August 7 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—

There is a lot going on. No shortage of issues.

Turn your attention to the Middle East. Israel has been pounding Hamas and Gaza for days. Their objective has been to destroy more than 30 tunnels from Gaza into Israel. Looks like –…

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