Farmworkers are attracting the attention of congressional Democrats. The House Fiscal Year 2023 funding bill for the Department of Labor includes $1 million for a National Academy of Sciences study on the impact of pesticides on children working in agriculture.
“Pesticides have an adverse effect on human health, with children being particularly vulnerable, and low levels of pesticide exposure can affect the neurological and behavioral development of children,” says the House Appropriations Committee. in the report that accompanies the spending bill.
The committee report separately calls on the Ministry of Labor to report on the risk of injury to children in agriculture.
Take note: The report commends the Labor Department for taking steps to “proactively inspect workplaces” to detect risks to workers from extreme heat.
House Ag sets next listening session
House Agriculture Committee Chairman David Scott has scheduled another farm bill hearing session in the district of a Democratic panel that‘s facing a tough re-election race. The first listening session was in Arizona at Tim O‘Halleran‘s neighborhood.
An appointment set for July 22 will be moderated by Washington Rep. Kim Schrier, another Republican target this fall. The Cook Political Report rates his run as a draw.
USDA on track to complete transition to physical workplace
The USDA is on schedule to complete the transition of workers to their offices by next month, Assistant Secretary General Jewel Bronaugh said in the latest episode of Agri-Pulse journalists.
She says the department is monitoring safety and providing workers with flexibility as they return to their physical workspaces.
“As more and more employees return to the physical workplace, we will monitor transition rates … but we will continue to keep people safe while focusing on high productivity and offering up to eight days per pay period for telework options for those who qualify,” she said.
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Poultry workers get their wages back after investigation
Workers at two Mississippi poultry plants received $285,000 in back wages after a Labor Department investigation found they had not received minimum wage and overtime pay.
The ministry’s wage and hour division says A&B Foods and PH Food failed to meet the Fair Labor Standards Act when they made illegal deductions that reduced employees’ average hourly wages below the federal minimum wage and failed to pay the correct overtime rate to certain workers for hours over 40, among other violations .
The payments went to more than 300 factory workers in Morton, Mississippi.
Iowa high court sets new test to determine when nuisance exists
The Iowa Supreme Court has removed a test to determine when a nuisance exists on a neighbor‘Earth. The decision stems from a case involving a concentrated animal feeding operation which a farmer claims used too much manure.
“We cancel the [Gacke] because it was ill-decided, difficult to administer, and superseded by later decisions using the rational basis test,” the court said in its decision 4-3.
The court upheld a lower court decision that did not find a nuisance. The Iowa Pork Producers Association and the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation joined the case on the defendant’s side.
More Mexican berries en route to the United States
The berry trade in Mexico is booming and the country‘s Exports of strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries are expected to rise 12% this year to 584,000 metric tons. This is according to an account by Blueberries Consulting.
Mexican exports this year, through June 16, are already at a record high, and strong harvests are pushing for trade expansion, according to the company, which obtained the data from Mexico.‘s National Association of Berry Exporters.
The vast majority of Mexico‘Berry exports – about 95% – go to the United States, with the rest going to Europe, the Middle East and Southeast Asia. Mexico is now seeking deals to open markets in South Korea, India and Malaysia.
Ukraine begins EU accession process with draft law on geographical indications
Ukraine is taking a leap forward in its application to join the European Union with a decision that will not please the American dairy sector. Ukraine’s parliament swiftly approved legislation on Friday to adopt EU rules on geographical indications that protect the names of foods such as Gorgonzola, Fontina, Gruyere, Havarti, Asiago and Feta.
The US Trade Representative sees GIs as a trade barrier, and the US dairy industry is fighting European efforts to extend food name protection worldwide.
“The adoption of such a law is one of the prerequisites for a country to become a member of the EU,” Ukraine’s Agriculture Ministry said after parliament approved the legislation.
He said it : “Between July 4th and Labor Day, join me in giving up added or processed sugar. We are a nation that uses taxpayer dollars to drive down sugar costs, and then we pay again for the soaring health costs associated with high sugar consumption. – Senator Cory Booker, DN.J., in a Tweeter.
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