Slim­ming down USDA

Successful Farming - - Q A THE SUCCESSFUL INTERVIEW -

Dur­ing his sec­ond month in of­fice, Pres­i­dent Trump said he wanted a top-to-bot­tom re­or­ga­ni­za­tion of the fed­eral gov­ern­ment to stream­line its op­er­a­tions and elim­i­nate un­needed pro­grams.

Early whis­pers from the project said USDA would be­come a much smaller op­er­a­tion, with food stamps mov­ing to a re­named “wel­fare” depart­ment that would over­see ma­jor safety net pro­grams.

Food stamps and other pub­lic nu­tri­tion pro­grams, such as school lunch, ac­count for more than 70% of USDA spend­ing.

Less clear was the fu­ture of USDA’s meat in­spec­tion agency, the USDA role in reg­u­lat­ing ge­net­i­cally en­gi­neered crops or the For­est Ser­vice. The FDA over­sees most of the food sup­ply at present, three agen­cies – FDA, EPA, and USDA – share au­thor­ity over GMOs, and the In­te­rior Depart­ment is in charge of the lion’s share of fed­eral land.

The idea be­hind fed­eral re­or­ga­ni­za­tion is at­trac­tive; re­plac­ing a snarl of over­lap­ping pro­grams and agen­cies with clear lines of re­spon­si­bil­ity. The good­gov­ern­ment im­pe­tus of­ten floun­ders in po­lit­i­cal turf bat­tles and the in­er­tia of large bu­reau­cra­cies.

FDA oKs GMO golden rice

Af­ter a re­view of re­search data, the FDA agrees with the de­vel­op­ers of Golden Rice that the GMO va­ri­ety is safe to eat. De­vel­oped by the In­ter­na­tional Rice Re­search

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