Farm Bill deja chew all over again: Both House Ag Chair Collin Peterson and his Senate counterpart Tom Harkin agree that there will be no major changes in payment limits when the 2007 Farm Bill finally gets passed. Insightful as usual, Peterson said that most Americans just want to know that whatever farm payments the government doles out actually go to farmers, regardless of their size. "This is not a program to transfer money from rich farmers to poor farmers or big farmers to little farmers," he said. "It's a program to put a safety net under production agriculture." Harkin, meanwhile, said he could read the tea leaves and that the relatively modest Dorgan-Grassley payment limits would not make it through. (It's scheduled to be voted on this morning, Thursday.) Thanks for the leadership, guys. (Brownfield Network)
FRESH Act fragged: All the Democratic presidential candidates in the Senate missed the Farm Bill vote on Tuesday regarding the Lugar FRESH Act on replacing payment limitations with universal crop insurance. It was defeated 37-58. Surprisingly, California senators Diane Feinstein and Barbara Boxer both voted for it; speculation is perhaps because they knew it wouldn't pass. (San Francisco Chronicle)
Related: "Pelosi Sold Out for Pork Chop on a Stick" — the EWG's Ken Cook zeroes in on the money quote in the preceding article, in which Peterson explains how he got House Majority leader and San Francisco Democrat Nancy Pelosi on board the subsidy defense squad. Read it. Then be pissed as hell, like us, at Pelosi and the spineless Democrats.
Caption: Alas, we couldn't find a photo of Pelosi enjoying her pork on a stick, but here she is appreciating some ethanol byproducts on the same trip. Photo by Allen Brisson-Smith for the Chronicle.
Are we supposed to be reassured?: China and the U.S. have agreed that America will be more involved in certifying and inspecting Chinese food products, including an increased presence of U.S. officials at Chinese production plants and possibly "embedding" FDA officials in China's food-safety bureaucracy. This should be an amusing culture clash, given that the FDA can't even issue recalls while China is considering offering the death penalty for food-safety violations. (New York Times)
Whole Foods helping community grocery: The new Whole Foods Market in Oakland is making West Oakland food-justice outfit People’s Grocery the recipient of its “Nickels for Non-profits" program, and will also be donating one item for each of the grocery's SOUL produce box. (Brahm’s Blog)
Turnin' up the heat on Paula: After months spent dogging Food Network star Paula Deen on her book tour, the United Food and Commercial Workers union rallied outside Deen's restaurant in Savannah to protest her Smithfield endorsement. (AP)