Need to catch up? Here are some stories you might have missed this week.
1. Congress is back, now what? Congress has a plateful of legislative items to get to before the end of the fiscal year, and USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack can think of a few reasons why the farm bill should be one of them.
2. Food waste has economic, environmental costs, FAO says. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization this week released a new study looking at the environmental and economic price of food wastage. Just a taste of the impact – it costs producers $750 billion annually, FAO said.
3. Trade Promotion Authority the missing piece of the puzzle to TPP? The U.S. is in dire need of a Trade Promotion Authority, which gives the President additional authorizations when negotiating trade deals with foreign countries, a coalition of ag and industry groups says. But it could be a tough sell for Congress.
4. COOL opponents will just have to wait for final decision in court case. A federal court this week denied an injunction request from opponents of the USDA's Country of Origin Labeling rule to delay the rule's full implementation until the court can make a decision on the initial lawsuit. The suit claims that COOL is unconstitutional and will harm meat markets and trade. Opponents have said they will appeal.
5. House Committee releases Water Resources draft bill. The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Wednesday released full text of the Water Resources Reform & Development Act, legislation that aims to improve infrastructure and impact shipping and transportation efficiency on inland waterways. The House is scheduled to mark up the bill Sept. 19.
6. Meat industry groups to consider merger. The American Meat Institute and North American Meat Association this week announced that the two organizations are in talks about a possible merger. The groups said talks will continue over the next several months.
7. NSA scandal hubbub may have quieted, but big brother is still watching. Tech is a big part of agriculture now, and it's a big help. But it's also part of our daily lives, and that won't let up soon. Hembree Brandon of Delta Farm Press takes a look at what kind of info about you may be hiding (or not hiding!) on the internet.
And your bonus:
Chipotle's new marketing message garners mixed feelings. Chipotle Restaurants this week unleashed a new marketing plan centered on an arcade-style game and short video about its view of food production. The video – which depicts a disillusioned cartoon scarecrow fighting "big food" – has received its fair share of reviews from the agriculture and advertising community, both positive and negative.