In Ohio, ranchers say beef checkoff program flouts prohibition on lobbying

Some Ohio ranchers have long taken issue with the administration of the beef checkoff, fighting the program at the state and federal level. They allege that some checkoff funds go toward political activity and lobbying, which is prohibited by the Agricultural Marketing Service, the body of the USDA that oversees the 22 checkoff programs.

Few Big Ag companies have yet to follow through on data transparency pledge

Among those who have yet to do so are some of the industry’s biggest players – Monsanto, Dow DuPont, John Deere and CNH Industrial, the equipment manufacturing company that makes both the Case IH and New Holland brands of combines, tractors and other equipment.

Pesticide applicators warned Illinois ag officials in 2016 about potential dicamba damage

The warning came from an industry group of pesticide applicators during a December 2016 meeting held to discuss whether the pesticide should be designated as “restricted use,” which means only certified applicators can apply the pesticide. A non-restricted use pesticide can be purchased and applied by anyone and records of application are not required.

Report highlights fears among workers in the meat processing industry

Repetitive motion injuries, amputations and cuts continue to be common dangers that workers in the meat processing industry face, according to a Government Accountability Office report released this month. The GAO also found workers suffer respiratory illnesses from peracetic acid – an antimicrobial chemical – sprayed on meat in processing facilities. In addition, investigators from GAO identified a lack of bathroom access as a major concern among workers – one that workers were afraid to mention to federal labor inspectors at plants for fear of retribution from their employer. The report reviewed the government’s efforts – specifically the Department of Labor’s Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) – to protect the health and safety of workers in the nation’s animal slaughtering and processing industry, one of the most hazardous industries in the U.S.

Approximately 72 workers were interviewed in Arkansas, Delaware, Nebraska, North Carolina and Virginia. Workers in three of those states said they had suffered negative health effects, such as kidney problems, from delayed or denied bathroom breaks.

Pesticide applicators report drift issues with dicamba, even when using brand names in good weather

In August, the Illinois Fertilizer and Chemical Association surveyed its 178 agriculture retail companies about their experience with dicamba this growing season. The association received 124 responses,  which were anonymous. The overwhelming majority of respondents reported issues with dicamba, even when following the label.