LWVUS recently (2013-14) conducted a study to update its agriculture position.
The Agriculture Update focused narrowly on:
- current technology issues in agriculture including genetically modified organisms (GMOs), herbicides, pesticides, agriculture water pollution, aquifer depletion, antibiotics in livestock, and accurate food labeling; and
- current agriculture finance issues including consolidation in agriculture industries, crop subsidies and the federal agricultural regulatory process.
Consensus meetings of local/state study committees were held in March and April 2014 and results submitted to the LWVUS study. LWVUS issued a revised position statement (May 2014) based on the results of nationwide consensus meetings. See below.
On this site, we will post additional articles and links to current events or NH-specific aspects of agriculture and food safety.
All League members are encouraged to become informed on this topic.
LWVUS announced the new League position on federal agriculture policy in May 2014. It is the result of the consensus meetings of 243 local and state Leagues. Thank you to the two local Leagues in NH that did a wonderful job tackling this challenging study. Download the pdf of the new position
League workshop: Food for Thought--Challenges and Opportunities Facing Farmers and Consumers in NH. Nov. 18, 2013, at Horseshoe Pond in Concord. NH Dept of Agriculture Commissioner Lorraine Merrell was the keynote speaker, followed by a panel discussion on agriculture issues as they affect NH farmers and GMOs (genetically engineered foods): what they are and information about HB 660, the bill proposing required labeling in NH. Download the PDFInformation presented by Rep. Maureen Mann, sponsor of HB 660, is available as a pdf (see GMO section below).
Quad States conference (April 27-28, 2013) had as its guest speaker Prof. John E. Carroll of UNH. He is the author of several books about NH and New England agriculture. Attendees were excited to begin the study!
LWVNH convention (June 1, 2013 in Hopkinton Library) had as guest speakers the chair and ranking minority member of the NH House Agriculture Committee, Rep Tara Sad (D) and Rep Bob Haefner (R). Notes from their talk are above, under articles.
October 2015: NH Legislative Performance Audit Report of the Food Protection Section of DHHS Click here to download this alarming report of repeated government failures to enforce regulations and to make inspections that would protect the safety of our food sources in this state. The report is 137 pages. To read just the Executive Summary and the chart of Recommendations, visit the 9th and the 11th thru 15th pages as they appear on your computer.
Feb. 2016 A new bill requiring labeling of GMO foods was introduced in the NH House in January 2016. HB 1674 was killed by a floor vote in the House on Feb. 10, 2016.
The link below will take you to a site dealing with GMO labeling. The group supports labeling of GMO products. If you click on the word `map' along the top menu you can then click on individual states to see what is happening regarding labeling legislation. <http://righttoknow-gmo.org/mission>
Spring 2016 Article of interest in MIT Technology Review re genetically modified mushrooms and potatoes, improved not by adding anything but rather by "snipping out" the part of the gene that causes browning. Question: if nothing is added, do these products fall under potential GMO labeling? Click here to read the article.
This website is of interest for its argument that a plant-based food system is healthier for humans and the environment. Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine This does not relate to our limited area of study at this time, but may be of interest to individuals.
Microbeads, 2015 Controversy is growing re the use of microbeads (for abrasive purposes) in cosmetics and toothpaste. As of Sept. 2015, 6 states have passed laws banning the use of microbeads in products sold in their states. The microbeads enter the water and eventually the food chain. Learn more from this blog article. Update Dec. 2015 Federal regulations to phase in a ban on microbeads. Click here to read the article
Update 2016 A bill (HB1429) in the NH legislature to ban the manufacture and sale of microbeads in personal care products was voted Inexpendient to Legislate (killed).