News update:Feb 7, 2007

Where's the feed?

In 2005, US agribusiness spent $95,469,961 to influence Congress on everything from halting global warming legislation to pushing crop disaster relief caused by global warming.

The big ag players spent big bucks. According to data collected under federal reporting laws and analyzed by the Center for Responsive Politics, the American Farm Bureau Federation spent $7.9 million lobbying Capitol Hill and federal agencies; the National Farmers Union spent $1 million.
Other commodity groups, spent varying sums: the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, $420,370; the National Pork Producers Council, $404,125; the National Corn Growers, $550,000; the American Soybean Association, $370,000; the National Association of Wheat Growers, $120,000.
Agbiz was in there pitching, too: Dean Foods, $1.6 million; Dairy Farmers of America, $620,000; Tyson Foods, $1.08 million; Monsanto Co., $3.04 million; Smithfield Foods, $880,000; Crop Life of America, $1.9 million; Syngenta, $960,000.
"Plain and simple," says Tom Buis, President of  the National Farmers Union, and former lobbyist, "over the last five or six years there's been more check book influence on Capitol Hill than people influence. Lobbying reform is long overdue."
Now, however, this money-fueled merry-go-round promises to slow as both the US House and Senate recently passed versions of lobbying reform. Independent lobbying watchers agree; hard facts and sincere faces will become more influential in legislation.
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Editor WorldPoultry

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