Lawmakers Worry About Sugar Prices; Renegotiate NAFTA Now
**A growing concern among U.S. lawmakers and food manufacturers that they’ll see the price of sugar go up if the sugar refining industry gets what it’s demanding from Mexico.
A group of 51 House members has signed onto a letter to Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross not to go through with some proposals like raising the floor price for raw and refined sugar and funneling some raw sugar imports directly to specific refiners.
**Farm groups and farm-state lawmakers are increasingly looking at the renegotiation of NAFTA as if you were removing a bandage. If it has to be done, and the Trump administration has made clear it does, then it’s far better to get it done quickly.
Mexico, which spends about $19 billion per year to buy U.S. corn, soybeans, beef, pork, rice, milk and other commodities, is increasingly jittery about the viability of U.S. exports.
House Ag Chairman Mike Conaway says the sooner the countries can close the book on a new NAFTA, the better.
**The FDA has a tough job ahead, a job the food and agriculture sectors have struggled to accomplish: Convincing the public that biotech crops are safe.
The 2017 spending bill includes $3 million earmarked for FDA on a consumer outreach and education effort. The stated goal is to educate consumers “on the environmental, nutritional, food safety, economic, and humanitarian impacts of such biotech foods.”
The provision surfaced last year as Congress debated legislation to block state GMO labeling laws.