Petri-dish protein may soon be prohibited from being labeled as meat in South Dakota, thanks to South Dakota’s state senators unanimously passing Senate Bill 68 Feb. 20, 2019.
Currently under review with the House Ag Committee, if passed by the House, SB68 will ensure that only meat harvested from animal carcasses can be labeled as meat.
In a state where more than 3 million cows outnumber the state’s 869,666 citizens, SB68 not only supports consumers’ right to know where their food comes from, but it supports South Dakota’s number one economic driver.
“Agriculture is our number one industry by a long way. SB68 will positively impact our industry in a big way,” said Karla Hofhenke, S.D. Farmers Union Executive Director.
A third-generation cattle producer, Hofhenke says she is proud of the state’s leaders taking a stand. “South Dakota is among the states leading the nation to ensure truth in labeling for their citizens.”
Hofhenke says that beyond truth in labeling, SB68 protects the trust livestock producers have built among consumers that when they purchase U.S. meat products, consumers know are buying a quality, safe product. “Livestock producers of all kinds – beef, lamb, pork, poultry and others – spent generations perfecting the quality and safety of their product. We’ve worked hard to earn consumer trust. A new, lab-manufactured food product, cannot ride on our coattails and put our industry at risk.”
Truth in labeling is a policy focus of South Dakota Farmers Union. In October 2018, Hofhenke traveled to D.C. with members to testify before the U.S. Department of Agriculture, encouraging the organization to reserve the term meat for protein harvested from animal carcasses only – and not allowing lab manufactured protein products to use the term.
USDA has yet to reach a decision. Which makes SB68 and bills like it in other states, timely.
“If it matters to the states, we hope our congressional leaders will take note and encourage the USDA to follow suite. Consumers have a right to know what they are eating,” Hofhenke explains.
Estate or transition planning needs to be a part of every agriculture producer’s farm or ranch management plan, said Blaine Carey, an instructor with the South Dakota Center for Farm and Ranch Management at Mitchell Technical Institute during the recent South Dakota Farmers Union Young Producer’s Event held in Deadwood.
“Hope is not an estate plan,” says Carey, who works with producers of all ages and stages, to help them streamline their recordkeeping and provide practical management strategies to help them improve their bottom line.
As fuel prices decrease, farmers are seeing corn ethanol markets drop. What to do? Well, let’s hope we don’t see the price at the pumps go up. Instead, let’s use more ethanol.
What I’m suggesting is oil companies increase the amount of ethanol blended into gasoline – from the mandatory 10 to 30 percent.
And, my reasons are not purely economic. Without higher ethanol blends, a century of research shows the only way to better octane ratings is more carcinogens.
Let me explain. There’s no such thing as pure gasoline. Typical gasoline is made up of 10 percent ethanol and 90 percent other petroleum products. And, anywhere from 25 to 40 percent are classified as highly toxic carcinogens. These aromatics include: benzene, toluene and xylene or BTEX.
These facts concern me. My mom passed away from cancer in 2008. Was it caused by benzene, toluene and xylene? We will never know.
And, the government knows all about it. In fact, in the 1990 Clean Air Act, in an effort to minimize specific aromatic pollution or mobile source air toxics, Congress directed the EPA to control hazardous air pollutants to the greatest degree of emission reduction achievable.