Farm Bill backs fresh produce industry

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News and insight for North America's fresh produce buyers
Carl Collen

BY CARL COLLEN

Farm Bill backs fresh produce industry

The house of representatives has voted overwhelmingly in favour of the new Farm Bill

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In the US, the House of Representatives has voted in favour of a new Farm Bill conference report, with the Senate expected to approve the bill today before passing it on to President George Bush. President Bush has previously threatened to veto the bill, claiming that it is too expensive.

The bill, which gained a 318-106 majority vote, includes an unprecedented US$3bn of support for specialty crop priorities, to grow fresh produce consumption and the competitiveness of the US agricultural industry in the international market.

Over US$1bn will be invested in the Fresh Fruit & Vegetable School snack Program across the country, research into food safety, genetics, mechanisation, plant breeding and pest and disease eradication.

"Despite the presidents veto threat, the House has passed the Farm Bill with an overwhelming vote, including a majority of Republicans," said United Fresh president Tom Stenzel. "We must now work to communicate again to the White House that President Bush should sign this bill which has garnered such a bipartisan majority."

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