King Amendment May Stick to Farm Bill in Fall Legislative Session: State GMO Bills, Animal Welfare Standards, Puppy Mill Laws Jeopardized

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The last farm bill was an epic disaster. Huge spending cuts to food stamp programs, no cuts to agricultural subsidies, and an amendment which would have superseded states rights to enact their own agricultural laws were all on the ballot.

Sponsored by Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, the King Amendment could have overruled current and restricted future state farming laws that differ from those handed down by the federal government including animal welfare regulations, labeling of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), importation bans, and even puppy mills. We thought it died with the last version of the House farm bill -- unfortunately, it very well could come back from the dead.

The Humane Society of the United States and state legislators from the National Conference State Legislators held a press conference yesterday to warn the public of the ramifications of the vaguely written, draconian piece of legislation.

See Also:
- House Blocked Debate, Sought to Limit States' Rights on Animal Welfare in Failed Farm Bill
- Fiscal Dairy Cliff: Farm Bill Stall Could See Milk Prices Double

John Goodwin, director of animal cruelty policy, The Humane Society of the United States was joined at the conference by Sen. Kemp Hannon, R- NY, Sen. Bruce Starr R -Ore. who were attending the National Conference State Legislators.

Goodwin and the organization fear that the amendment will end up as part of the bill yet again as the House and Senate attempt to compromise. "If Congress does not pass a new bill by September 30, when the current bill expires, all Agriculture policies, everything, including crop insurance, would revert back to the way they were in 1949 or they will have to pass a one year extension," he said. "The House and Senate need to agree on a bill."

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