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5 reasons to support the GMO labeling act

5 reasons to support the GMO labeling act

By Mike Barnett

Watching the anti-GMO forces rally against the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act, recently passed by the House Agriculture Committee, reminds me of a dog chasing its tail.

They whirl with unexplainable passion in pursuit of an elusive goal. The end, pardon the pun, is always in sight. But it is never achieved.

It’s disconcerting to me. The anti-GMO forces have worked through many states to get mandatory labeling of GMO products. They’ve been successful in Vermont.

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EPA adds risk and uncertainty to clean water rules

EPA adds risk and uncertainty to clean water rules

By Mike Barnett

Environmental Protection Agency. EPA. I think a name change is due. Extremely Pugnacious Agency.

EPA recently released its final “Waters of the U.S.” rule. After months of debate, thousands of comments from farmers and ranchers—including 1,200 from Texas—and clear direction from both Congress and the courts, EPA did what it wanted to do. The final rule, according to an American Farm Bureau Federation analysis, will give EPA new powers to regulate farmers, ranchers and other businesses.

How did we get here?

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10 things you should know about Texas agriculture

10 things you should know about Texas agriculture

By Mike Barnett

Everything’s bigger and better in Texas. Even agriculture.

Most Texans know our ranchers herd more cattle and farmers grow more cotton than those in any other state. But you are probably not aware of many other fascinating aspects of agriculture in the Lone Star State.

Here’s my Top 10, gleaned from the 2012 Agriculture Census .

10) Fun on the farm.

Texas farms and ranches account for 19 percent of agri-tourism and recreation dollars in the U.S.  That means $133 million flows into rural areas as Texans enjoy wineries, hunting, ranches and other experiences.

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Does EPA know they won the big one?

Does EPA know they won the big one?

By Gene Hall

There was a time when our environment was in serious trouble. The EPA went to war against big time polluters. You know what? They won.

I know there’s a big time activist industry that benefits financially from constantly selling an environmental disaster. Still, no serious person would deny we’ve made great strides in cleaning up and protecting the environment.

But it’s not acceptable to continue the fight using all the heavy artillery that was needed four decades ago. The big guns of government are now mostly churning out economy sapping, crippling and punitive regulations that no longer make sense.

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Private property rights are not optional

Private property rights are not optional

By Billy Howe
TFB State Legislative Director

Sometimes it seems people believe the legislature’s power is unlimited; that the legislature has no constraints on determining our state’s public policy, or the regulatory authority they can grant to state and local agencies.

However, it’s simply not true when it comes to private property rights.

Private property ownership and rights don’t come from the legislature. The courts determine if a landowner has a property right. Once that right is recognized, it is protected by the Takings Clause of both the Texas and U.S. constitutions. Both the court and the constitution provide the checks and balance to the legislature’s power.

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Time to ditch the rule before EPA ditches you

Time to ditch the rule before EPA ditches you

By Mike Barnett

It looks like the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is trying to flood agriculture into submission with its revisions of the Clean Water Act.

This map, developed by the U.S. Geological Survey and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and updated for EPA, shows locations and flow patterns of waterways in Texas.

At first glance, it looks innocent enough. Where it gets problematic is how it could be used.

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