The 132nd annual meeting of the American Seed Trade Association (ASTA) is being held this week in Washington DC where members of the industry will be talking with lawmakers about issues important to them.
ASTA president and CEO Andy LaVigne says it is a chance for them to raise awareness about the seed industry with elected officials. “We will be talking about the pollinator issues, which are obviously very hot right now,” said LaVigne. Trade and GMO labeling are also hot issues and will be a big focus for ASTA this week. “The trade issues are always very important to us, we need to be able to move seed globally. And we continue to work with a very large coalition of agriculture and food industry representatives on GMO labeling so that we have a consistent policy across the country driven from Washington DC instead of a patchwork across the country in individual states.” [wpaudio url=”http://www.zimmcomm.biz/asta/asta-annual-preview.mp3″ text=”ASTA CEO Andy LaVigne previews annual meeting”]
While ASTA is visiting DC this week, the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health will be holding a hearing on “A National Framework for the Review and Labeling of Biotechnology in Food” focused on legislation proposed by Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS) and Rep. G. K. Butterfield (D-NC).
ASTA members will be visiting with their representatives in both the House and Senate this week and will also hear from Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack on Thursday. We are heading that way tomorrow and will bring you all the sights and sounds from the meeting.