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March 26, 2013

Big Agriculture flexes its muscle

Congress holds the purse strings, but who holds Congress these days when it comes to farm policy: the meatpackers and Monsanto?

So it seemed last week as lawmakers sent the White House an updated budget for the Agriculture Department complete with industry-backed orders on how Secretary Tom Vilsack should run the place.

The Post-it notes from the packers were hard to miss.

Alarmed that automatic spending cuts this month will slow plant operations, the meat lobby won a last-minute Senate amendment that cuts from a new White House-backed school breakfast program in order to ensure there will be enough money to keep food safety inspectors on the job this summer and avoid disruptions. Read more

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