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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
African Famine: U.S. Response

African Famine: U.S. Response

Date: June 27, 1985
Creator: Hanrahan, Charles E.
Description: This report discusses the 1985 African famine situation, especially regarding U.S. emergency assistance at a time of U.S. domestic budgetary restraints, the adequacy of U.S. measures for monitoring and anticipating food emergencies, and the scale and nature of U.S. agricultural development programs intended to prevent future famines.
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Agricultural Biotechnology: Background and Recent Issues

Agricultural Biotechnology: Background and Recent Issues

Date: March 7, 2005
Creator: Becker, Geoffrey S.
Description: Since the first genetically engineered (GE) crops (also called GM [genetically modified] crops, or GMOs, genetically modified organisms) became commercially available in the mid-1990s, U.S. soybean, cotton, and corn farmers have rapidly adopted them. As adoption has spread, there have been policy debates over the costs and benefits of GE products. Issues include the impacts of GE crops on the environment and food safety, and whether GE foods should be specially labeled. Congress generally has been supportive of GE agricultural products, although some Members have expressed wariness about their adoption and regulation. The 109th Congress will likely continue to follow trade developments, particularly the U.S.-EU dispute, as well as U.S. regulatory mechanisms for approving biotech foods.
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Agricultural Biotechnology: Background and Recent Issues

Agricultural Biotechnology: Background and Recent Issues

Date: September 5, 2006
Creator: Becker, Geoffrey S.
Description: Since the first genetically engineered (GE) crops (also called GM [genetically modified] crops, or GMOs, genetically modified organisms) became commercially available in the mid-1990s, U.S. soybean, cotton, and corn farmers have rapidly adopted them. As adoption has spread, there have been policy debates over the costs and benefits of GE products. Issues include the impacts of GE crops on the environment and food safety, and whether GE foods should be specially labeled. Congress generally has been supportive of GE agricultural products, although some Members have expressed wariness about their adoption and regulation. The 109th Congress will likely continue to follow trade developments, particularly the U.S.-EU dispute, as well as U.S. regulatory mechanisms for approving biotech foods.
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Agricultural Biotechnology: The U.S.-EU Dispute

Agricultural Biotechnology: The U.S.-EU Dispute

Date: March 10, 2006
Creator: Hanrahan, Charles E.
Description: In May 2003, the United States, Canada, and Argentina initiated a formal challenge before the World Trade Organization (WTO) of the European Union’s (EU’s) de facto moratorium on approving new agricultural biotechnology products, in place since 1998. Although the EU effectively lifted the moratorium in May 2004 by approving a genetically engineered (GE) corn variety, the three countries are pursuing the case, in part because a number of EU member states continue to block approved biotech products. Because of delays, the WTO is expected to decide the case by December 2005. The moratorium reportedly cost U.S. corn growers some $300 million in exports to the EU annually. The EU moratorium, U.S. officials contend, threatened other agricultural exports not only to the EU, but also to other parts of the world where the EU approach to regulating agricultural biotechnology is taking hold.
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Agricultural Biotechnology: The U.S.-EU Dispute

Agricultural Biotechnology: The U.S.-EU Dispute

Date: November 17, 2005
Creator: Hanrahan, Charles E.
Description: In May 2003, the United States, Canada, and Argentina initiated a formal challenge before the World Trade Organization (WTO) of the European Union’s (EU’s) de facto moratorium on approving new agricultural biotechnology products, in place since 1998. Although the EU effectively lifted the moratorium in May 2004 by approving a genetically engineered (GE) corn variety, the three countries are pursuing the case, in part because a number of EU member states continue to block approved biotech products. Because of delays, the WTO is expected to decide the case by December 2005. The moratorium reportedly cost U.S. corn growers some $300 million in exports to the EU annually. The EU moratorium, U.S. officials contend, threatened other agricultural exports not only to the EU, but also to other parts of the world where the EU approach to regulating agricultural biotechnology is taking hold.
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Agricultural Credit: Institutions and Issues

Agricultural Credit: Institutions and Issues

Date: November 23, 2005
Creator: Monke, Jim
Description: The federal government has a long history of providing credit assistance to farmers by issuing direct loans and guarantees, and creating rural lending institutions. These institutions include the Farm Credit System (FCS), which is a network of borrower-owned lending institutions operating as a government-sponsored enterprise, and the Farm Service Agency (FSA) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), which makes or guarantees loans to farmers who cannot qualify at other lenders. When loans cannot be repaid, special bankruptcy provisions help family farmers reorganize debts and continue farming (P.L. 109-8 made Chapter 12 permanent and expanded eligibility). S. 238 and H.R. 399 (the Rural Economic Investment Act) would exempt commercial banks from paying taxes on profits from farm real estate loans, thus providing similar benefits as to the Farm Credit System.
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Agricultural Disaster Assistance

Agricultural Disaster Assistance

Date: November 2, 2004
Creator: Chite, Ralph M.
Description: The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) offers several permanently authorized programs to help farmers recover financially from a natural disaster, including federal crop insurance, the non-insured assistance program and emergency disaster loans. In recent years, Congress frequently has made supplemental financial assistance available to farmers and ranchers on an ad-hoc basis, most notably in the form of direct crop disaster payments and emergency livestock assistance. Congress provided an estimated $3.1 billion of such assistance in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2003 (P.L. 108-7) for 2001 and 2002 crop and livestock losses. Some farm groups would like to see similar assistance provided for 2003 losses, particularly in regions of the Midwest and West that have experienced prolonged drought conditions. To date, no ad-hoc assistance has been made available for 2003 losses.
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Agricultural Disaster Assistance

Agricultural Disaster Assistance

Date: June 29, 2009
Creator: Chite, Ralph M.
Description: The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) offers several permanently authorized programs to help farmers recover financially from a natural disaster, including federal crop insurance, the noninsured assistance program (NAP), and emergency disaster loans. The Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (otherwise known as the 2008 farm bill) includes authorization and funding for crop disaster programs, livestock assistance programs, and a tree assistance program. The new programs are designed to address the ad hoc nature of disaster assistance provided to producers during the last two decades.
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Agricultural Disaster Assistance

Agricultural Disaster Assistance

Date: October 25, 2010
Creator: Shields, Dennis A.
Description: This report has two sections. The first provides an overview of the current U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) disaster assistance programs: federal crop insurance, NAP payments, emergency disaster loans, the new Supplemental Revenue Assistance Payments Program (SURE), and four other smaller disaster programs authorized in the 2008 farm bill. The second section reviews the recent history of emergency supplemental farm disaster assistance.
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Agricultural Disaster Assistance

Agricultural Disaster Assistance

Date: July 3, 2008
Creator: Chite, Ralph M.
Description: The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) offers several permanently authorized programs to help farmers recover financially from a natural disaster, including federal crop insurance, the noninsured assistance program (NAP), and emergency disaster loans. This report outlines the various agricultural disaster assistance appropriations included in the FY2007 Iraq war supplemental appropriations act; the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008; the 2008 farm bill; and the FY2008 Supplemental Appropriations Act.
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