American Soybean Assocation urges fast action on grain standards bill

The American Soybean Association (ASA) lauded the House of Representatives on Wednesday for passing a bill to reauthorize the U.S. Grain Standards Act (USGSA) and exhorted the Senate to act quickly on its own version of the legislation.

Important provisions of the USGSA will expire unless a bill is enacted by Sept. 30, putting the reliability of export inspection of soybeans and grain at risk.

ASA President Wade Cowan, a Texas soybean farmer, applauded the House for its timely approval of the bill, which would require swift action by the Federal Grain Inspection Service (FGIS) in the event of a disruption in export inspection services, similar to the one that occurred at the Port of Vancouver in Washington last summer.

“ASA urges the Senate to take up its version of the legislation as soon as possible to ensure our growers and their foreign customers that the U.S. inspection system will continue to represent the ‘gold standard’ for quality exports of U.S. soybeans and grain,” Cowan said.

ASA and other farm organizations have urged both the House and the Senate Agriculture Committees to provide assurances in their bills to prevent another disruption in export inspection services. As a result of a labor dispute at the Port of Vancouver in 2013 and 2014, the Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) declined to provide services in July 2014, citing concerns over inspector safety. The resulting 36-day suspension of export inspections before the WSDA resumed services last August raised major questions among producers and foreign buyers about the reliability and transparency of the U.S. inspection system.

Organizations in this story

Port of Vancouver USA 3103 NW Lower River Rd Vancouver, WA 98660

Washington State Department of Agriculture 1111 Washington Street Southeast Olympia, WA 98501

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