Acting Secretary Mike Young,
It has come to our attention that the previous U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) leadership made a decision to reprogram $1 million from the FY 2017 Specialty Crop Block Grant (SCBG) Program to fund the “Study of Electronic or Digital Link Disclosure,” a study congressionally mandated, but left unfunded, by the recent National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard law. We understand the current administration is reviewing this decision prior to releasing the FY 2017 SCBG Request for Applications. The National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) has significant concerns with reprograming SCBG funds and requests USDA refrain from redirecting these funds.
The SCBG Program is a top Farm Bill priority of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA), with state departments of agriculture partnering with the federal government to provide important tools to enhance specialty crop production, while also advancing foods with critical health benefits to the American people. While NASDA supported the National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard law, we are concerned about reprogramming SCBG funds to pay for the survey. Congress did not intend for funds from this program to pay for the study, and to do so would be inappropriate.
Thank you for your attention to this matter. We look forward to advancing agriculture with you in the new Congress. Should you have any questions about this issue, please feel free to contact Amanda Culp at firstname.lastname@example.org or (202) 296-9680.
Barbara P. Glenn, Ph.D.
Chief Executive Officer