Durbin Meets with Illinois Farm Bureau to Discuss Agricultural Priorities

[WASHINGTON, DC] – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today hosted a meeting with representatives from the Illinois Farm Bureau to discuss climate change, food safety and renewable fuels. During the discussion, Durbin stressed the importance of passing climate legislation that benefits farmers. He listened to the questions and concerns from Illinois Farm Bureau members regarding climate change legislation in the House of Representatives and spoke about the current state of negotiations in the Senate.


“I believe that we need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and work to lessen the impact of climate change on our planet,” said Durbin. “Bringing groups like the Illinois Farm Bureau to the table and including their concerns in this debate is an important step towards ensuring passage of effective, bipartisan climate change legislation.”


The Illinois Farm Bureau members thanked Durbin for his efforts to improve food safety. Earlier this year, Durbin led a bipartisan group of Senators in introducing legislation that addresses some of the issues surrounding the recent food product recalls by increasing the frequency of inspections at all food facilities; giving the FDA expanded access to records and testing results, and allowing the FDA to recall dangerous food products in the event a company fails to recall a product at the FDA’s request. The FDA Food Safety Modernization Act that will dramatically improve the way the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) protects the safety of the nation’s food supply.


“Recent recalls of peanut butter, spinach and other food products are the result of an outdated, under-funded and overwhelmed food safety system,” said Durbin. “The legislation we are working on in the Senate will improve the FDA’s ability to prevent food-borne illness outbreaks and ensure FDA responds quickly and effectively when outbreaks do occur.”


The members also thanked Durbin for his support of biofuels and asked him to cosponsor the Biodiesel Tax Incentive Reform and Extension Act. Durbin agreed to cosponsor the legislation in the Senate and further discussed the importance of biofuels in contributing to America’s energy independence.


“Illinois farmers are ready, willing, and able to contribute to our energy independence and security. Decreasing our use of Mideast oil and replacing it with Midwest biofuels is good for America,” said Durbin. “When we use our state's agricultural expertise to reduce our dependence on foreign suppliers, Illinois farmers win and the whole country benefits.”