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Colin Jeffery

Colin Jeffery

WASHINGTON (AP) — Three years after campaigning on a vow to "repeal and replace" President Barack Obama's health care law, House Republicans have yet to advance an alternative for the system they have voted more than three dozen times to abolish in whole or in part.

Officially, the effort is "in progress" — and has been since Jan. 19, 2011. That's according to GOP.gov, a leadership-run website.

But internal divisions, disagreement about political tactics and Obama's 2012 re-election add up to uncertainty over whether Republicans will vote on a plan of their own before the 2014 elections.

Or, if not by then, perhaps before the president leaves office, more than six years after the original promise.

Sixteen months before the midterm elections, some Republicans cite no need to offer an alternative.

Local tag debated at Missouri farmer's market

Sunday, 21 July 2013 08:37 Published in Local News

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — A Columbia farmers market flap highlights the challenges of ensuring that products labeled as locally-grown are the real thing.

Wilson's Garden Center owner Chuck Bay says he was kicked out of the popular Columbia Farmers Market for violating the market's vendor rules.

Bay says the board of directors flagged his stand for selling starter plants that had been purchased at a wholesale produce market in the Morgan County town of Versailles. He calls the market's rules on such products vague and says the board resents that he also sets up shop at a competing farmers market with less restrictive rules.

Board members say the rules are clear: vendors must grow their own products.

Food safety, farm groups oppose Smithfield sale

Sunday, 21 July 2013 08:36 Published in Local News

ST. LOUIS (AP) — A coalition of farm and food safety groups wants federal regulators to quash the proposed sale of Smithfield Foods to a Chinese conglomerate in what would be the largest such takeover of a U.S. business.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the 17 groups are asking the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States to oppose the pork processor's sale to Shuanghui International Holdings Ltd.

The groups include the Missouri Rural Crisis Center, Food and Water Watch, Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement and the Nebraska Farmers Union.

The federal committee reviews sales of American companies to foreign interests.

Coalition members say the deal could weaken domestic food safety, cause economic damage in rural communities and harm national security.

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