Senate faces choices on pink slime, tracking DOD's fruit and vegetable purchases in farm bill debate

Vermont's two senators, Bernie Sanders (I) and Patrick Leahy (D), proposed their own language that would expand upon a program in which the Defense Department helps deliver fresh fruit and vegetables to schools. The DOD's Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program started in 1995, with the Defense Supply Center Philadelphia delivering these products to schools along with shipments they make to military installations.

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Under the Sanders-Leahy language, the secretaries of Agriculture and Defense would have to better track these purchases, including the states from which purchases are made, and report this information back to Congress.

Elsewhere, Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) have proposed an amendment that would require the government to publish dietary guidelines for pregnant women and children up to age 2, beginning in 2020.

Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) introduced an amendment that would force all agriculture spending under the 2009 stimulus bill to expire at the end of June, rather than at the end of fiscal year 2013. And Sen. Mike Johanns (R-Neb.) proposed a provision that would prohibit the aerial surveillance of agriculture operations.

Still others have nothing to do with the ongoing farm bill debate. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) proposed a resolution on the importance of keeping nuclear weapons out of Iran, and Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) introduced an amendment to repeal the Dodd-Frank financial reform law.