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» April 4, 2005 «
Starting today (Monday), consumers buying fish or shellfish will see labels on those foods, identifying where the fish originated. Fish and shellfish are the first products affected by mandatory "country-of-origin" labeling. Farm groups have pushed for similar labels on fruits, vegetables and meats, so that shoppers can tell in which nations their food is produced. Labels on those other foods are due to begin appearing next year.
After surveying snow in the Sierra (Friday), officials decided they could deliver more water to customers of the State Water Project. The project said it can now meet 70 percent of its water requests, up from 60 percent. The April snow survey is a key measurement each year. Surveyors measured the snow at Echo Summit at 150 percent of average for the date. Statewide, the snowpack stands at 137 percent.
As a result of the wet winter in Southern California, water districts have cancelled plans to buy water from Sacramento Valley farmers. The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California notified irrigation districts that it would not exercise options to buy water this summer. Farmers who signed the options had agreed not to plant crops, in order to sell the saved irrigation water. Some of that land may remain unplanted regardless, because of low rice prices.
Promotions will continue encouraging Americans to eat more lamb, as a result of a vote by producers. The U.S. Agriculture Department said (Friday) that the lamb promotions earned an 80-percent "yes" vote among ranchers and handlers who voted in a referendum. In California, producers approved the program at an even higher rate. Ranchers and other people in the lamb business assess themselves to pay for the promotions.Top