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Mr. MORAN. Mr. President, first of all, I congratulate my colleagues, Senator Leahy and Senator Lugar, for this achievement and thank them for their service to the country.
I also appreciate the willingness of Senator Collins and Senator Lieberman to allow me to speak for a few minutes before we return to the business at hand--legislation regarding cybersecurity.
USDA EMPLOYEE NEWSLETTER
I want to point out to my colleagues--and perhaps to the Department of Agriculture--something I saw today that caught my attention. In fact, it is amazing to me, this development.
This is the Department of Agriculture's--the USDA--employee newsletter I hold in my hand. In that newsletter, it says the following--it has a section in the newsletter that says ``Food Services Update.'' Well, the Department of Agriculture, which, in my view, has a serious and significant responsibility to promote agriculture, says this in their own newsletter:
One simple way to reduce your environmental impact while dining at our cafeterias is to participate in the ``Meatless Monday''. .....
This effort ..... encourages people not to eat meat on Mondays. .....
How will going meatless one day of the week help the environment? The production of meat, especially beef (and dairy as well) has a large environmental impact. According to the U.N.--
``According to the U.N.''--
animal agriculture is a major source of greenhouse gases and climate change. It also wastes resources. It takes 7,000 kg of grain to make 1,000 kg of beef. In addition, beef production requires a lot of water, fertilizer, fossil fuels, and pesticides. In addition there are many health concerns related to the excessive consumption of meat. While a vegetarian diet could have a beneficial impact on a person's health and the environment, many people are not ready to make that commitment. Because Meatless Monday involves only one day a week, it is a small change that could produce big results.
Our own Department of Agriculture, again, at least from my perspective--and we ought to look at what the mission of the Department Agriculture is, and I think it will reflect what I am saying--is to promote agriculture, to help those who every day go to work to produce food, fiber, and fuel for this country and the world. Yet our own Department of Agriculture is encouraging people not to eat meat and indicates--from these statements, again, from their newsletter--that ``the USDA Headquarters Food Operations are a high profile opportunity to demonstrate USDA's commitment to USDA mission and initiatives.''
So it would not surprise me if what you see is that the Department of Agriculture somehow loses this newsletter. But it is posted on their Web site, and I would encourage Secretary Vilsack and the officials at the Department of Agriculture to rethink their role in discouraging something that is so vital to the U.S. economy and something so important to the Kansas economy.
We are a beef-producing State, and it generates significant revenue for Kansas farmers and ranchers and is one of the items that improve our balance of trade, as we export meat and beef around the world. Yet our own Department of Agriculture encourages people not to consume meat.
I think I will have more to say about this topic, but for the moment, in light of the kindness that was extended to me by the Senators, I yield the floor.
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