School nutrition standards were the central focus of Thursday’s House Appropriations Committee markup. Democrats attempted to remove a provision from the agriculture appropriations bill that will give certain schools a waiver on compliance with nutrition standards. After an hour of debate, the amendment introduced by the subcommittee’s ranking member, U.S. Rep. Sam Farr (D-CA), to remove the waiver was rejected in a 29-22 vote. Two of the amendments that did pass the committee were U.S. Rep. Jim Moran’s (D-VA) horse slaughter amendment and U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro’s (D-CT) “Chinese chicken” amendment. Moran’s amendment to prevent funding for inspections of horse slaughter plants mirrors the one that passed the Senate Appropriations Committee last week. “There are very substantive reasons to support this amendment,” Moran said. “Horses aren’t raised for human consumption. As a result, they pose unique health risks …. They’re often given chemicals — steroids and the like — that can be toxic to humans.” He added that inspections of horse slaughter plants divert millions of dollars away from the inspection of other products. “The USDA has included this defund request in their budget [for] the last two years,” Moran said. Because of the demand for horsemeat around the world, the U.S. exports approximately 138,000 horses for slaughter each year, said U.S. Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-AL), subcommittee chairman. “Once the horses leave this country, we cannot control how they’re treated in transport or in their slaughter,” he said, adding that the amendment “is an endorsement of outsourcing of U.S. jobs.” The full committee chairman, U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers (R-KY), initially rejected the amendment based on a voice vote, but a roll-call vote resulted in 28-22 in favor. DeLauro’s amendment would prevent poultry processed in China from being used in the National School Lunch Program, School Breakfast Program, Child and Adult Care Food Program and Summer Food Service Program. DeLauro did not have to put up much of a fight for the amendment. The bill found no objection in a voice vote. “This is something we all agree on, and, just to prove to you that I am not one to hurt our school kids, I accept it,” Aderholt said. “I have the best intentions for our kids to eat healthy.” DeLauro did answer one question about whether poultry processed in China would already be blocked by the “Buy American” provision, explaining that the rule applies to food supplied through USDA, but that there are no restrictions on products from private vendors. At the conclusion of the session, the agriculture appropriations bill was approved by a vote of 31-18.

  • Bonnie

    When will it be addressed that canned fruit from China has been seen in food pantries in public school stockrooms? Since the House Appropriations Committee is concerned about chicken from China being served to school students, then why does it not apply to all food products from China?

    • Oginikwe

      Read the labels at the grocery store: lots of food from China there, too. The first thing anyone can do is stop buying it. Call the company and tell them why you stopped buying their stuff. Things will change when their products sit on the shelf.

    • MadeinShenzhen

      This china food bill is absurd. Most products from China are perfectly safe, and ALL food products that come into the USA must pass FDA inspections. Acting as if it were otherwise is pure commie-fearing neo-racism.

  • Linda Adsit

    Bonnie: Yes, there is a huge amount of Chinese food in our country. Our economy may be over a barrel concerning China. Another subject for another time. But……….Like so many things our government does, the USDA-routed chinese chicken ban to public schools is a bandaid on a very big wound. I am glad it should keep Chinese chicken out of schools, but it is terribly limited in scope, considering the size of the problem, as you said. Can this be changed? By our government? What a joke. The competitiveness of our congressional operation causes many problems to linger for years, and others to never be solved at all. IMO, they have a free ride to play games with our money and our lives.

  • JanWindsong

    I am very disgusted with the politician from AL. There is no demand for horsemeat except by unscrupulous meat dealers who use horsemeat to mix in with rotten or decaying beef and then pass off as beef. American horses at not raised as food. The only ones that reach slaughter are unfortunates that have fallen into the wrong hands. Those horses are usually then transported without food and water, are exchanged over and over at filthy auction sites, have no reliable paperwork and eventually at slaughter are sick with viral infections or infected injuries from transport or handling. Even the son of Seattle Slew was pulled from the meat man’s truck. No paperwork. The consequences to humans who consume the meat processed is very real – and especially to children. Death by destruction of their red blood cell production system (aplastic anemia). Please DEMAND the ban on horse slaughter be passed. HR1094 or Senate Bill 541. Those bills have been stalled for two years by unscrupulous and criminal food industrialists. Please help.

  • Margaret

    There is no humane way to slaughter a horse. Sending him to Mexico subjects the horse to the puntilla knife. In Canada the horse is shot with captive bolt gun. Both methods have inexperienced abusive folks doing the killing. It’s suppose to be into the knock box, shot and hot–all in one go. But habitually that doesn’t happen.

    And bringing slaughter back to this country isn’t going to fix diddly squat. It will still be the same inept people doing the killing, trashing the local economy, raising crime rates, creating all kinds of environmental nightmares.

    Glad to see some are using common sense and not knee jerk politics.

    • oldcowvet

      How about sending the irresponsible horse breeders to Canada? That is the real problem, make emergency drink warm beer, eh.

    • dk

      The EU-approved Mexican horse slaughter plants use the captive bolt, just like what would be used in the U.S. To date, no humane way to slaughter horses has been found. Read more about why here:

  • dk

    If this is your representative Vote Him Out — US. Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-AL) There is nothing good about horse slaughter. It brings nothing but pain and heartache via horse theft and spreads horse diseases, plays Russian Roulette with other people’s lives, and lowers property values. Slaughter horses are not required to have the same paperwork via health certificates and negative coggins (EIA), so during the fly and mosquito season they spread disease with little to no disease traceability.

    • Deedie

      Same for Jack Kingston! He MUST GO!

  • cart41

    When Is Bravo going to be shutdown?

  • Deedie

    I still want to know when Jack Kingston & Roy Blunt will be held responsible for their fraudulent GAO report that sought to bring domestic horse slaughter back to the US in the first place, back in 2011? I would also like Georgia voters to remember that Jack Kingston wishes to take the senate seat in November. VOTE HIM OUT.

    • Doris Kelsey

      The 2011 GAO report was commissioned by Herb Kohl of Wisconsin. If you would READ it, you might have known.

  • common sense

    I see most of the comments are typical H$U$ lies. You all brainwashed. Why not visit a plant and get the truth? Oh, so much easier watching youtube isn’t it? Nothing like an edited bunch of lies.

    • Deedie

      Nobody even mentioned the HSUS. For all you know there are people here who have lived near horse slaughter plants and know the horror that it is for horses and the citizens who have to live near such a wretched place. Most of us here have researched horse slaughter for years and know far more about it than we wish we did.

  • Randy Janssen

    I understand the desire to not want to slaughter horses. I just wonder who is going to pay for the care of the animals. If we are sending 138,000 horses out of the country for slaughter and it cost a bare bones and I mean bare bones minimum of $2000.00 per year per horse to maintain them, that is $276,000,000.00 per year. That does not include the horses being abandoned and the horses starving on BLM land. Is the government going to fund this or is the HSUS, the ASPCA and PETA going to pay.

    • Buckinhard

      I challenge anyone to find a picture of starving wild horses on BLM land in the wild vs not captured in holding pens. It doesn’t happen. Most of us know the horror of the BLM care the horses and burro’s get in holding pens, one can see by observation, the thin, lame and sick. HSUS is an anti humane organization, check it out. The equine industry brings billions to our economy. There’s a problem with this country where people believe they are entitled to do whatever they want. STOP THE OVERBREEDING. AQHA is a pro slaughter organization, promoting breeding of any lineage just to become the largest breed organization. The number one breed going to slaughter is Quarter horses. There must be standards and controls with breeding. Small backyard breeding where the breeders really don’t have the resources to care for their horses and the large breed organizations also have over breeding to aquire the best and finest of horses yet how many slaughtered horses and foals does it take to hit just the best genetic outcome. This is the 21st century, lives are important and lives are not throw away trash. Besides, American horses have too many drugs on board which have zero withdrawal times consequently their meat is toxic and cancer causing.

      • Randy Janssen

        You seem to think all horses are some sort of majestic creature. Some of them are just plain nags. Horses suffer from a multitude of physical disorders that are not evident at birth. How many of Secretariat’s folds won the triple crown. Breading horses is a crap shoot and you have to bread enough horses to get the ones that are of good quality. You can’t cure problems with a horses heart or eyes by whispering to it. The problem is, what do you do with the also runs? Do you just shoot them. Very few people can afford to feed horses that are of no value.

  • cowboy79

    Horse slaughter plants should be given the green light to reopen in the us it boosts jobs and helps keep the sale market up horses have to have a coggins and health paper just to get past the ag station in florida whether there bound for good homes or slaughter horses going to canada have to have signed drug papers for slaughter id rather see one slaughterd than starved or neglected yes it stinks that some good ones end up there but its part of the business and its even worse that some good ones get neglected

  • Jessica Perdue-guttman

    Outsourcing jobs? Are you kidding me? Low paying, violent jobs! Horse slaughter is inhumane as defined by the humane slaughter act because it is torture. It’s in jest to say that sending them to Mexico provides jobs and is humane.