Senate Agricultural Hearing Touches on CA Drug Cartels

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California Congressman Malfa, at a Senate hearing on agriculture, highlights horrific effects of illicit drugs to the environment, law enforcement, sense of security & water security.

 California has the tenth most farms of all states; the 7th-9th ranking states, also with under 70,000 farms, are Kentucky, Minnesota, and Tennessee. U.S. farming: total land in farms 2023 | Statista

The total area of land in U.S. farms has decreased annually, since 2000, except a small increase in 2012. Total U.S. farmland area has decreased by over 66 million acres with a 2023 total at 878.6 million acres.  Also, notable is the fact the average farm acreage in the United States has increased in the past few years, suggesting consolidation of farms.

A March 20th, U.S. Senate Committee Hearing on U.S. Agriculture and China,  addressed California Agriculture a few times including from two representatives from northern California, but given it is a NATIONAL issue, food security affects everyone, it is interesting no representatives from Southern California were present to add input - in light of the discussion including drug cartels.

While Representative Costa touched upon TPP, Tariff's and a Market Access Program (MAP is a cost-share program that helps U.S. agricultural organizations to export their products to foreign markets.)

It was Representative LaMalfa who honed in on the Chinese Cartel narcotic and illegal drug traffic. 

Jim Costa of CA 21st District (Fresno, Reedley, North Visalia) "...As a third generation farmer from California that food is a national security issue....I think it's important that this committee focus on the danger that China poses to America in terms of its impact on America's dinner table every night....This is an adversary. Let's make no mistake about it. Number two, we compete against one another. I would argue they don't compete fairly. They don't play by the same rules...and they're engaged in the theft of technology and other types of efforts. But yet they are a vast market. So how do you balance those three factors for any administration.....the Trans-Pacific Partnership where you engaged other nearby countries to leverage China. I think that's far better than tariffs war....Why? Everybody has leverage on a tariff war, they just keep upping the ante...the Market Access program is helpful to our American farmers and processors and it's oversubscribed and I and I have legislation that would double the funding for that."  Hearing on U.S. Agriculture and China, Part 2 | C-SPAN.org


Rep. LaMalfa of CA 1st district (Redding, Chico, Susanville)  Hearing on U.S. Agriculture and China, Part 3 | C-SPAN.org

I want to shift in my remaining time here. With the Chinese Cartel going on with so much in the drug culture and so much of it going on in Northern California and the locals are seeming almost powerless and short on resources... You should see it the vast number of greenhousees right now it's private property which makes it a different enforcement. It has been on federal lands which federal lands with the forest service and not making the moves but it provides its own challenges ...So we have much organized crime tied to China and illicit marijuana trade 

  • horrific for the environment 
  • horrific for law enforcement 
  • less of sense of security
  • water being carted without permits
  • environmental damage.

So, these Chinese gangs have been distributing the end product and very dangerous chemicals that are not available at all to American farmers in the process. 

Can you emphasize a little bit, what would you tell us about the international crime effects in our national security as well as the local quality of life? "

 

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