NON-BROWNING APPLES – GREGORY CONKO
Last week, CEI Senior Fellow Gregory Conko joined two other biotechnology legal scholars in written comments to the Department of Agriculture urging the department to deregulate the Arctic Apple, which has been genetically modified to prevent browning. Non-browning apples “will benefit consumers andthe U.S. economy by reducing food deterioration, discoloration and waste at the producer, processor, retailer and consumer level,” they argue.
EMPLOYEE RIGHTS ACT – TREY KOVACS
In November, Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Representative Tom Price (R-Ga.) introduced the Employee Rights Act (ERA), a bill that strengthens federal labor law to protect workers from union coercion and enhance worker choice when deciding on whether or not to join a union.
Ensuring workers a secret-ballot election is a much needed reform, especially since card-check, or what the NLRB website calls the “alternative path to union representation,” is a coercive process that frequently subjects workers to threats, intimidation, and deception from union organizers, while sidestepping a federally supervised secret-ballot election.
IRS RULE CHANGE – HANS BADER
Although these proposed rules in their initial form only apply to 501(c)(4) groups, and only limit the amount of such “political” activity those groups can engage in, rather than entirely banning it, the IRS says it may expand the limit to a total ban in the final version of its rule, and may eventually apply the ban to non-partisan 501(c)(3) groups, like think-tanks and other tax-exempt charities, in the future.
Thus, think-tanks, which have have historically been allowed to criticize executive and judicial nominees for their misconduct or bad policies, could be banned from doing so, simply by the IRS radically redefining the candidate-related partisan political activity they are already forbidden to engage in (electioneering) to include non-partisan criticism that has nothing to do with election campaigns or electioneering.