In 2002, the U.S. Government established a national Peanut Standards Board to ensure the safety and proper hygiene regulations were in place for the people of the U.S. to maintain their confidence in the foods they are eating. One issue plaguing the Peanut Standards Board for a number of years has been the lack of representation for the state of South Carolina on the Federally operated advisory board; the Palmetto State has argued for a place on the board as eight percent of the peanut’s produced in the U.S. come from South Carolina, according to The Washington Examiner.
A bill brought before the House of Representatives has now passed a vote to allow South Carolina to be added to the Peanut Standards Board in a move many believe should have been taken during the early stages of the establishment of the group. Rep. Joe Wilson, a Republican representing South Carolina introduced the bill on behalf of the state which is ranked as the fourth largest peanut producer in the U.S. South Carolina’s links to the peanut are so strong the state designated boiled peanuts as the official state snack in 2006 as the push for national recognition gathered pace.
Republican Representative Wilson’s bill passed almost unanimously with a single negative vote coming from Oregon’s Earl Blumenauer. The addition of South Carolina to the Peanut Standards Board will see the state added to the 18 member states already guarding the future of the peanut production industry; the board is divided into three main regions with South Carolina designated to join the Virginia-North Carolina region to advise on the production of peanuts across the U.S.