3:42 PM EDT

Dennis Kucinich, D-OH 10th

Mr. KUCINICH. Mr. Speaker, I move to suspend the rules and pass the resolution (H. Res. 578) expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that there should be established a National Watermelon Month, as amended.

The Clerk read the title of the resolution.

The text of the resolution is as follows:

H. Res. 578

Whereas watermelon production constitutes an important sector of the agricultural industry of the United States;

Whereas, according to the January 2006 statistics compiled by the National Agricultural Statistics Service of the United States Department of Agriculture, the United States produces 4,200,000,000 pounds of watermelon annually;

Whereas watermelon is grown in 49 States, is purchased and consumed in all 50 States, and is exported to Canada;

Whereas evidence indicates that eating 2.5 to 5 cups of fruits and vegetables daily as part of a healthy diet will improve health and protect against diseases such as cancer, high blood pressure, stroke, and heart disease;

Whereas proper diet and nutrition are important factors in preventing diseases such as childhood obesity and diabetes;

Whereas watermelon has no fat or cholesterol and is an excellent source of the vitamins A, B6, and C, fiber, and potassium, which are vital to good health and disease prevention;

Whereas watermelon is also an excellent source of lycopene;

Whereas lycopene, an antioxidant found only in a few red plant foods, has been shown to reduce the risk of certain cancers;

Whereas watermelon is a heart-healthy food that has qualified for the heart-check mark from the American Heart Association;

Whereas watermelon has been a nutritious summer favorite from generation to generation;

Whereas it is important to educate citizens of the United States regarding the health benefits of watermelon and other fruits and vegetables; and

Whereas July would be an appropriate month to establish as National Watermelon Month: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That it is the sense of the House of Representatives that there should be established a National Watermelon Month to recognize the health benefits of watermelon and the importance of watermelon to the agriculture industry of the United States.

3:42 PM EDT

Dennis Kucinich, D-OH 10th

Mr. KUCINICH. Mr. Speaker, I move to suspend the rules and pass the resolution (H. Res. 578) expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that there should be established a National Watermelon Month, as amended.

The Clerk read the title of the resolution.

The text of the resolution is as follows:

H. Res. 578

Whereas watermelon production constitutes an important sector of the agricultural industry of the United States;

Whereas, according to the January 2006 statistics compiled by the National Agricultural Statistics Service of the United States Department of Agriculture, the United States produces 4,200,000,000 pounds of watermelon annually;

Whereas watermelon is grown in 49 States, is purchased and consumed in all 50 States, and is exported to Canada;

Whereas evidence indicates that eating 2.5 to 5 cups of fruits and vegetables daily as part of a healthy diet will improve health and protect against diseases such as cancer, high blood pressure, stroke, and heart disease;

Whereas proper diet and nutrition are important factors in preventing diseases such as childhood obesity and diabetes;

Whereas watermelon has no fat or cholesterol and is an excellent source of the vitamins A, B6, and C, fiber, and potassium, which are vital to good health and disease prevention;

Whereas watermelon is also an excellent source of lycopene;

Whereas lycopene, an antioxidant found only in a few red plant foods, has been shown to reduce the risk of certain cancers;

Whereas watermelon is a heart-healthy food that has qualified for the heart-check mark from the American Heart Association;

Whereas watermelon has been a nutritious summer favorite from generation to generation;

Whereas it is important to educate citizens of the United States regarding the health benefits of watermelon and other fruits and vegetables; and

Whereas July would be an appropriate month to establish as National Watermelon Month: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That it is the sense of the House of Representatives that there should be established a National Watermelon Month to recognize the health benefits of watermelon and the importance of watermelon to the agriculture industry of the United States.

3:42 PM EDT

Nick Joe Rahall, D-WV 3rd

Mr. RAHALL. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all Members may have 5 legislative days in which to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous materials on the resolution under consideration.

3:43 PM EDT

Virginia Foxx, R-NC 5th

Ms. FOXX. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

I rise today in support of H. Res. 578 that will establish a National Watermelon Month.

Watermelon has been enjoyed over the years as one of our country's favorite foods. As Mark Twain said, ``It is chief of this world's luxuries, king by the grace of God over all the fruits of the earth. When one has tasted it, he knows what the angels eat.''

According to the United States Agriculture Department statistics, the United States produces 4.2 billion pounds of watermelon annually. This summertime staple ranges in size from 5 pounds to over 40 pounds, and is grown in 49 States. Many towns in the U.S. strive to become the Watermelon Capital of the World; however, Cordele, Georgia has won this title repeatedly by producing the biggest, best, and most abundant watermelons in the country. Watermelon may be eaten in a variety of ways and is

also often used to flavor summer drinks, including sweet red wine.

And lest anyone accuse us of dealing with a frivolous subject, let me call attention to a serious matter. In a time where we have all become aware of the benefits of good nutrition, it is fortunate watermelon provides an excellent source of vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin B, and vitamin B1. Additionally, many other beneficial minerals are [Page: H2822]

contained in watermelon and are shown to help prevent cancer, heart disease, high blood pressure, and a host of other

serious diseases. Furthermore, the antioxidant lycopene, found only in a few red plant foods, has been shown to reduce the risk of certain cancers. Because watermelon is such a nutritious, heart-healthy food, the American Heart Association has qualified watermelon for the well-known ``Heart-Check Mark.''

The great joy of eating a slice of watermelon on a hot summer day lives in the memories of almost all Americans. For these nutritious and delicious reasons, I express my support to a National Watermelon Month that will provide the watermelon industry many opportunities to market their product and to educate the public about the health benefits associated with consuming watermelon through various related programs.

Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.

[Time: 15:45]

3:45 PM EDT

Dennis Kucinich, D-OH 10th

Mr. KUCINICH. Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my colleague for her expression of support for the resolution. I am also going to support the resolution. I just want to add one note of observation so that all those who are enjoying watermelons in this country also keep in mind the people who do the work, who pick those watermelons. It is hard work.

Today we have other bills under suspension that will give us a chance to celebrate the work of laborers. I think that it is important that we are grateful for those who pick the watermelons, and we have to recognize in this market where there are increasing restrictions on migrant workers, making it very difficult for farmers to get the kind of labor that they used to get. We are also seeing that many farmers are beginning to turn to prison labor. This should be a concern to us, all of us who

want to make sure that all of those people out of jobs right now in this country who would like to work on farms would have the chance to get that work.

There is an article from the Christian Science Monitor that refers to this problem. I would like to include that in the Record. There also is an article about a settlement that was reached with workers regarding the attempt by a major agricultural company to circumvent Department of Labor rules and also circumvent the H-2A program that resulted actually in a settlement of a very prominent lawsuit about a month ago. I would like to include that article from the Texas Rio Grande Legal

Aid.