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Proposed MAEAP Rules Narrow “Right to Farm” Protection

Proposed rule changes in the Michigan Agricultural Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP) have excluded some farmers from MAEAP verification and protection....more

Secretary Vilsack Confirms Administration Support For Biofuel Production Level

Last week, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack spoke at a biofuel industry conference and addressed concerns raised over the likelihood that the final 2014 Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) rule would...more

USDA Invests $68 Million In 540 Renewable Energy And Energy Efficiency Projects

On September 18, 2014, Secretary Vilsack announced that USDA is investing $68 million in 540 renewable energy and energy efficiency projects nationwide. This is the most recent in a series of USDA actions designed to help...more

House Subcommittee Questions Department of Labor’s Enforcement of “Hot Goods” Provision

The House Agriculture Subcommittee on Horticulture recently held a hearing to address growing concerns that the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) is using the "hot goods" provision of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (FLSA)...more

House Passes Bill to Prevent EPA Overreach

The U.S. House of Representatives recently passed legislation prohibiting the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from developing, finalizing, adopting, implementing, applying,...more

Bridging Troubled Water: Yes or No on California Prop 1?

Fall is here. Most of us can't tell, given the soaring temperatures outside. A better thermometer might be the onslaught of political commercials we're now seeing on television. To prepare for the elections in...more

Vermont GMO Food Labeling Law Challengers Seek Preliminary Injunction

In the court battle to have Vermont’s genetically modified organism (GMO) food labeling law (Act 120) overturned, plaintiff trade associations filed a motion for preliminary injunction on September 11, 2014, seeking to enjoin...more

Energy & Environment Update - September 2014 #3

In This Issue: - Energy and Climate Debate - Congress - Administration - Department of Agriculture - Department of Defense - Department of Energy - Department of...more

States step into regulatory abyss for genetically modified foods

All Natural. GMO Free. Are foods with these labels “better” for you? Do the labels even mean anything? Consumers continue to be concerned about the foods they eat and especially the foods they are feeding their children. This...more

Drone Bill Passes Legislature, Heads to Governor

Unmanned aircraft systems - or drones, as they are commonly referred to - have become a hot topic from celebrities to farmers. Recently, AB-1327, a bill, focused on prohibiting certain actions relating to unmanned aircraft...more

Drone on Drones: Farm Lands are Fertile Ground for High-Tech Tool

From an auspicious beginning — with intended uses like data collection for farmers — unmanned aerial vehicles have increasingly become associated with military operations in the public consciousness. Yet, as drones become...more

USDA Awards Fulcrum Sierra Biofuels, LLC $105 Million Loan Guarantee

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has guaranteed a $105 million loan through Bank of America, N.A. to help Fulcrum Sierra Biofuels build a plant in McCarran, Nevada that would convert municipal waste into renewable...more

ATVs on the Road - Insurance is a Must

The Court of Appeal, in Matheson v. Lewis, [2014 ONCA 542] recently held that an All Terrain Vehicle ("ATV") is an off-road vehicle that must be insured while on a roadway. The Plaintiff was injured in an accident as...more

Food and Beverage News and Trends - Food and Beverage Alert (US): September 2014

This regular publication by DLA Piper lawyers focuses on helping clients navigate the ever-changing business, legal and regulatory landscape. - Poll indicates strong support by parents for school lunch standards. On...more

Russia Announces One-Year Ban Against Imports Of Agricultural Products From Western Countries

On August 7, the Russian Federation instituted a ban on the importation of most food products from Australia, the United States, the European Union, and Norway. The suspension of imports of meat, fish, fruit, vegetables, and...more

McAfee & Taft takes the lead in protecting American farmers' right to 2014 Farm Bill's APH Adjustment Option

Farmers who insure their crops with an Actual Production History (APH) type of crop insurance policy — especially in areas affected by the recent severe droughts — received a welcome benefit in the 2014 Farm Bill known as the...more

Move Over EEOC: Time for an NLRB Benchslap

Over the last few weeks we have blogged on a number of judicial decisions chastising the EEOC (Another Approaching Benchslap for EEOC?, EEOC Benchslaps Just Keep Coming and The EEOC Hits Just Keep Coming!). Today we shift our...more

Second DOE-Funded Cellulosic Ethanol Biorefinery Opened

On September 3, 2014, POET-DSM's Project LIBERTY in Emmetsburg, Iowa, celebrated its grand opening. This will be the first commercial-scale cellulosic ethanol plant to use corn waste as a feedstock, using biochemical...more

Judge Approves $2.4 Million EEOC Settlement with Four Hawaii Farms for over 500 Thai Farmworkers

Laborers Kept in Debt Bondage, Housed in Unsanitary Facilities, Threatened, and Denied Adequate Food and Water, Federal Agency Charged - LOS ANGELES - U.S. District Judge Leslie E. Kobayashi in Hawaii has approved...more

As Trade War with Russia Intensifies, U.S. and EU Companies Feel the Effects

Despite the imposition of sanctions by the U.S. and EU since March, Russia had not retaliated economically until imposing the August 7 import ban on meat, fish, vegetables and dairy products from the U.S., EU, Canada,...more

New Bioinsecticide Approved In California

Venerate Bioinsecticide, a new broad-spectrum insecticide produced by Marrone Bio Innovations, has been approved for use in California in both conventional and organic systems. The bioinsecticide is non-toxic to beneficial...more

2014 End of Session Legislative Report - The 2013-14 session of the North Carolina General Assembly, which began its "short...

The Very Long, Short Session - The 2013-14 session of the North Carolina General Assembly, which began its “short session” on May 14th, finally concluded its business on August 20th. The 2014 session which was...more

Wage & Hour Claims: A Look Back on The First Half of 2014

As the mid-point of 2014 fades into the rearview mirror, it is clear that wage and hour claims continue to be a hotbed of litigation impacting large and small companies across industries. In turn the protection those...more

Judge Overturns Kauai County Pesticide and GMO Law

On August 25, the federal district court for Hawaii vacated Kauai County’s Ordinance 960, which imposed mandatory disclosure obligations regarding the use of certain pesticides and the cultivation of genetically modified...more

Estate Planning for Your Horses: Protecting Your Horses if They Outlast You

It is 8:00 on a brisk, summer morning. You just finished your morning barn chores — the horses are fed, their stalls are clean. Your mare is peacefully grazing outside while her one-month-old filly prances around her; your...more

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