Administrative Agency Agriculture

Read need-to-know updates, commentary, and analysis on Administrative Agency issues written by leading professionals.
News & Analysis as of

Transgenic Salmon: A Primer on FDA Food Safety Regulations

When Meriwether Lewis tasted his first roasted morsel of a fresh Chinook salmon at a Shoshone camp along the Lemhi River (in modern day Idaho), he ate it with “very good relish.” It convinced him that “we were on the waters...more

SEC Halts Fraudulent Farm Loan Investment Program

The Commission initiated an action centered on the misuse of offering proceeds tied to farm loans. The defendants include an investment adviser, a financial planner and an attorney. SEC v. Veros Partners, Inc., Civil Action...more

FAA Streamlines Section 333 Exemption Process for Commercial UAS Operations - Summary Grant Process Increases Approved...

In response to pressure from Congress and the high demand for exemptions to use unmanned aerial systems (UAS) for commercial purposes, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has streamlined its processes for granting...more

Can One Bad Apple Spoil the Bunch?

According to their recent press release, Intrexon Corp (NYSE:XON) recently purchased a Canadian specialty food producer, namely Okanagan Specialty Fruits Inc., the inventor of the “Arctic®” apple. ...more

SEC Files Two Offering Fraud Actions Tied To A Horse Farm

The Commission filed two settled offering fraud actions centered in part around an entity engaged in the purchase and sale of thoroughbred horses called Raintree Racing. A second involved an offering of interests in a real...more

USDA National Organic Program Instruction on Use of Brand or Company Names Containing the Word Organic

On August 14, 2014, the National Organic Program (NOP) of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) issued its “instruction” to the accredited certifying agents (Certifiers) that certify operations to the USDA...more

From Dusk to Dawn: Battle Looming Over USDA Changes to Sunset Provision of Organic Rules

The USDA is facing a lawsuit in federal court stemming from its decision to unilaterally alter the process for exempting synthetic and non-organic substances used in producing organic food. Until September 2013, substances...more

Federal Government’s Mandatory Grain Shipment Rules Not Extended

The grain shipment rules (Rules) enacted by the Canadian government—the most recent iteration of which expired on March 28, 2015—have not been renewed. ...more

California Governor Orders 25% Cut in Water Use—What It Means for Businesses

California is experiencing a drought of epic proportions. To meet this challenge, on April 1, 2015, California Governor Jerry Brown issued Executive Order B-29-15 to usher in an aggressive statewide plan for reducing water...more

What the Drought Emergency Declaration Means for Your Business

By Executive Order B-29-15, signed on April 1, 2015, Governor Brown declared a state of drought emergency “to exist throughout the State of California ….” Among other things, the recitals state: WHEREAS a distinct...more

California Water Suppliers Facing Historic Mandatory Restrictions on Water Usage

Governor’s Goal: 25 Percent Statewide Water Savings - For the first time in California’s history, urban water suppliers will soon be required to comply with new mandatory restrictions aimed at achieving a statewide 25...more

Governor Brown Orders California’s First Mandatory Water Restrictions

On Wednesday April 1, 2015, in the wake of the state’s four-year drought and a winter that brought record-low snowfalls, Governor Brown issued an executive order mandating statewide water use restrictions for the first time...more

The Plant Variety Protection Act—An Increasingly Important Form of Intellectual Property Protection for Plants

As part of their treaty obligations in establishing International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV), member countries have enacted laws that provide ‘‘Plant Breeders’ Rights’’ for protecting the...more

EU Passes Controversial Directive Concerning GMOs

On March 2, 2015, European Union (EU) Ministers approved a Directive previously approved by the European Parliament with regard to genetically modified organisms (GMO). ...more

Food Safety & Nutrition

The regulatory and legislative outlook for Food Safety and Nutrition is, compared to other more contentious and politicized issues, fairly robust for the next two years. At the federal agencies, there will be continued...more

NASDA Supports National Uniform Labeling Policy for Genetically Modified Foods

The National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) passed a resolution to support a national uniform labeling policy for genetically modified foods (GMO). The purpose of this resolution is to have a uniform...more

EFSA Scientific Network of Risk Assessment of Nanotechnologies in Food and Feed Publishes 2014 Annual Report

On February 16, 2015, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) published the 2014 annual report of the EFSA Scientific Network of Risk Assessment of Nanotechnologies in Food and Feed, which is intended to inform the public...more

Is a Drone in Your Farm's Future? Federal Aviation Administration Proposes Drone Rule

After a four-year wait, on February 15, 2015, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced the long anticipated proposed rule to allow the use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, (drones) for commercial purposes. Other...more

January 2015: EU Litigation Update

Second Helping—The EPO’s Enlarged Board of Appeals Hears Tomatoes/Broccoli II. On October 27, 2014 the Enlarged Board of Appeals of the European Patent Office (EBoA) heard the two appeals against the Opposition Division’s...more

Local Agencies that Can Recover Fees Through Prop 218 Process are Ineligible for State Reimbursements

Decision from the Commission on State Mandates - Several agricultural water suppliers seeking reimbursement for state-mandated activities under the Water Conservation Act of 2009 are ineligible to receive state...more

Fifth District Rejects CEQA Challenge to Fresno County Aggregate Mine Project EIR In Partially Published Decision, Clarifies State...

In a lengthy, 65-page opinion filed December 8, 2014 (of which fully two-thirds was unpublished), the Fifth District Court of Appeal affirmed the Fresno County Superior Court’s judgment upholding the EIR, Conditional Use...more

Unmanned Aircraft Systems Are 'Aircraft' Once Again

On November 17, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) reversed an administrative law judge’s decision that had called into question the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) authority to regulate Unmanned Aircraft...more

EPA Draft Ruling Could Mean Significant Changes to How Stormwater Systems are Categorized

The last thing that public agency leaders want to hear is that looming changes may make operating and building new public infrastructure more challenging and expensive. Unfortunately, proposed changes by the Environmental...more

FDA Publishes Four Key Supplemental Proposed Rules Under the Food Safety Modernization Act

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) was signed into law on January 4, 2011. This groundbreaking piece of legislation is aimed at improving FDA’s capacity to prevent, detect, and respond...more

Groundwater Basin Boundaries and Priorities Will Impose New Management Challenges on Local Agencies

The Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, which takes effect Jan. 1, requires that the Department of Water Resources categorize each of California’s 515 alluvial groundwater basins and subbasins as high, medium, low, or...more

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