Agriculture Updates

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USDA Raises Hurdles to Bankruptcy Sales of PACA-Regulated Produce Businesses

One of the main advantages of purchasing a business out of bankruptcy is that the process can be quick, orderly and predictable. Yet, recently, the United States Department of Agriculture (“USDA”) has challenged the ability...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

Polsinelli Podcast - Pharmacy Compounding: What's Next in Regulation? [Video]

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued five draft documents related to drug compounding and repackaging that will help entities comply with important public health provisions. The draft documents are applicable to...more

Vineyard's Attorney Fees Claim Turns Into Sour Grapes

In Belle Terre Ranch Inc. v. Wilson, 2015 DJDAR 506, the California Court of Appeal for the First Appellate District decided an agricultural trespass action involving an attorney fees claim....more

Subdividing Land

When we think of subdivisions, we generally think of large housing estates with a house on each lot, but technically the subdivision of land means the creation of saleable lots by splitting a tract into smaller parcels....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

Ethanol And Agricultural Groups Send USDA A Letter In Favor Of Ethanol Funding

On March 26, 2015, a group of ethanol and agricultural groups sent a letter (the industry letter) to the U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations Committee's Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug...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

European Patent Office Finds Plants and Plant Products Patent-Eligible

On March 25, the Enlarged Board of Appeal (EBA) of the European Patent Office (EPO) handed a victory to those seeking to protect plant inventions in Europe. The EBA found that the essentially biological processes exclusion of...more

President Obama Signs Executive Order Reducing Federal GHG Emissions

On March 19, 2015, the White House published an Executive Order signed by President Obama that would further a preference for U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) BioPreferred products....more

Governor Brown Issues Executive Order Requiring Statewide Mandatory Water Restrictions

Responding to severely depleted water supplies and a record low snowpack at just 5% of historical averages, on April 1, 2015, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. issued an Executive Order, effective immediately, ordering mandatory...more

Georgia Governor Expected to Sign Overhaul to Soil and Water Commission (HB 397)

On Friday, March 27, 2015 the Georgia legislature passed HB 397, overhauling the State Soil and Water Conservation Commission (“Commission“). HB 397 is intended to curb the Commission’s independence and streamline its...more

U.S. House Committee on Agriculture - Mandatory Biotechnology Labeling Laws

Purpose - The purpose of this hearing was to examine the costs and impacts of mandatory biotechnology labeling laws. Members Present - Chairman Conaway, Ranking Member Peterson, and Representatives Davis (IL),...more

Recent Studies and Reports on Pollinators: (1) New University of Maryland Report Indicates Neonicotinoids Not Primarily...

Recently, the results of a three-year University of Maryland study assessing the potential chronic sublethal effects on whole honey bee colonies of a diet containing imidacloprid, an insecticide that belongs to the...more

American Quarter Horse Association Rule Against Registration of Cloned Horses Found Not To Violate Sherman Act

A Matsushita “Quick Look” Analysis Demonstrates that While Plausible, No Evidence Supports An Actionable Conspiracy or Monopoly. Abraham & Veneklasen Joint Venture et al. v. Am. Quarter Horse Ass’n, 776 F.3d 321 (5th Cir....more

Bridging the Week - March 2015 #5

SEC Proposes FINRA Oversee Certain High-Frequency Trading Firms; FINRA and FIA Issue Best Practice Guidance - The Securities and Exchange Commission proposed changes to an existing rule that, if adopted, would require...more

Weekly Update Newsletter - March 2015 #4

GOVERNMENT CONTRACTS - DoD Issues Interim Rule to Amend DFARS: Use of Military Construction Funds (DFARS Case 2015-D006) - The Department of Defense (DoD) issued an interim rule to amend the Defense Federal...more

USDA NOP Releases New Policy Memo on Nanotechnology

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Organic Program (NOP) issued on March 24, 2015, a policy memorandum clarifying the status of nanotechnology in organic production and handling under the USDA organic...more

Quirky Question #257, Food for thought – whistleblowing claims against agricultural companies

You are right to be concerned. Under the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), employees who work for entities engaged in the manufacture, processing, packing, transporting, distribution, reception, holding, or...more

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