Agriculture Updates

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Canada and Mexico to Seek Retaliatory Measures Following WTO’s Final Ruling Against U.S. Meat Labeling Law

On May 18, the World Trade Organization’s (“WTO”) Appellate Body upheld a ruling that U.S. country-of-origin labeling (“COOL”) requirements for meat continue to discriminate against imported livestock from Canada and Mexico...more

Avoiding a Rocky Road: Lessons For Manufacturers From Blue Bell Creameries’ Listeria Investigation

Ice cream maker Blue Bell Creameries has found itself in a sticky situation that underscores the importance of a having a comprehensive and robust compliance program, even for companies who do not manufacture consumer...more

What The Legislature Doesn’t Know About Bees Could Fill A Blog

As a once and future beekeeper, I’m bemused by the California legislature’s inept efforts to legislate apiculture.  Section 29414 of the California Food & Agricultural Code, for example, defines “honeybees” as...more

Texas Supreme Court Avoids Answering a Fundamental Question in a Wastewater Disposal Case

One year ago, in the May 2014 issue of the Energy Newsletter, we highlighted the case of Environmental Processing Systems, L.C. v. FPL Farming Ltd., (2015 WL 496336) an important environmental trespass case pending before the...more

As Drones Hit the Sky, Lawsuits Predicted to Fly

The rise of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (“UAV”), also known as drones, is well-documented. In fact, the global market for non-military drones has recently been estimated as a $2.5 billion industry that is growing at...more

Sticking up for Their Rights: Employers Taking the Offensive

The traditional posture of California employers apprehensive about “gotcha” wage and hour claims is to hunker down and wait for the next lawsuit. But a few brave souls have taken the offensive. We celebrate two examples here....more

USDA to Verify Non-GMO Claims

There is now a U.S. Department of Agriculture label for non-GMO claims. In a recent memo, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced that the USDA would verify non-GMO claims through the Agricultural Marketing Service’s...more

It Ain’t Over Till It’s Over

The Minnesota Legislature wrapped up its business late Monday night, meeting a constitutional deadline to finish its work for 2015 by midnight. Adding to the pressure to end on time, as part of the ongoing renovation of the...more

ICA's sector enquiry on the dairy industry

On 5 May 2015, the Italian Competition Authority ("ICA") decided to launch a sector inquiry into the dairy sector. As recently reported by the President of the ICA in its annual hearing at the Senate on 13 May 2015,...more

Pollinator Health Task Force Issues National Strategy to Promote the Health of Honey Bees and Other Pollinators

On May 19 2015, President Obama’s interagency Pollinator Health Task Force -- co-chaired by the Secretary of Agriculture and the Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) -- issued its long awaited and...more

Bridging the Week - May 2015 #3

CFTC Chairman Discloses Second Phase of Regulatory Review Before Senate Committee; Commissioner Giancarlo Questions Position Limits Proposal Before Energy Risk Summit - Timothy Massad, Chairman of the Commodity Futures...more

EU Customs Practice Group - April 2015

In This Issue: - EU CUSTOMS POLICY: ..Union Customs Code Developments ..Data mining to detect customs violations - TARIFFS: ..Increased GSP+ vulnerability threshold ..Increased additional...more

Minnesota Weekly Legislative Update: 05/15/2015

The focus at the Capitol this week for the Minnesota Legislature has been budget negotiations among Governor Dayton, Senate Majority Leader Bakk and Speaker Daudt. As of Friday morning, only two targets have been released —...more

Locke Lord QuickStudy: “Certified Organic” — A Shield For Defendants Or A Sword For Plaintiffs?

Manufacturers and retailers of organic food products should take note that the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York has held that federal law governing the certification of organic and natural...more

CFTC Reauthorization Bill Includes JOBS Act Fix

The House Agricultural Committee passed the CFTC authorization bill late last week, HR 2289. HR 2289 incorporates in Section 312 a provision that was part of a bill introduced by Congressman Fincher to harmonize the...more

U.S. House Passes Bill to Revise Corps and EPA Definition of “Waters of the United States”

On May 12, 2015, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 1732, which requires the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) to withdraw the proposed rule published in the Federal...more

USDA Establishing Non-GMO Labeling Program

In a memo to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) employees, Secretary Tom Vilsack revealed that the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is developing a non-GMO certification program. According to the Secretary, the program...more

Farms and the Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA)

Pursuant to the Clean Water Act’s Oil Spill Pollution, Prevention, Control and Countermeasures Rule (SPCC Rule), farmers and other oil storage and handling facilities are required to have an SPCC Plan to prevent oil spills...more

EPA Direct Final Rule Includes SNURs for Several Biobased Chemicals

On May 8, 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) promulgated through a direct final rule significant new use rules (SNUR) for 25 chemical substances that were the subject of premanufacture notices (PMN). ...more

North Carolina Legislative Report

The General Assembly convened for the 2015 legislative session on January 14. Lawmakers returned to Raleigh on January 28 to begin the session in earnest. The MVA Public Affairs Legislative Report on North Carolina will be...more

BIO Assesses Impact Of EPA Delays On RFS Investment

BIO examined the impact of EPA's recent inability in administering the federal Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) on investment in advanced and cellulosic biofuels. It has found that EPA's delay in issuing the final 2013 and 2014...more

Roundtable On Sustainable Biomaterials Proposes Low Risk ILUC Standard

On April 29, 2015, the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials (RSB) released a draft standard titled "Low iLUC Risk Biomass Criteria and Compliance Indicators" that will allow producers to show that they generate biofuels...more

Biomass Technical Advisory Committee Announces Public Meeting

The U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Biomass Research and Development Technical Advisory Committee published a notice in the April 30, 2015, Federal Register announcing an open meeting that will provide advice and guidance...more

China Announces New Comprehensive Water Pollution Control Plan

The State Council of China has published an ambitious plan to reverse the deterioration of water quality and improve management of water resources throughout China. ...more

Parliament Finalizes EU Biofuels Reform Rule

On April 28, 2015, the European Parliament approved a draft law restricting crop-based biofuels in order to encourage production of advanced biofuels with low-risk ILUC and cut greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. ...more

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