Department of Agriculture

News & Analysis as of

President Obama Signs GMO Labeling Bill

Four weeks after Vermont’s controversial legislation regulating the labeling of foods containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs) took effect, President Obama has signed into law bill S. 764, which puts in place the...more

House Passes GE Labeling Bill; Obama Expected to Sign

As a parting act before its seven-week recess, the House last Thursday passed by a vote of 306-117 Senator Pat Roberts’s (R-KS) legislation (S.764) requiring the labeling of genetically engineered foods. Already approved by...more

LCB Updates List of Approved Pesticides

With reports of significant non-approved pesticide use by some in the industry, the LCB has increased its focus upon pesticides. In addition to emergency regulations addressing product recalls and pesticide action...more

$11.7 Million Available Under Department of Agriculture’s Community Connect Grant Program

The Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Rural Utilities Service (RUS) announced today the availability of $11.7 million under its Community Connect Grant Program (Community Connect), which provides grants for deploying...more

Minnesota Weekly Legislative Update

The second of three Minnesota legislative committee deadlines arrives tonight at midnight. By this second deadline, committees must act favorably upon a bill that met the first deadline in the other house, or the bill does...more

White House Introduces Plan to Wash Away Drought

In association with a White House Water Summit on World Water Day, March 22, President Obama released an executive memorandum outlining a federal plan to support state and local efforts to combat drought. The memorandum...more

New GE Ingredient Labeling Bill Intensifies Food Fight in Congress

The latest salvo in the legislative food fight over genetically engineered (GE) ingredients came from the Senate, where Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts (R-KS) has introduced a bill that would instruct the Secretary...more

Preemption Defense in the Ninth Circuit Is “Not Dead Yet”

Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975) contained a scene where bodies of plague victims were brought out to the curb for collection via a cart whether or not they properly belonged there. One living fellow insists on not...more

Real Estate and Land Use - January 2016

Using Project Objectives to Select a Reasonable Range of Alternatives - North Coast Rivers Alliance v. A.G. Kawamura (January 4, 2016) Third District Court of Appeal Case No. C072067 - Why It Matters: This opinion...more

North Carolina General Assembly Week in Review: Spotlight on Government, Regulatory and Agriculture Reform

This session the NCGA passed four major bills dealing with Government, Regulatory and Agriculture Reform. State attractions were transferred from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources tthe Department of Cultural...more

EPA Makes Available Supporting Documents for Endangered Species Biological Evaluations

On December 11, 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP) made publicly available several documents associated with the Biological Evaluations (BE) for the first three “pilot”...more

Seeking Net Benefits: President Obama Issues New Federal Policy on Addressing and Mitigating Environmental Harm Early in the...

On November 3, 2015, the White House released a Presidential Memorandum intended to encourage federal agencies to consider land use planning more holistically, clearly and consistently, addressing mitigation needs before they...more

Energy & Environment Update - November 2015

Energy and Climate Debate - In his final major effort prior to retiring last week, Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) reached a bipartisan agreement, the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, with other House and Senate...more

Government Contract: How Can a Subcontractor Get Paid?

G4S Technology LLC v. US, 779 F.3d 1337 (Fed. Cir. 2015) – A subcontractor worked on construction of wireless broadband networks for rural communities that was funded in part by a loan to the prime contractor from a US...more

Also In The News - Health Headlines - September 2015 #3

FDA and CDC Issue An Alert on Properly Cleaning Medical Devices – On September 11, 2015, the CDC and FDA issued a joint advisory alerting providers and facilities about properly cleaning medical devices, due to concern with...more

Ninth Circuit Addresses Preemption in Recent Labeling Cases

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently addressed preemption in the context of food and cosmetic labeling. Food Manufacturers Can Label Honey as “Honey” - In June, the Ninth Circuit issued an opinion in Brod v....more

Feinstein Introduces the California Emergency Drought Relief Act

Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) introduced a bill last week to help address ongoing and future drought in California. The bill, known as the California Emergency Drought Relief Act (Act), is expected to be folded into broader...more

White House Releases Report on Improving and Modernizing the Immigration System to Meet 21st Century Needs

Earlier this month, the White House released a review of the United States’ immigration policies in a report entitled, “Modernizing & Streamlining our Legal Immigration System for the 21st Century.” The Report highlights key...more

Manatt on Health Reform: Weekly Highlights - July 2015 #3

In quick succession, governors in Alaska and Utah announce Medicaid expansions this week; Iowa is transitioning its expansion away from the Marketplace to Medicaid managed care, for now; and, HHS extends its exception to...more

The Patchwork Solidifies: GMO Bill Moves Forward in the House

The proposed Federal regulation of GMOs is proceeding. Following the White House’s recent action on GMOs, Representative Pompeo’s “Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act” (H.R. 1599) was passed by the House Agriculture Committee...more

More Federal Money for Manufacturers

As reported by Industry Week, the U.S. Secretary of Commerce recently announced that 12 additional communities will receive designations under the Obama Administration’s Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership...more

Food for Thought: Ninth Circuit Holds Food Manufacturers Can Label Honey as "Honey"

Last month, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a district court’s finding that federal law preempts California law to the extent California law prohibits de-pollinated honey from being labeled and sold as...more

USDA Announces Biobased Products Report And Changes To Biobased Programs

On June 17, 2015, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced the release of a report to congress that builds on the Why Biobased? report released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in 2014. The new report, An...more

The California Raisins Strike Back

Horne v. Department of Agriculture, No. 14-275 (U.S. June 22, 2015) - Why It Matters: In a pro-property rights opinion, the U.S. Supreme Court applies Fifth Amendment “takings” analysis to a federal program that...more

New USDA Study Says COOL not Beneficial to American Consumers

Country-of-origin labeling (COOL) is not economically beneficial to American consumers, according to a new report authored by a team of agricultural economists from Kansas State University and the University of Missouri. In...more

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