News & Analysis as of

When “Organic” is Not “Organic,” Even When the USDA Says It Is

Producers of agricultural products go to great lengths to achieve the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s “organic” label. Under the USDA’s National Organic Program (NOP), organic certification is a complex time-consuming...more

DC Circuit Finds OSHA “Interpretation” Narrowing Retail Exemption Under the Process Safety Management Standard Really a...

Seyfarth Synopsis: In a challenge brought by trade associations for the farm supply and fertilizer industries, the D.C. Circuit vacates OSHA memorandum narrowing the retail exemption from the PSM standard. The U.S....more

Less Is More?: New North Carolina Law Clarifies When Building Permits Are NOT Required

A new law took effect in North Carolina on October 1, 2016, and it affects the need for building permits. Session Law 2016-113, entitled An Act to Provide Further Relief to the Agricultural Community, clarifies in Section 13...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - September 2016 #5

Environmental and Policy Focus - Shell Oil settles charges regarding claims for underground tank cleanup reimbursements - Sacramento Bee - Sep 23 - Shell Oil Co. has agreed to settle charges that it...more

Chapter 12 family farmer cases in Missouri: A look inside the numbers

Chapter 12 of the Bankruptcy Code, enacted in 1987, provides relief to family farmers facing financial distress. Chapter 12 is available exclusively for family farmers that want to reorganize their financial affairs. While...more

Farming through the eyes of an ag lawyer

On September 13 and 14, Thompson Coburn’s Agriculture & Food group hosted a hands-on seminar for professionals in the food and agriculture industries. The program – “From The Ground Up: A Hands-On Seminar for Agribusiness...more

Expanding Overtime to Farmworkers: Will California Start a Trend?

On September 12, 2016, California Governor Jerry Brown signed AB 1066. The bill, which is the first of its kind in the nation, will entitle California farmworkers to the same overtime pay as most other hourly workers in...more

New Treasury Proposed Regulations: Bad for family farms

In transferring the ownership of family farms to the next generation, it is common to take advantage of certain valuation discounts in making transfers. The Department of Treasury recently released proposed regulations under...more

Manic Monday: FSMA Compliance Starts Today!

Today, Sept. 19, 2016, is a big day for the food industry. It is the first compliance deadline for regulations under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) – the law we’ve been talking about since 2011, the law touted as...more

Leaving a Tart Taste in One Processor’s Mouth: Court Dismisses Claims of a Plaintiff Subject to the Tart Cherry Order

Agricultural law can often be complicated, but it is not always this "tart." Burnette Foods, a tart cherry processor in Michigan, has found itself in an ironic position: it is subject to a law that was enacted with...more

Ninth Circuit Affirms Certification of “No Injury” Wage and Hour Class

On August 31, the Ninth Circuit continued its trend of certifying “no injury” classes, this time in the context of an Agricultural Workers’ Protection Act claim that a Washington state fruit and vegetable farm violated the...more

California Legislative Update: It's Now Up To The Governor

The California Legislature completed its substantive legislative work for the year in the very early morning hours of Thursday, September 1, 2016, with the usual frenetic, last-minute flurry of bill-passing, including some...more

DOJ Sues to Halt Deere’s Acquisition of Monsanto’s Precision Planting

The Department of Justice (“DOJ”) sued this week to stop Deere & Co.’s acquisition of Monsanto Co.’s Precision Planting, explaining that the deal would harm farmers. The companies make high-speed precision planting systems,...more

Three Things You Need to Know About California’s New Surface Water Diversion Reporting Requirements

On August 22, the State Water Resources Control Board (“State Water Board”) held an informational meeting to answer questions and get the public up to speed on California’s new surface water diversion reporting requirements....more

Sustainable Development Update - August 2016 #3

Sustainable Development Focus - Freddie Mac announces multifamily green building financing initiative - Energy Collective - Aug 13 - Freddie Mac announced last week their Multifamily Green Advantage program, a...more

Venezuela: Nuevo Programa de Emergencia Obliga a los Patronos a Proporcionar Trabajadores a Empresas Estatales

El Ministerio del Trabajo en Venezuela ha publicado en la Gaceta Oficial un programa de trabajo forzoso, que exige a los patronos del sector público y privado proporcionar trabajadores a empresas estatales, como una especie...more

Safe Food Labeling Act — Less Label Clarity and Less Safety?

While Americans have been bombarded with news of Pokemon sightings, legislation concerning our food safety passed through the House, with barely a whisper from the mainstream media. The House of Representatives submitted...more

Venezuela: New Emergency Program Forces Employers to Supply their Workforce, on Demand, to Benefit State-Owned Entities

Venezuela’s Ministry of Labor has enacted the establishment of a forced labor program, which will require public and private sector employers to supply their workers as “temporary loans” to State-owned companies to boost the...more

California Legislative Update: Heading Into The 2016 Session's Final Month

The California Legislature will return from its July recess on August 1, and will devote that month to final consideration of legislation for 2016. The session has entered a somewhat anticlimactic stage for employment...more

New Legislation in North Carolina Impacts the Agribusiness Industry

In the recently ended session in the General Assembly, Senate Bill 770 was enacted. This bill is entitled “An Act To Provide Further Regulatory Relief To The Agricultural Community.”...more

China Releases Ambitious Plan to Address Soil Pollution

On 28 May, the State Council, China’s highest administrative body, released the Action Plan on Prevention and Control of Soil Pollution (currently available only in Chinese) to address one of the nation’s most difficult and...more

Environmental Interest Groups Challenge Registrations of Neonicotinoid Products in Federal Court

On July 6, 2016, the David Suzuki Foundation, along with Friends of the Earth Canada, Ontario Nature, and Wilderness Committee, brought two judicial review applications against the Minister of Health and registrants of the...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - July 2016

Environmental and Policy Focus - Judge invalidates long-fought Delta management plan Sacramento Bee - Jun 24 - In a decision that could delay or complicate Governor Jerry Brown’s plan to build two huge...more

Unions Pressure Carolina Farmers

Carolina farmers must constantly deal with changing weather and markets. Add one more challenge: labor unions. Recently, labor unions have actively targeted certain agribusinesses in the Carolinas....more

Nationwide GE Labeling Leaps Forward

Four years after California’s genetically engineered (GE) food labeling initiative was defeated, but just days before Vermont’s GE law is to go into effect, the U.S. Senate is poised to impose such labeling nationwide. The...more

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