U.S. Department of Agriculture

News & Analysis as of

Biotechnology: White House Announces Effort to Modernize the Regulatory System for Biotechnology Products

In a bit of a surprise announcement, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), the U.S. Trade Representative, and the Council on Environmental Quality released...more

Product Recall Trends in 2015

What are the latest trends on product recalls in the United States? Consumer Products. The Consumer Product Safety Commission has been proactive in recent years with consumer product regulations and recalls,...more

Biotechnology: White House Directs EPA, FDA, and USDA to Update the Coordinated Framework for the Regulation of Biotechnology

With little fanfare or advanced notice to the general public, on July 2, 2015, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), the U.S. Trade Representative, and the...more

Supreme Court Update: Horne V. Dep't Of Agriculture (14-275), Kimble V. Marvel Entertainment (13-720), Patel V. City Of Los...

Raisins, radioactive wrists, Red Roof registries, and reformatory roughhousing were all on the Court's radar Monday (it's a very broad radar horizon), as it issued decisions in Horne v. Dep't of Agriculture (14-275), holding...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

Supreme Court Decides Horne v. Department of Agriculture

On June 22, 2015, the Supreme Court decided Horne v. Department of Agriculture, No. 14-275, holding that the Fifth Amendment’s Takings Clause applies to personal property as well as real property, and a requirement that...more

Horne v. USDA: US Supreme Court Sides with Raisin Farmer

The United States Supreme Court ruled that a USDA marketing order constituted a taking of a raisin farmer's private property for which just compensation is due. This article offers a detailed analysis of the Court's opinion....more

USDA Is Now Accepting Applications From States For Biofuels Infrastructure Partnership

On June 12, 2015, the USDA began accepting applications for grants under the Biofuels Infrastructure Partnership (BIP). Through the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC), BIP will provide up to $100 million in grants to support...more

USDA Issues Final Rule Amending Voluntary Labeling Program For Biobased Products

On June 15, 2015, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) issued final amendments to the regulations concerning the Voluntary Labeling Program for Biobased Products. The rule is intended to incorporate statutory amendments...more

USDA Proposed Rule Limits Payments to Non-Farmers

A newly proposed rule issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) under authority of the 2014 Farm Bill limits farm payments to non-farmers. Under the current rule, individuals designated as farm managers were...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

Canada Retaliates Against U.S. Country of Origin Labelling Requirements

Since 2008, the Canadian government has challenged country of origin labelling (COOL) requirements imposed by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). On May 18, 2015, the World Trade Organization (WTO) Appellate...more

Food and Beverage News and Trends

California bill to require warning labels on sugary drinks dies in committee. On April 29, a bill that would have required warning labels on sugary soft drinks failed to move forward in the California legislature. The...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

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

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

USDA Announces Energy Efficiency And Renewable Energy Grants

On April 22, 2015, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack celebrated Earth Day by announcing that USDA "is providing more than $112 million in loans and grants to help rural communities build and upgrade...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

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

Food Recalls Increase in First Quarter of 2015

Food producers are reporting a sharp rise in food recalls so far this year. During the first quarter of 2015, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published notices of 118 food recalls (excluding pet foods), and the...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

Food Labeling, Food Safety & Nutrition

From a national action plan on combating antibiotic-resistant bacteria in food-producing animals and a presidential task force on fishing and seafood fraud, to proposed rules on nutrition and supplement fact labeling, the...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

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

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