U.S. Department of Agriculture

News & Analysis as of

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

EPA and ACC Reach Settlement Regarding Antimicrobial Pesticide Data Requirements

On March 2, 2015, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the American Chemistry Council (ACC) executed a settlement agreement (Agreement) following the ACC’s petition for judicial review of EPA’s...more

USDA Amends BCAP

Last week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) issued a final rule amending the Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP) to implement changes required by the 2014 Farm Bill. BCAP provides financial assistance to owners...more

BRDI Grants For Science And Engineering Research

USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture's Biomass Research and Development Initiative (BRDI) is accepting research and education grant applications for projects to integrate science and engineering research in...more

District Court Dismisses Country of Origin Labeling Lawsuit

The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia has dismissed the lawsuit filed by meatpackers and trade groups against the U.S. Department of Agriculture. This lawsuit challenged the constitutionality of a meat labeling...more

And the Beat Goes On: NY State Assembly to Vote on GMO Labeling Law

Coming on the heels of the reintroduction of the Genetically Engineered Food Right-to-Know Act, on March 3, 2015, the New York State Assembly Committee on Consumer Affairs and Protection voted 9 to 6, with one abstention, to...more

California Raisins Ripening (Again) in the Supreme Court’s Sun

Takings law is complicated enough but leave it to the frequently reversed U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit to twist it out of shape so much as to dare the Supreme Court to reverse it not just once but twice in the...more

APHIS Withdraws 2008 Proposal to Amend Regulation of GE Organisms

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announced on February 27, 2015 that it is officially withdrawing a six year-old proposal that originally sought to substantially amend...more

Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee Submits Recommendations

On February 23, 2015, the Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Agriculture (USDA) released the Scientific Report of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC). ...more

Food and Beverage News and Trends

This regular publication by DLA Piper lawyers focuses on helping clients navigate the ever-changing business, legal and regulatory landscape. - Federal judge declines to dismiss olive oil consumer class actions. A US...more

U.S. Supreme Court Agrees to Take a Second Look at Takings Case

The burning question, is why? While this is not the first time the U.S. Supreme Court has ever granted a petition for review in the same case, it is certainly not common. And, it is downright uncommon for the Supreme Court...more

USDA Releases 2016 Budget Request, Continues To Support Rural Renewable Energy

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released its fiscal year 2016 budget request on February 2, 2015. The proposed budget is $156 billion total, with $6 billion going directly to loans that will encourage cleaner fossil...more

California Appellate Court Finds No Malicious Product Tampering Coverage for Westland’s Ground Beef

In 2008, Windsor Food Quality Company, Ltd. (Windsor) purchased Westland/Hallmark Meat Company’s (Westland’s) ground beef as an ingredient to be used in its José Olé® frozen food products. On January 30, 2008, the U.S....more

Food and Beverage News and Trends

This regular publication by DLA Piper lawyers focuses on helping clients navigate the ever-changing business, legal and regulatory landscape. - Prepacked caramel apples tied to four deaths from listeria. Listeria from...more

USDA Revises Renewable Energy Loan Guarantees

On December 29, 2014, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) published the final rule for the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). REAP is intended to help mainly businesses, as well as some state, local, and tribal...more

Food and Beverage News and Trends

This regular publication by DLA Piper lawyers focuses on helping clients navigate the ever-changing business, legal and regulatory landscape. - Congress compromises on school lunch changes. Congress reached a...more

USDA Announces More Than $9 Million In Grants To Producers And Researchers

On December 2, 2014, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced over $9 million in grants to support advanced biofuel production and the bioeconomy. More than $5 million in grants awarded to 220 producers nationwide are...more

Partial Recall: Product Contamination Coverage Has Its Limits

In disputes over the scope of liability coverage, courts must often draw a line between (1) providing insurance against errors that harm others and (2) broadly guaranteeing the work product of the insured. The problem is...more

USDA Announces Release of Report Charting Path to Commercialization of Cellulosic Nanomaterials

On November 24, 2014, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) has released a report that details the pathway to commercializing affordable, renewable, and biodegradable...more

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