U.S. Department of Agriculture

News & Analysis as of

5 legal trends food and agriculture companies need to know about

Thompson Coburn recently sponsored the 37th annual 2016 American Agricultural Law Association (AALA) Symposium in Oklahoma City. I had the honor to help plan the event, speak on food labeling issues, and moderate a panel on...more

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

USDA Looks Back On Growth Of Bio-Based Economy And Renewable Energy

On October 4, 2016, Lisa Mensah, Under Secretary for U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Rural Development, posted a blog item “The Bio-Based Economy and Renewable Energy: USDA’s Record of Success,” reviewing the history...more

Update To The Coordinated Framework For The Regulation Of Biotechnology Published In The Federal Reg

On September 22, 2016, Clarifying Current Roles and Responsibilities Described in the Coordinated Framework for the Regulation of Biotechnology (Update to the Coordinated Framework) was published in the Federal Register ....more

Debate growing over preemption of state claims over organic produce labeling

Recently, the Eastern District of New York held that the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990 (7 U.S.C §§ 6501–6522) preempts various state claims that Abbott Laboratories, Inc. falsely labeled its Similac® Advance® Organic...more

GMO Food Labeling And CRISPR

A new law targeted at GMO food labeling instructs the Secretary of Agriculture to establish standards for identifying “bioengineered” food. While many might think CRISPR-modified foods will be covered by such a law, certain...more

Comments Due November 1, 2016 on Proposed Update to Framework for Biotechnology Regulation

On September 18, 2016, the Obama Administration issued two major documents in connection with its ongoing efforts to modernize the federal Coordinated Framework for the Regulation of Biotechnology. The first document, a...more

New Federal Telemedicine Grants Announced; Florida Not Listed

The U.S. Department of Agriculture just announced new grant funding awarded to seven telemedicine and 11 distance learning projects across 16 states to use technology to expand access to health care, substance misuse...more

Biotechnology: White House Releases Proposed Update to the Coordinated Framework and National Strategy for Modernizing the...

On September 16, 2016, the White House posted a blog item, "Building on 30 Years of Experience to Prepare for the Future of Biotechnology," releasing two documents intended to modernize federal regulation of biotechnology...more

Administration’s Biotechnology Working Group Updates Coordinated Framework & Unveils National Strategy

After launching with an ambitious agenda fourteen months ago, last Friday the Obama Administration announced that its Biotechnology Working Group had completed its two main tasks. The Working Group has proposed an Update to...more

EPA, FDA, and USDA Release Updates to Coordinated Framework on Biotechnology

On September 16, 2016, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), in collaboration with the White House, released two documents...more

Food and Beverage Alert - September 2016

This regular publication by DLA Piper lawyers focuses on helping clients navigate the ever-changing business, legal and regulatory landscape. Colorado judge permits Boulder initiative on sugary drinks to proceed. A...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

Food and Nutrition Service of the USDA Releases New Rule Regarding School Wellness Policies

The Food and Nutrition Service of the United States Department of Agriculture has released its final rule regarding Local School Wellness Policies under the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. All local school wellness...more

USDA Renews Safety Equipment Institute Contract To Manage Biobased Certification Program

On September 1, 2016, the Safety Equipment Institute (SEI) announced that it was selected to manage the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Biobased Certification Program for the next five years....more

Labeling Flying Pig Bacon and Not Much Else (For Now)

There’s a new federal law governing GMOs, and it preempts the poorly conceived, if well-meaning, state laws that have been pushed for the past decade. While state GMO bills have tended toward inclusion—concerns over...more

USDA Reports On Increasing Ethanol Production Capacity In The Philippines

On August, 24, 2016, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Foreign Agricultural Service released an annual report on the Philippines' biofuel industry and ethanol imports. In January 2007, The Biofuels Act or Republic Act...more

ASTM International Updates Standard To Determine Biobased Content Of Bioproducts

ASTM International's Committee on Plastics recently approved revisions to standard D6866, Test Methods for Determining the Biobased Content of Solid, Liquid, and Gaseous Samples Using Radiocarbon Analysis. ...more

Notice Of Open Meeting For Biomass Research And Development Committee

On August 8, 2016, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced an open meeting of the Biomass Research and Development Technical Advisory Committee in the Federal Register. The purpose of the meeting is to develop advice...more

EPA Extends Deadline to Submit Comments on Updated Method for Establishing Economic Minor Use

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today released a pre-publication version of a Federal Register notice to be issued on August 16, 2016, extending the deadline to submit comments on draft Pesticide Registration...more

New Federal Law Will Require Disclosure of GMO Content in Food

A new federal law will require food makers to disclose when foods contain genetically modified ingredients. The law, which was recently signed by President Obama, will require such food products to be labeled with text,...more

The updated face of food labels: The nutrition facts panel

Under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), the federal Food and Drug Administration has recently published two rules concerning the nutrition facts panel on foods and the supplement facts panel on dietary supplements....more

EPA Solicits Comments on Updated Method for Establishing Economic Minor Use

By Lisa M. Campbell The comment deadline of August 15, 2016, is approaching on the June 14, 2016, notice of availability of the draft Pesticide Registration Notice (PRN) 2016-X issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection...more

Campbell Seeks Dismissal of “Healthy” Labeling Lawsuit

Campbell Soup Company (“Campbell”) has moved to dismiss a putative class action lawsuit alleging that Campbell’s Chunky™ Healthy Request® Grilled Chicken & Sausage Gumbo Soup product is falsely and misleadingly advertised as...more

Obama signs GMO label bill into law

On Friday, July 29, US President Obama signed into law S. 764, which overturns Vermont's GMO label law and establishes a national standard for GMO (genetically modified organism) labeling. The US House of Representatives...more

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