U.S. Department of Agriculture

News & Analysis as of

Food and Beverage Law Update: April 2016

Finance - PACA Liens Could Impact Financing Terms - The Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA) is a federal law enacted in 1930 with the goal of protecting suppliers and sellers of agricultural goods from...more

Product Regulations: What You Don't Know Can Hurt You - and Could Destroy Your Business

What do the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), Federal Drug Administration (FDA), Department of Agriculture (USDA), and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have in common? Each is, of...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

Rural Utilities Services Announces Broadband Loan Program Funding; Applications due July 2016

On April 8, the Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Rural Utilities Service (RUS) published a Notice of Solicitation of Applications (NOSA) in the Federal Register for the Rural Broadband Access Loan and Loan Guarantee Program...more

Final FSMA Sanitary Transport Rule Published by FDA with Significant Changes

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has published its final rule regarding the Sanitary Transportation of Human and Animal Food (“Sanitary Transport Rule”). Applicable to shippers, loaders, receivers, and carriers of...more

Sign Up For The Third And Final Public Meeting On Modernizing The Regulatory System For Biotechnology Products

On July 2, 2015, the 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 jointly issued Modernizing the Regulatory...more

The Art of the Drug Ad

Television spots touting prescription medications have flooded the airwaves for nearly 20 years. During that time, pharmaceutical companies marketing their products have become surprisingly savvy at delivering the message....more

Senate Agriculture Committee to Review GMO Labeling Bill

The Senate Agriculture Committee is in the process of moving forward with a GMO Labeling Bill. Committee Chairman Pat Roberts, R-Kansas, released a discussion draft of the bill in February, and has the support of the American...more

Biotechnology: Academies to Study Future Products of Biotechnology

On March 18, 2016, the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine (The Academies) announced the appointment of its provisional committee on "Future Biotechnology Products and Opportunities to Enhance...more

Biotechnology: Case Studies of Hypothetical, Genetically Engineered Organisms Are Discussed at Second Meeting on Modernizing the...

On March 9, 2016, the second public meeting on the July 2, 2015, memorandum entitled “Modernizing the Regulatory System for Biotechnology Products,” was convened in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Region 6...more

FDA awards grants to two additional regional centers to support smaller food operations' implementation of FSMA

FDA has announced two grant awards, each for $950,000, under a joint project with USDA to establish two more regional centers for food safety training, outreach, and technical assistance related to implementation of the Food...more

Wrap-Up of Federal and State Chemical Regulatory Developments, March 2016

TSCA/FIFRA/IRIS/NTP/TRI - EPA Extends Comment Period On Chlorinated Paraffins Risk Assessments: On February 22, 2016, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) extended the comment period on the draft risk...more

Expanded Crop Insurance Options for Farmers Transitioning to Certified Organic Agriculture

The USDA recently announced expanded crop insurance options to allow producers to purchase insurance coverage that better reflects their product's actual value. The expanded coverage is part of the USDA's continued commitment...more

More Information Available On Upcoming "Modernizing The Regulatory System For Biotechnology Products" Meetings

On February 1, 2016, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) announced the dates and locations for the final two public engagement sessions covering the July 2, 2015 memorandum "Modernizing the...more

Food Labeling: The GMO Edition

On February 22, a packed room of food technologists and cereal chemists in Minneapolis heard from a panel of speakers about the hot debate surrounding GMO-labeling, an issue that is unlikely to be resolved any time soon....more

After WTO Battle, USDA Issues Final Rule Lifting Pork and Beef COOL Requirements

Today, following a protracted legal battle at the WTO, USDA issued a final rule removing mandatory Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) requirements for muscle cut and ground beef and pork. Beginning in 2008, Canada and...more

USDA Environmental Policies Final Rule Clarifies NEPA Stance for RUS Borrowers

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on March 2, 2016, issued a Final Rule on its Environmental Policies and Procedures (7 CFR Parts 25, 1701, 1709, et al.) that will affect actions by four agencies within USDA,...more

Biotechnology: Second Meeting on Modernizing the Regulatory System for Biotechnology Products Will Be Held March 9

The second public meeting on the July 2, 2015, memorandum entitled "Modernizing the Regulatory System for Biotechnology Products" will be held March 9, 2016, from 9:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. (CT) in Dallas, Texas. Registration is...more

Agencies Engaged in Federal Biotech Overhaul to Host Final Two Public Sessions in March

After hosting the first of three stakeholder meetings late last year, federal government agencies engaged in overhauling the 1986 Coordinated Framework for the Regulation of Biotechnology recently announced that meetings two...more

Federal Activities Report On The Bioeconomy Release Announced At ABLC2016

On February 18, 2016, at the Advanced Bioeconomy Leadership Conference 2016 (ABLC2016), Dr. Catherine Woteki, Chief Scientist and Undersecretary for Research, Education, and Economics at the U.S. Department of Agriculture...more

USDA Releases BioPreferred Program Fact Sheet And Announces Tide PurClean Certification

Last week, USDA issued a fact sheet containing an Overview of USDA's BioPreferred Program (BioPreferred). BioPreferred was created in 2002 with the passing of the 2002 Farm Bill, and was recently expanded as part of the 2014...more

Tom Vilsack Responds To Studies On Evolution Of Ethanol Production

On February 16, 2016, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack responded to two recent reports on ethanol and renewable fuels. The first report was published by USDA and is on "2015 Energy Balance for the Corn-Ethanol Industry," and...more

USDA Increases Options for Organic Crop Coverage

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has expanded the protection available under crop insurance policies for farmers growing organic crops. The USDA announced last week that farmers transitioning from the production of...more

The Genetics of Gender Discrimination in Date Palm Patenting

You’re driving south out of Indio along the Grapefruit Boulevard towards Thermal and Mecca because their names sound promising.  A parched desert plain extends to your left, leading up to the austere ridgelines of Joshua Tree...more

USDA Pairs with Lean and Green Michigan to Approve First PACE Loan

Last month, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), as part of the USDA’s Rural Development mission area, announced its intention to approve a Property Assessed Clean Energy loan (“PACE” loan) to provide energy...more

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