Agriculture & Agribusiness

FTC Issues Orders to Major Retailers, Wholesalers, and Product Suppliers Regarding Supply Chain Disruptions

On November 29, 2021, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) ordered nine large retailers, wholesalers, and consumer good suppliers to provide “detailed information” to the FTC.  The FTC explains that it is seeking this information to “shed light on the causes behind ongoing supply chain disruptions and how these disruptions are causing serious and ongoing hardships …

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6th Circuit Selected in Lottery to Hear Lawsuits against OSHA ETS Vaccine and Testing Mandate

On November 16, 2021, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation, through a lottery system, drew the 6th Circuit as the U.S. Court of Appeals that will hear the consolidated lawsuits against the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) published in the Federal Register on November 5, 2021. The OSHA ETS, which …

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USTR/USDA Holds Open Meeting to Discuss China Decrees 248 and 249

On Tuesday, November 16th, 2021, the United States Trade Representative (USTR) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) held an informal informational meeting on the General Administration of Customs of the People’s Republic of China’s (GACC) Decrees 248 and 249 affecting U.S. agricultural exports. The Decrees, which were published in 2019, set out new …

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The Potential Time Bomb of African Swine Fever

OFW Law’s John Dillard is a frequent contributor to Farm Journal, the premiere U.S. farm magazine. His latest contribution covers African Swine Fever. African swine fever (ASF) is a nasty bug and it’s getting closer to the U.S. The highly contagious viral infection doesn’t infect humans, but it is 100% fatal to hogs.  Countries where …

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UPDATE: Federal Contractor Vaccine Mandate

Federal Contractors are being given additional time and flexibility to address the vaccination mandate – Employees must be fully vaccinated by January 18, 2022.   The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Contracting Officers Have Enormous Discretion To Add Vaccine Mandate Clause to Product Contracts.   …

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Opinion: Needed: A Second White House Nutrition Conference by Marshall Matz

Congressman Jim McGovern (D-MA) and Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) have introduced legislation calling for a second White House Conference on Nutrition. They are correct; it is time. The first White House Conference on Food, Nutrition and Health was conducted by President Richard Nixon in 1969. President Nixon called it a “moral imperative.”  He continued: “This nation …

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October Food and Agriculture Regulatory Recap

OFW’s Food & Agriculture team regularly monitors announcements and policy issuances from FDA, USDA, and other agencies to keep our clients apprised of regulatory developments that may impact their business. Here are a few of the developments from October that we took note of. If you have any questions or would like more information, please …

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Farmland AFIDA

National Agricultural Law Center to Host Webinar on Foreign Ownership of Agricultural Land, AFIDA

Harrison Pittman of the National Agricultural Law Center (NALC) will be hosting a webinar discussing laws pertaining to the foreign ownership of agricultural land tomorrow (Oct. 20) at Noon (Eastern). The webinar will discuss federal and state laws pertaining to foreign ownership of agricultural land, such as the Agricultural Foreign Investment Disclosure Act (AFIDA), as …

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The FOREST Act of 2021 – Senate Bill Prohibiting the Importation of Products Produced on Land Undergoing Illegal Deforestation

Senator Brian Schatz (D-HI) and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) announced today the introduction of the “Fostering Overseas Rule of Law and Environmentally Sound Trade Act of 2021” (“FOREST Act”). The text of the FOREST Act is available here.  The FOREST Act addresses the environmental and human consequences of illegal deforestation. The addition to the Tariff Act …

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Good News for SNAP Retailers: FNS Increases SNAP Benefits for Fiscal Year 2022

The beginning of the new federal fiscal year on October 1 brought welcome news to 45 million SNAP beneficiaries across the country and to more than 250,000 grocery stores, convenience stores, and other retailers authorized to redeem SNAP benefits.  On October 1, 2021, average SNAP benefits increased by $35.24 per person, per month.  USDA’s Food …

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September Food and Agriculture Regulatory Recap by Kyla Kaplan

OFW’s Food & Agriculture team regularly monitors announcements and policy issuances from FDA, USDA, and other agencies to keep our clients apprised of regulatory developments that may impact their business. Here are a few of the developments from September that we took note of. If you have any questions or would like more information, please …

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OFW Welcomes Kyla Kaplan to FDA and USDA Practice Groups

OFW  is pleased to announce that Kyla Kaplan  has joined  the firm as an associate attorney. While Ms. Kaplan will be heavily focused on regulatory matters for our FDA- and USDA-regulated food clients, she will also be working on a variety of agriculture, medical products and government relations issues.   Ms. Kaplan brings to OFW …

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Commentary: Another court rules against large-scale livestock farms

The United States is home to 21,000 large-scale livestock farms or Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations. According to an appeals court opinion handed down Thursday, Sept. 16, 2021, the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco once again ruled for the environmentalists against these farms. The case is no. 20-71554 and was brought by Food …

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OFW Law to co-host the 2021 Food Labeling Summit with the Food Institute next month

Next month, The Food Institute kicks off its 3-day virtual training seminar on Food Labeling and Olsson Frank Weeda Terman Matz PC will be co-hosting the event. Each day has its own unique theme. On day one, attendees may expect to first learn the basics of the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) and the U.S. …

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USDA-FSIS Announces Updated Guidance for Controlling Pathogens in Beef and Poultry Operations

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has recently updated several of its guidance documents addressing the control of pathogens in beef and poultry operations. These guidelines provide best practices for establishments on managing pathogens during pre-harvest, slaughter, chilling, storage, and processing. FSIS’ guidance is focused on assisting small and very …

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John Block Reports: Executive Orders

By Former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, John R. Block. Last week President Biden signed a broad Executive Order designed to ensure that we have more competitive markets. We have too many huge corporations. They keep buying up their competitors and just get bigger. Smaller companies compete at a disadvantage. Biden says, “Capitalism without competition isn’t capitalism. …

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FTC to Issue Final Rule to Combat “Made in USA” Fraud

On July 1st, the Federal Trade Commission voted 3-2 to publish the final Made in USA Labeling Rule in the Federal Register.  The rule is consistent with – and essentially codifies – its prior 1997 Enforcement Policy Statement on U.S. Origin Claims, and provides the agency with enforcement tools to combat fraudulent claims.   The rule …

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USDA to Provide Overtime Fee Relief to Small and Very-Small Establishments

One of the major complaints of smaller meat and poultry establishments is the cost of USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) overtime and holiday inspection services. Meat and poultry establishments that are subject to mandatory inspection receive FSIS inspection services free of charge for each 8-hour shift the plant normally operates. Many plants only …

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Bob Dole and George McGovern: A Nutrition Legacy that Continues

For many years in the Senate, Senator Bob Dole (R-KS) teamed up with Senator George McGovern (D-SD) to create a legacy of bipartisan leadership on nutrition.  Working together in the 1970s, they completely reformed the Food Stamp Program (now SNAP); established the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations; with Senator Humphrey, created the Women’s Infants …

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chicken breasts being cut

CSPI petitions FSIS to implement enforceable Salmonella controls, supply chain requirements

John Dillard, a principal attorney in the USDA – FSIS Practice Group, authored the following article on a recent citizen’s petition to the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS). The article appears in The National Provisioner’s March issue. On Jan. 25, 2021, a coalition of food safety activist groups and individuals led by Center …

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The UN FOOD SYSTEM SUMMIT: Upside and Downside for US Agriculture

The UN Food System Summit (FSS), to be hosted by Secretary-General António Guterres as a part of the UN General Assembly this September, is generating increased attention for several reasons:   It’s fast approaching. Hunger is on the rise. The new Biden/Harris Administration is committed to international engagement and hunger reduction. US agriculture has much …

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three cows standing in a line

Packers and Stockyards Act: Cattle Sellers Gain New Protections with the Statutory Dealer Trust

John Dillard, a principal attorney in the USDA – Packers and Stockyards group, authored the following article on recent amendments to the Packers and Stockyards Act establishing a Statutory Dealer Trust. The article appears in Farm Journal’s mid-February issue.   Cattle dealers play an integral role of the movement of livestock by buying cattle, creating …

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