USDA

June 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 June that we took note of. If you have any questions or would like more information, please …

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May 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 May that we took note of. If you have any questions or would like more information, please …

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April 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 April that we took note of. If you have any questions or would like more information, please …

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OH SNAP! FNS RESCINDS HUNDREDS OF SNAP RETAILER DISQUALIFICATIONS

During late March 2022, USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) did something truly shocking: it rescinded hundreds of charge letters and disqualification determinations against SNAP-authorized grocers and convenience stores. This is truly unprecedented action for an agency that is rarely reverses administrative actions, even when its decisions have inequitable and/or discriminatory impacts. While FNS should …

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New Emergency Livestock Relief Program (ELRP) Phase 1 To Provide $750 Million in Relief to Livestock Producers  

On April 4, 2022, the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) published a notice in the Federal Register announcing the new Emergency Livestock Relief Program (ELRP). The first phase of ELRP (i.e., Phase 1) will provide payments to producers who faced increased supplemental feed costs as a result of forage losses …

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March 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 March that we took note of. If you have any questions or would like more information, please …

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How to Avoid Receiving Charge Letters from USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service: Do’s and Don’ts for SNAP Retailers

USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) administers the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) pursuant to a delegation from Congress and the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. FNS authorizes more than 250,000 retail food stores, large and small, across the country and ensures that SNAP retailers adhere to the requirements of the Food and …

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USDA Equity Commission Holds Initial Meeting: Will FNS’s Historic Discrimination Against Minority SNAP Retailers Finally Be Addressed?

The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) provides nearly $2 trillion to expedite the United States’ recovery from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. APR § 1006(a)(3) provided funding to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to establish an Equity Commission to address historical discrimination and equity issues within USDA and its programs.  Over …

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February 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 February that we took note of. If you have any questions or would like more information, please …

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Infant Formula Recall Triggers Concerns for WIC Beneficiaries

On February 17, 2022, following consumer complaints relating to the presence of pathogens in Similac, Alimentu, and EleCare, Abbott issued a voluntary recall for certain lots of those powdered infant formula products. Abbott’s recall is broad, applies to all distribution levels (domestic and international), and includes all lots manufactured in its Sturgis, Michigan facility with …

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USDA Announces Funding for Climate-Smart Agriculture Projects

On Monday, February 7, 2022, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack delivered an announcement that USDA would invest“$1 billion in Climate Smart Commodities, Expanding Markets, Strengthening Rural America.” Titled “Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities,” USDA has committed to finance projects that expand the market for U.S. agricultural and forestry products that use “climate-smart …

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Farmers and Ranchers Can Now Access Online Reporting Portal to Report Potentially Unfair and Anticompetitive Practices

Today, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) launched an online reporting portal, located at USDA’s Farmer Fairness website, to advance the goals of the “Biden-Harris Administration’s Action Plan for a Fairer, More Competitive, and More Resilient Meat and Poultry Supply Chain” (the Action Plan).   By way of review, …

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January 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 January that we took note of. If you have any questions or would like more information, please …

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The National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard Is Now in Effect

As of January 1, 2022, foods that are deemed “bioengineered” must be accompanied by labels disclosing that the food is bioengineered or contains a bioengineered ingredient. This disclosure requirement is the culmination of a decades-long battle and a legislative compromise over what has been commonly known as “GMO labeling.” After multiple unsuccessful West Coast ballot …

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USDA Close to Releasing Proposed Rule for Organic Livestock & Poultry Standards

On December 3, 2021, the Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB) Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) indicated the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Services’ Proposed Rule, “Organic Livestock and Poultry Standards” is undergoing EO 12866 Regulatory Review. This is one of the final hurdles an agency’s proposed rule must clear before it is published in …

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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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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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USDA FSIS to Chart New Path on Salmonella Control in Poultry

On October 19, 2021, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced that it will be undertaking a new approach to regulating Salmonella in poultry (i.e., turkey and chicken). In the coming months, FSIS will begin a series of roundtables to gather information and recommendations on how to meet the …

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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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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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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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Opinion: The Code Breaker, CRISPR, and the UN Summit

This piece was originally published by Agri-Pulse Communications.   As preparations for the United Nations Food System Summit (FSS) get underway in the US and around the world, the respected author Walter Isaacson has released a new book entitled The Code Breaker. Isaacson, well known as a talented historian and biographer, has written eloquently of Albert Einstein, Benjamin …

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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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Oh, SNAP! FNS Refuses to Comply with the 2018 Farm Bill

Nearly all – more than 98% – of the firms authorized by USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) to participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) are traditional brick and mortar supermarkets, groceries, and convenience stores.   Accordingly to FNS’s SNAP Retailer Manager Year End Summary, under 1% of SNAP-authorized firms are entities that serve …

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