Thursday, June 22, 2017

Agriculture Law Weekly Review – June 22, 2017

Written by Deanna Smith – Research Assistant

Industrial Hemp/Cannabis: Pennsylvania Issues First Medical Marijuana Permits

On June 20, 2017, the PA Department of Health announced the release of twelve medical marijuana permits for growers and processors throughout Pennsylvania. Two permits per each of the six regions delineated by the PA Department of Health. The recipients “now have six months to become operational before they can begin growing medical marijuana.” John Collins, Director of the Office of Medical Marijuana, said this development keeps them “on track to fulfill the Wolf Administration’s commitment to deliver medical marijuana to patients in 2018.”  For more information, PennLive.com published an article with additional material on the permit recipients.

Antitrust: Dept. of Justice Approves Dow/DuPont Merger

DuPont and Dow Chemical Co. have reached an agreement with the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice regarding the merger of the two companies. A civil antitrust lawsuit and settlement filed June 15, 2017, stipulates that the companies divest certain crop protection and petrochemical products. DuPont’s Finesse herbicide and Rynaxypyr insecticides as well as Dow’s businesses used in food packaging are the few key businesses that must be sold in order to maintain market competition.

International Trade: USDA Proposes to Loosen Restrictions on Chinese Chicken Imports

On June 16, 2017, USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) published a proposed rule that would amend their inspection regulations and enable China to export poultry products from birds that have been slaughtered in China to the United States. Currently, China is allowed to export to the U.S. only processed poultry products that have been slaughtered in the U.S. or another eligible country. FSIS has reviewed the poultry slaughter inspection system implemented in China and determined it the equivalent of the U.S. standards in the Poultry Products Inspection Act (PPIA).

GMO Regulation: Two New GMO Products Approved for Shipment to China

On June 14, 2017, Dow Chemical Co. and Monsanto Co. were given permission by China’s Ministry of Agriculture to start shipping two new GMO products to China. Dow AgroSciences’ Enlist corn variety and Monsanto’s Vistive Gold soybean join the 14 other genetically modified crops allowed as U.S. imports into China. Fox Business reported that this decision “comes after Beijing agreed to speed up reviews of biotechnology applications as part of a trade deal with the Trump administration last month.”

Pesticides: Farmworkers and Health Organizations Sue EPA

On June 14, 2017, Earthjustice and Farmworker Justice filed a complaint against the EPA in response to the EPA’s one year delay in implementing the Certification of Pesticide Applicators Rule. This final rule contains updated standards for the protection of those using and handling pesticide applicators. It proposes safety measures such as increased training requirements and a minimum age requirement for applicators.

National Ag Policy: Perdue Hosts First Meeting of the Interagency Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity

On June 15, 2017, USDA announced that U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue hosted the first meeting of the Interagency Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity. At the meeting, Sec. Perdue said “we are telling rural America that we’re here, we’re listening, and we’re going to help provide you with the resources, tools, and support to build robust, sustainable communities for generations to come.” The task force is required to issue a report within 180 days of its formation containing recommendations on legislative and administrative actions.

National Ag Policy: Senate Ag Committee Holds Farm Bill Hearing Focusing on Agricultural Research

On June 16, 2017, the Senate Agriculture Committee held a Farm Bill hearing focused on agricultural research. In the opening statements, U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow, Ranking Member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, & Forestry, said “[n]ow, more than ever, it is critical to invest in public research and support our world class agricultural research institutions that make our farms more productive and sustainable.” The hearing went on to discuss the critical role of agricultural research throughout the years, and the importance of its progress. 

Environmental Credit Trading: Rice Farming Carbon Credits Sold to Microsoft

In June 2015, the California Air Resources Board (ARB) approved a protocol that would allow farmers to offset carbon emissions through their farming methods and get compensated for their efforts by selling credits in the state’s cap-and-trade market. Two years later, on June 14, 2017, Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) reported that the first voluntary carbon credits generated by U.S. rice farmers were sold to Microsoft. To read more about California’s rice protocol and conservation efforts, visit the EDF webpage, Greenhouse gas markets for agriculture.

Pennsylvania Legislation

Agriculture and Rural Affairs (House)
  • HB1518: An Act amending the act of April 9, 1929 (P.L.177, No.175), known as The Administrative Code of 1929, in organization of independent administrative boards and commissions, further providing for Agricultural Lands Condemnation Approval Board. (Reported out of Committee, June 20, 2017)
  • HB1550: An Act amending the act of June 30, 1981 (P.L.128, No.43), known as the Agricultural Area Security Law, further providing for purchase of agricultural conservation easements. (Reported out of Committee, June 20, 2017)
  • HB944: An Act amending the act of March 10, 1949 (P.L.30, No.14), known as the Public School Code of 1949, in terms and courses of study, further providing for agricultural education and providing for Commission for Agricultural Education Excellence. (Third consideration and final passage, June 19, 2017)
  • HB1494: An Act amending the act of June 28, 1995 (P.L.89, No.18), known as the Conservation and Natural Resources Act, in Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, renaming the Department of Environmental Resources as the Department of Environmental Protection; defining the role of the Environmental Quality Board in the Department of Environmental Protection; making changes to responsibilities of the State Conservation Commission and the Department of Agriculture; transferring certain powers and duties to the Department of Health; and repealing inconsistent acts," in Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, further providing for contracts and agreements. (Third consideration and final passage, June 19, 2017)

Environmental Resources and Energy (House)
  • HB1333: An Act amending the act of May 31, 1945 (P.L.1198, No.418), known as the Surface Mining Conservation and Reclamation Act, further providing for mining permit, reclamation plan and bond. (Reported out of Committee, June 19, 2017)
  • HB1341: An Act amending the act of July 7, 2008 (P.L.654, No.55), known as the Bituminous Coal Mine Safety Act, in emergency medical personnel, further providing for definitions, for emergency medical personnel, for regulations, for continuing training, for certification and for liability. (Reported out of Committee, June 19, 2017)
  • SB624: An Act amending the act of April 27, 1966 (1st Sp.Sess., P.L.31, No.1), known as The Bituminous Mine Subsidence and Land Conservation Act, providing for planned subsidence and for retroactivity. (Reported out of Committee, June 19, 2017)


Hotlinks:

"Pennsylvania announces first round of medical marijuana permits" – PennLive.com


Follow us on Twitter at Ag & Shale Law (@AgShaleLaw) to receive AgLaw HotLinks

Connect with us on Facebook! Every week we will post the CASL Ledger which details all our publications and activities from the week.

Stay informed with our monthly Agricultural Law Brief located here.

For a comprehensive summary of daily judicial, legislative, and regulatory developments in agriculture and food, visit The Ag & Food Law Blog. 

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Agricultural Law Weekly Review – June 15, 2017

Written by Joseph Mooradian—Research Assistant

Soda Tax: Philadelphia Soda Tax Upheld in Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court
On June 14, 2017, the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court upheld the Philadelphia soda tax. Following the ruling, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney issued a statement, saying, “Two courts have now considered the arguments of the beverage industry and both are certain that the Philadelphia Beverage Tax stands on solid legal grounds.” The lawsuit was filed by the American Beverage Association (ABA), who claimed that the “1.5-cents-per-ounce tax on sweetened beverages” amounted to double taxation.

FSMA: FDA Considering Simplifying Agricultural Water Standards
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is reviewing its agricultural water standards rule, as enabled by the Produce Safety Rule, according to an announcement on its website on March 20, 2017. “Agricultural water can be a major conduit of pathogens that can contaminate produce,” the FDA said, stating that to manage this risk it is looking into, “how it might simplify the water standards.” “In addition to water quality, the produce industry has registered concerns about packing house regulations being too vague,” Food Safety News (FSN) reported. While there has not been any compliance delay announced yet, FSN called the move, “a quiet review that could extend the compliance date for the Produce Safety Rule beyond January 2018.”

Menu Labeling: Food Watchdog Groups Sue FDA Over Menu Labeling Delay
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was sued on June 20, 2017 by two groups, the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), and the National Consumers League (NCL), over the FDA’s recent delay in enforcement of its Menu Labeling Rule. “Without menu labeling, it’s hard for consumers to estimate the calorie content of popular restaurant items,” CSPI noted in a statement, advocating for enforcement of the rule. According to Law360, “The suit seeks an order vacating the delay and declaring that compliance with the nutrition labeling rule is required within 15 days of such an order.” Law360 also reported that, “[a]n FDA spokeswoman on Wednesday declined to comment.”

National Ag Policy: Seven States Appeal EPA Refusal to Ban Chlorpyrifos
As of June 6, the Attorneys General from California, New York, and five other states are appealing a decision by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to pass on a ban of chlorpyrifos. The challengers claim that, “[c]hlorpyrifos . . . is shown to negatively impact proper development and functioning of the central nervous system and brain.” The statement calls the substance, “a widely-used pesticide on food crops – including those consumed by infants, young children, and pregnant women.”

GMO Labeling: USDA Reports Progress on GMO Disclosure Rules at Food Policy Conference
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is making progress on its Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) labeling rule, according to Food Chemical News (FCN), in an article from June 7, 2017. This news came from Andrea Huberty at the Annual Food Label Conference, stating, “We are a little behind in getting this completed by 2018, although we are still on track, just a little behind.” Huberty, from the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service, said that the, “process got caught up in the transition” to the new administration. FCN reported that “[i]f the study proves that digital options do not offer a sufficient option for GMO disclosure, the agency would be required to provide food manufacturers with alternative ways to label GMO foods.”

Agricultural Labor: U.S. Labor Department Rescinds Joint Employer Guidance
The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) rescinded its joint employer guidance, as derived from the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), on Wednesday, June 7, 2017. While the guidance has been rescinded, “[t]he department will continue to fully and fairly enforce all laws within its jurisdiction, including the Fair Labor Standards Act and the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act.” “This was guidance that made it easier for employers, workers, unions and others to know about their rights and obligations under the law," Reuters reported Lynn Rhinehart, general counsel for the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organization, saying.

National Ag Policy: Field Chief Outlines Changes to Mandatory Price Reporting
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will be implementing changes to its mandatory price reporting, according to a statement by Taylor Cox of the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Services, as reported by Brownfield Ag News on June 11, 2017. According to Brownfield, Cox said that, “pork producers have expressed concern about the current percentage of negotiated hogs and would like to see that number increase.” Cox stated that “if producers have suggestions or comments on how to improve the AMS’s Livestock Mandatory Price Reporting – to submit comments online.”

Food Labeling: Court Stays Almond Milk Lawsuit, with Deference to FDA
District Judge Lawrence O’Neill in the eastern district of California stayed a suit against Whitewave (known for its Silk brand) on June 6, which alleged that, “Defendant has deceptively informed and led its customers to believe that they were purchasing, for a premium price, a dairy milk alternative that is nutritionally equivalent, and even superior, to dairy milk.” O’Neill held that the claim was, “an issue of first impression,” saying that, “the issue . . . fits squarely within the FDA’s authority.” While the FDA has not touched on the issue of plant milk in some time, O’Neill stated that, “[t]he FDA should at the very least have the opportunity to decide whether it will address the issue.”

Food Safety: Cargill-Pew Report Urges New Approach to Federal Meat Inspection
Cargill Inc. and Pew Charitable Trusts have produced a report entitled, “Recommendations to Modernize the Meat and Poultry Oversight System in the United States,” working through the Meridian Institute, and publishing the document in June 2017. The report recommends updates and modernizations to a wide variety of aspects of the industry, including oversight, data collection, a comprehensive farm-to-fork approach, processing, enforcement, and more. These recommendations were developed as part of a dialogue hosted by the organizations over several years and involved various stakeholder inputs, as documented here.

Food Labeling: FDA Extends Compliance Deadline for Nutrition Facts Panel Changes
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), on June 13, 2017, has opted to extend their Nutrition Labeling rule compliance date beyond its previous compliance date of July 26, 2018, and has not yet announced a new compliance date. According to Food Navigator, “speakers at the American Conference Institute (ACI) food and law regulation forum in Chicago last month predicted that the deadline would likely be extended to 2021.” The FDA chose to move the date, stating their hope that, “additional time would provide manufacturers covered by the rule with necessary guidance,” and that manufacturers would, “be able to complete and print updated nutrition facts panels for their products before they are expected to be in compliance.”

Food Safety: Watchdog Group Sues USDA for Names of Poultry Companies
Food & Water Watch is seeking the names of poultry companies applying for non-government inspections under the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) New Poultry Inspection System (NPIS). Food Safety News reported on June 13, 2017, that, “Food & Water Watch contends the system results in government inspectors ‘evaluating up to three birds per second in broiler chicken plants, and one turkey per second in turkey slaughter facilities.’” Food & Water Watch, in a statement issued at the outset a previous lawsuit against the USDA’s NPIS, said, “These rules essentially privatize poultry inspection, and pave the way for others in the meat industry to police themselves.” The group’s previous suit was dismissed, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson described the opposition to the rule as, “sheer speculation that bad things might happen.”

Beef Industry: Final Guidelines Set for U.S. Beef Exports to China
on June 12, 2017, the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) published the guidelines for the final agreement between the U.S. and China concerning the exportation of U.S. Beef to China, which can be found here. These exportation guidelines, published, cover the origins of beef and beef products, cattle traceability, cattle age, what products were eligible for shipment, and the traceability of processed beef and beef products. Products which proscribe to all the specified requirements will receive an FSIS Export Certificate.

Pennsylvania Legislation:
Agriculture and Rural Affairs:
  • HB 1518: An Act amending the act of April 9, 1929 (P.L.177, No.175), known as The Administrative Code of 1929, in organization of independent administrative boards and commissions, further providing for Agricultural Lands Condemnation Approval Board. (Referred to committee— June 9, 2017)
  • HB 1494: An Act amending the act of June 28, 1995 (P.L.89, No.18), known as the Conservation and Natural Resources Act, in Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, further providing for contracts and agreements. (Reported out of committee—June 12, 2017)
  • HB 944: An Act amending the act of March 10, 1949 (P.L.30, No.14), known as the Public School Code of 1949, in terms and courses of study, further providing for agricultural education and providing for Commission for Agricultural Education Excellence. (Reported out of committee—June 12, 2017)


AgLaw HotLinks:


Follow us on Twitter at Ag & Shale Law (@AgShaleLaw) to receive AgLaw HotLinks

Connect with us on Facebook! Every week we will post the CASL Ledger which details all our publications and activities from the week.

Stay informed with our monthly Agricultural Law Brief located here.

For a comprehensive summary of daily judicial, legislative, and regulatory developments in agriculture and food, visit The Ag & Food Law Blog

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Agricultural Law Weekly Review – June 8, 2017

Written by Deanna Smith – Research Assistant

Food Disparagement: Jury Selected in BPI Litigation against ABC
On June 5, 2017, Food Safety News reported the jury has been selected for the defamation trial between Beef Products, Inc. (BPI) and television conglomerate American Broadcasting Company (ABC). The trial will cover the issue of whether BPI was defamed by an ABC reporter referring to their “lean finely textured beef . . . as ‘pink slime’ in numerous reports” since March 7, 2012. BPI is claiming $1.9 billion in damages, but any damages awarded could be tripled under South Dakota’s Agriculture Food Product Disparagement Act.

Industrial Hemp/Cannabis: Nevada Expands Industrial Hemp Program
Nevada Governor Brian Sandova signed Senate Bill 396 on Friday June 2, 2017. The bill allows for the expansion of Nevada’s industrial hemp research and development program. The new law allows “the growth and cultivation of industrial hemp allowing the crop to [be] grown for commercial, and not just research, purposes.” According to media reports, the new bill was among 50 signed into law by Governor Sandova last week.

International Trade: USDA Releases Latest Agricultural Trade Data
The newest report on agricultural trade data has been posted on USDA’s website. The report tracks the changes in agricultural imports and exports of the United States since 2013. The next update is scheduled to be released on July 6, 2017.

Beef Industry: Nebraska Beef Producers Committee Sues Over Constitutionality of the Nebraska Livestock Brand Act
Nebraska Beef Producers Committee (Beef Producers), “a nonprofit group representing cattle producers with feedlots across the state,” is challenging the Nebraska Livestock Brand Act in federal court. The suit was filed against the Nebraska Brand Committee on May 30, 2017. Beef Producers are arguing the act is unconstitutional under the Commerce Clause as well as the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution. Plaintiffs’ counsel, Katherine Spohn, says “[t]he evolution of the cattle industry has rendered the regulatory scheme codified in the Brand Act ineffectual and obsolete.”

National Ag Policy: Perdue Comments on Withdrawal from Paris Accord
On June 2, 2017, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue, made a statement on climate change in response to President Trump’s decision to pull out of the Paris Agreement. Perdue stated that “President Trump promised that he would put America first and he has rightly determined that the Paris accord was not in the best interests of the United States.” For more on Secretary Perdue’s statement, see the full press release here.

Soda Tax: Seattle City Council Approves Soda Tax
The Seattle City Council approved a new tax on sweetened beverages on Monday, June 5, 2017. The Sweetened Beverage Tax calls for beverage distributors of sweetened drinks to pay a tax of $0.0175 per ounce of sweetened drinks distributed. This tax excludes diet drinks. The Washington Post reported that many community groups backed the ordinance thinking it “would direct money to programs aimed at helping working families that can’t afford healthy foods,” as well as, “cut down on the consumption of sugary drinks that have little nutritional value and are linked to obesity, diabetes and other health problems.”

National Ag Policy: Perdue Releases Statement on Final Sugar Agreement with Mexico U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue, released a statement June 6, 2017, in response to the final agreement on sugar trade between the U.S. and Mexico. Perdue said “[t]he agreement protects American workers and consumers and marks a dramatic improvement for the U.S. sugar industry.” For more information on Secretary Perdue’s statement, see the full press release here.


Pennsylvania Legislation:
Environmental Resources and Energy Committee (House)
  • HB1486: An Act amending the act of October 4, 1978 (P.L.864, No.167), known as the Storm Water Management Act, further providing for definitions and for effect of watershed storm water plans (Referred to committee – June 2, 2017)

Agriculture and Rural Affairs (House)
  • HB1494: An Act amending the act of June 28, 1995 (P.L.89, No.18), known as the Conservation and Natural Resources Act, in Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, further providing for contracts and agreements. (Referred to Committee – June 5, 2017)



AgLaw HotLinks:



Follow us on Twitter at Ag & Shale Law (@AgShaleLaw) to receive AgLaw HotLinks

Connect with us on Facebook! Every week we will post the CASL Ledger which details all our publications and activities from the week.

Stay informed with our monthly Agricultural Law Brief located here.


For a comprehensive summary of daily judicial, legislative, and regulatory developments in agriculture and food, visit The Ag & Food Law Blog.


Thursday, June 1, 2017

Agricultural Law Weekly Review - June 1, 2017

Written by Deanna Smith and Joseph Mooradian – Research Assistants

The following information is an update of recent local, state, national, and international legal developments relevant to agriculture:

Animal Welfare: Supreme Court Denies Review of California’s Egg Sales Law
On May 30, 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court denied a petition for review of a Ninth Circuit ruling concerning California’s AB 1437, which required eggs sold within the state to conform to California’s animal care standards. Missouri, along with five other states, questioned whether a state may “challenge another State’s commercial regulations on the ground that those regulations violate the Commerce Clause.” The petition came after the Ninth Circuit ruled in California’s favor in November 2016, concluding that the states did not have adequate standing to maintain their claim in court. According to Feedstuffs, the six-state coalition, “estimated a cost of $120 million to remodel laying houses to meet California standards and said the state unfairly imposes burdens on farmers outside its borders.” Denial of the petition means that the California law will stand, although it “does leave the door open for additional challenges,” since the case was decided on the basis of standing, not the content or enforcement of the law.

Antibiotic Use: Maryland Passes Animal Antibiotics Legislation
Maryland recently enacted SB0422 entitled Keep Antibiotics Effective Act of 2017. The new law mandates that antimicrobial drugs for cattle, swine, or poultry may be administered only by a licensed veterinarian and only for the treatment, control, or prevention of a disease or infection, or for surgery or other medical procedures. The legislation became law on May 27, 2017, when Governor Larry Hogan declined to sign or veto the bill. Under the bill, antimicrobial drugs may not be given to cattle, swine, or poultry as part of “a regular pattern” and may not be used “solely for the purpose of promoting weight gain or improving feed efficiency.” Maryland is the second state to regulate antibiotic use on farms through legislation with California being the first to enact legislation imposing stricter regulations than that of the FDA. The act will take effect on October 1, 2017.

National Ag Policy: Perdue Discusses Proposed USDA Budget Cuts
On May 24, 2017, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue met with lawmakers at a budget hearing to discuss the proposed USDA budget cuts. According to Food Chemical News, the House Appropriations hearing lasted around two hours, and that subjects discussed included “reductions in staffing levels,” “transferring catfish inspection authority from USDA back over to [the] FDA,” “an 11% proposed cut to the National Organic Program (NOP),” “proposed cuts to USDA food assistance programs,” and whether or not the administration would “toss the ‘Farmer Fair Practices’ GIPSA rules.”

Pesticides: U.S. House Votes to Loosen Restrictions on Pesticides
On May 24, 2017, in a 256-165 vote, the U.S. House passed H.R.953 as a part of the Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act of 2017. The bill loosens restrictions on federal pesticide regulations and amends the Federal Insecticide Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) and the Clean Water Act by prohibiting the EPA or states from requiring permits under the Clean Water Act if the pesticide is already approved under FIFRA.

Biosecurity: Senate Passes Securing our Agriculture and Food Act
On May 24, 2017, the U.S. Senate passed the Securing our Agriculture and Food Act, H.R.1238.The act defends food, agriculture, and livestock against terrorism and similar high-risk events to ensure a safe food supply. The act “amends the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to direct the Assistant Secretary for Health Affairs for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to carry out a program to coordinate DHS efforts related to defending the food, agriculture, and veterinary systems of the United States against terrorism and other high-consequence events that pose a high risk to homeland security.”

Animal Welfare: The World Organization on Animal Health Adopts Animal Welfare Strategy
On May 24, 2017, the World Organization on Animal Health (OIE) announced its first global strategy on animal welfare. The strategy was developed and endorsed at the 4th OIE Global Conference on animal welfare that took place last year in Mexico and is comprised of four pillars: “development of international animal welfare standards,” “enhancement of capacity building and training of veterinary services,” “communication with governments, national and international organizations, and the public to raise awareness on animal welfare,” and “progressive implementation of OIE standards on animal welfare and their corresponding policies.”

National Ag Policy: USFRA Publishes Sustainability Report
On May 26, 2017, the U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance published Agriculture in America Sustainability Report 2017. The report includes a summary report on a survey of farmers’ and ranchers’ perceptions on environmental sustainability and agricultural practices, as well as information on key commodities in the industry and their impact on different aspects of the environment.

Raw Milk: CDC Releases Report on Outbreak-Related Diseases from Raw Milk and Cheese
The June 2017 issue of Emerging Infectious Diseases released by the CDC contains a research report titled, “Outbreak-Related Disease Burden Associated with Consumption of Unpasteurized Cow’s Milk and Cheese, United States, 2009-2014.” The report details how “the growing popularity of unpasteurized milk in the United States raises public health concerns” and tracks the correlation between a growing “consumption of unpasteurized dairy products,” and the claim that “a doubling in the consumption of unpasteurized milk or cheese could increase outbreak-related illnesses by 96%.”

Industrial Hemp/Cannabis: Maryland Halts Medical Marijuana Licensing Pending a Hearing this Friday
On May 25, 2017, The Washington Post reported that Baltimore Circuit Judge Barry Williams “granted a temporary restraining order barring the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission from granting new licenses to grow medical marijuana until a June 2 hearing.” A company in Maryland is suing because the Medical Cannabis Commission “failed to consider minority ownership” in awarding permits. Of the fifteen marijuana-growing companies chosen by the commission throughout Maryland, “none [are] led by African Americans.” At the hearing this Friday, June 2, 2017, Judge Williams will decide whether or not to continue the licensing freeze until the resolution of the lawsuit.

Pennsylvania Legislation
Agricultural and Rural Affairs Committee (Senate)
·         HB 790: Legislation to repeal the Noxious Weed Control Law (Act 74 of 1982) and replace it with the Controlled Plant and Noxious Weed Act (Referred to committee – May 31, 2017)
Agricultural and Rural Affairs Committee (House)
·         HB 1463:  An Act amending the act of December 7, 1982 (P.L.784, No.225), known as the Dog Law (Referred to committee - May 31, 2017)
Environmental Resources and Energy Committee (House)
·         HB 20:  Legislation to enact a water resource fee for major water withdrawals in the Commonwealth (Referred to committee - May 25, 2017)
·         HB 1459:  An Act amending the act of June 22, 1937 (P.L.1987, No.394), known as The Clean Streams Law (Referred to committee - May 25, 2017)

AgLaw HotLinks:
·         "LA's Urban Farmers To Get Tax Break Under Proposed Law" - HollywoodPatch
·         "FDA reportedly mulls nutrition facts panel delay" - Meatingplace
·         "California will wait for FDA on menu labeling" - Politico  
·         "U.S. IS WORLD’S LARGEST BEEF EXPORTER" - Brownfield

Follow us on Twitter at PSU Ag & Shale Law (@AgShaleLaw) to receive AgLaw HotLinks

Connect with us on Facebook! Every week we will post the CASL Ledger which details all our publications and activities from the week.

Stay informed with our monthly Agricultural Law Brief located here.


For a comprehensive summary of daily judicial, legislative, and regulatory developments in agriculture and food, visit The Ag & Food Law Blog.