Friday, January 29, 2016

Agricultural Law Weekly Review: January 29, 2016

Written by M. Sean High – Staff Attorney

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

Conservation: USDA to Create New Wetland Protection Program
On January 28, 2016, the United States Department of Agriculture issued a press release announcing “the establishment of the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Wetland Mitigation Banking Program.”  Created as a result of the 2014 Farm Bill, the new program is designed to provide $9 million in resources to help “states, local governments or other qualified partners develop wetland mitigation banks that restore, create, or enhance wetland ecosystems, broadening the conservation options available to farmers and ranchers so they can maintain eligibility for other USDA programs.”

Avian Influenza: NAFTA Partners Sign Letter of Understanding on Avian Influenza
On January 19, 2016, the USA Poultry & Egg Export Council issued a press release announcing that government animal health officials from the United States, Canada, and Mexico had joined poultry and egg industry leaders in formally signing a Letter of Understanding on Avian Influenza.  According to the press release, the Letter of Understanding is “an arrangement to enhance collaboration on avian influenza and to work toward harmonizing procedures for responding to possible future detections of the virus.”

Labeling: New Labeling Requirements on Alaskan Pollock
On January 21, 2016, The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced an update to its “Seafood List” so as “to reflect a change for fish labeled as ‘Alaska Pollock.’”  As a result of FDA’s change, “only Gadus chalcogrammus caught in Alaskan waters or the exclusive economic zone (as defined in section 3 of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act) adjacent to Alaska can be called Alaskan ‘Pollock’ or Alaska ‘Pollock.’” 

Litigation: Court Approves Certification of Class Action Involving Pomegranate Seeds
On January 25, 2016, United States District Court Central District of California Southern Division Judge David O. Carter granted a class action certification in a case involving alleged injuries resulting from the risk of exposure to the hepatitis A virus after the consumption of pomegranate seeds imported from Turkey [CaseNo.: SA CV 13-1292-DOC (JCGx)].  The certified class action consolidated litigation from nine different single-state subclasses.

Food Safety: FSMA Requires Farmers to Retain Records to Prove "Qualified Exemption"
See previous Penn State Agricultural Law Blog article. 

Chesapeake Bay: Pennsylvania Announces New Plan to meet Chesapeake Bay Requirements
See previous Penn State Agricultural Law Blog article

No comments:

Post a Comment