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:
HPAI: PDA Lifts Poultry Quarantine for Farm Show, Competitions, Shows, Fairs, and Exhibitions
On June 11, 2016, the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture published notice in the Pennsylvania Bulletin that the department was rescinding the “General Quarantine Order; Virus Control for Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza Poultry and Poultry products at Competitions, Shows, Fairs and Exhibitions established at 45 Pa.B. 3716, July 11, 2015.” Accordingly, all restrictions delineated under the General Quarantine Order are withdrawn as of June 11, 2016.
Legislation: PA House Agricultural Committee Votes to Report Bills
On June 15, 2016, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives Agricultural and Rural Affairs committee voted to report HB 872 and SB 1123 for consideration. Accordingly, HB872 is a “resolution encouraging the use of peer-reviewed, science-based data to assess the impacts and the regulation of agricultural technologies,” while SB1123 is an amendment to “Title 3 (Agriculture) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, in weights and measures, further providing for standards for automotive fuel.”
FSMA: Oregon Passes Resolution Regarding Produce Safety Rule Implementation
On June 8, 2016, the Oregon State Board of Agriculture (OSBA) passed a resolution entitled: Oregon Department of Agriculture’s role in the Food Safety Modernization Act produce rule implementation (Resolution Number 317). According to the resolution, because “the new Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) produce safety rule will have tremendous impacts to Oregon agriculture,” OSBA will only support the Oregon Department of Agriculture’s participation in the implementation of the produce safety rule if “federal resources are available to fully cover the costs of the department’s work.”
Crop Insurance: Final Rule Issued for Texas Citrus Fruit Crop Insurance Provisions
On June 13, 2016, the United States Department of Agriculture Federal Crop Insurance Corporation published notice in the Federal Register that the agency had “finalize[d] the Common Crop Insurance Regulations, Texas Citrus Fruit Crop Insurance Provisions, to provide policy changes to better meet the needs of policyholders, to clarify existing policy provisions, and to reduce vulnerability to program fraud, waste, and abuse” (81FR 38061). According to the Final Rule, “[t]he changes will be effective for the 2018 and succeeding crop years.