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:
Government: PA Congressman Thompson Named Vice Chairman of House Agricultural Committee
On January 11, 2017, United States House Agricultural Committee Chairman K. Michael Conway (R-TX) issued a press release announcing new and returning Republican members serving on the House Agricultural Committee. Included in Chairman Conway’s statement was an announcement that Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson (R-PA) would serve as Vice Chairman of the committee for the 115th Congress. Previously, Thompson served three terms as Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee’s Subcommittee on Conservation and Forestry.
Food Policy: Report Calls for Reducing Milk in WIC Program
On January 5, 2017, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) issued a report regarding the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC). The study was conducted as a result of a contractual agreement between NASEM and the United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service (FNS). According to the report summary, the study recommended reducing the amount of juice, milk, and peanut butter provided by the program. Instead, the study recommended increasing the provision of vegetables, fruits, seafood, and whole grains. Additionally, the study suggested that milk could be replaced with yogurt and soy beverages.
GMOs: Federal Appeals Court Allows Class Action to Continue
On January 3, 2017, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that a class action against ConAgra Foods labeling of Wesson-brand cooking oil could continue. The class action in question alleges that labels on Wesson-brand cooking oils stating “100% Natural” were false and misleading because the products were made from genetically modified organisms (GMOs). The plaintiffs claim that because of this action “ConAgra has violated state consumer protection statutes, breached express and implied warranties, and been unjustly enriched.”
Pesticides: EPA Releases Final Rule on Tetraconazole
On January 10, 2017, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published notice in the Federal Register of a final rule establishing tolerances for residues of tetraconazole in or on vegetable, fruiting (Crop Group 8-10) ,and cucurbit (Crop Group 9) (82 FR 2900). Additionally, the final rule “revises the tolerance for residues on beet, sugar, root; beet, sugar, dried pulp; and beet, sugar molasses.” The regulation is effective January 10, 2017.
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- Cost-Sharing program for Hemp research in Pennsylvania - PA.gov
- New report suggests U.S. sugar producers will be disadvantaged by GMO labeling rules - Brownfield
- Bird flu woes continue as outbreak continues to spread across Europe and Asia - Meatingplace
- Major agricultural accomplishments for Pennsylvania in 2016 - PA.gov
- FDA looks at unsubstantiated claims for the sale of raw camel milk - FoodSafetyNews
- Study shows a drought like the Dust Bowl would be destructive to current agriculture - FeedStuffs
- FDA Office of Criminal Investigations will need new director after Jan 20th -FoodSafetyNews
- Duck found in Montana tested positive for bird flu - Meatingplace
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