Thursday, June 21, 2018

Agricultural Law Weekly Review - June 21, 2018

Written by:
Jackie Schweichler – Education Programs Coordinator

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

Dairy Policy: Dairy Margin Protection Program Application Deadline is Extended
On June 13, 2018, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) announced that the re-enrollment deadline for the dairy Margin Protection Program (MPP) will be extended until June 22, 2018. The deadline has been extended to give producers more time to consider the MPP and the new provisions made under the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018. The purpose of the MPP is to protect participating dairy producers when the margin between the price of milk and feed costs falls below certain levels. For more information on this program, see the FSA webpage.

Pesticides: California Court Denies Bid to Change Preliminary Injunction for Glyphosate Warning Label
On June 12, 2018, the U.S. District Court for Eastern California denied a motion to alter a preliminary injunction against the application of Proposition 65 (Prop 65) for glyphosate (National Association of Wheat Growers, et al. v. California, CIV. NO. 2:17-2401 WBS EFB).  Proposition 65 requires warning labels for any chemicals known by the state of California to cause cancer, and glyphosate is now on the Prop 65 list. This lawsuit was brought against California by several producers who argue that there is limited, if any, evidence that glyphosate causes cancer. On February 26, 2018, the District Court issued a preliminary injunction against the state so that producers would not need to comply with Proposition 65 for the time being. In the most recent court order, the court determined that the injunction would stand because the state was unable to present new evidence, and there was no clear error by the court in the issuance of the prior order.

Farm Bill: Senate Agriculture Committee Passes 2018 Farm Bill
On June 13, 2018, the U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee voted on and passed the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, more commonly known as the farm bill. The bill passed by a vote of 20 to 1 and will now go to the full U.S. Senate for consideration. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the new legislation will promote crop insurance, support conservation programs, encourage farming, improve market competitiveness, support nutrition assistance, protect the integrity of organic certified products, improve biosecurity, protect public health, encourage food safety programs, and more.

Invasive Species: APHIS Announces Quarantine in New York for European Cherry Fruit Fly
On June 14, 2018, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announced a quarantine for the European cherry fruit fly in areas of New York state. The fly attacks ripening fruit, generally sweet cherries, which causes the fruit to rot. European cherry fly infestation can cause 100 percent destruction of the host plant. APHIS has published pest response guidelines for the fly. Control methods include foliar bait spray treatments, soil drenching, and removal of all fruit. The area in quarantine consists of 92 square miles of Niagara County. Residents have been asked to consume homegrown cherries on site and not move the fruit from their property.

Food Safety: FDA Issues Draft Guidance for PC Animal Food Rule
On June 14, 2018, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued draft guidance to help facilities needing a supply-chain program meet the requirements under the rule, Current Good Manufacturing Practice, Hazard Analysis, and Risk-Based Preventive Controls for Food for Animals rule (PC Animal Food rule). The rule adds requirements for specific domestic and foreign animal food facilities to establish hazard analysis and risk-based preventive controls for food for animals. The purpose of the rule is to ensure animal food safety to avoid illness for both humans and animals. The draft guidance is intended to help producers determine whether they need a supply-chain program, identify and implement the required approval process, establish frequency of supplier verification activities, meet documentation requirements, and provide general clarification.

Food Safety: FDA to Hold Public Meeting on Cultured Food Products
On June 15, 2018, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced a public meeting set for July 12th to discuss food innovation and “cultured” food products. Cultured food products can be made from cells collected from animals and are intended to resemble conventional meat, poultry, and seafood. FDA states that they are evaluating and working to establish safety guidelines and hope to foster dialogue regarding various areas of regulation, including labeling.  The meeting, entitled “Food Produced Using Animal Cell Culture Technology” will take place at the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition in College Park, MD.

Food Policy: FDA Issues Guidance on Eight Additional Dietary Fibers
On June 14, 2018, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued guidance and a supporting science review for eight non-digestible carbohydrates (NDCs) which FDA intends to include under the definition of dietary fiber. The NDCs include “mixed plant cell wall fibers; arabinoxylan; alginate; inulin and inulin-type fructans; high amylose starch (resistant starch 2); galactooligosaccharide; polydextrose; and resistant maltodextrin/dextrin.” The FDA intends to exercise enforcement discretion if any of these eight NDCs are used on food labels prior to the completion of FDA’s rulemaking.  The guidance can be found on the FDA website, and is entitled,  The Declaration of Certain Isolated or Synthetic Non-Digestible Carbohydrates as Dietary Fiber on Nutrition and Supplement Facts Labels: Guidance for Industry.  

From National Ag Law Experts:
Does Grazing Cattle for Years Allow Claim of Adverse Possession?, Tiffany Dowell Lashmet, Texas Agricultural Law Blog, June 18, 2018
Ag Groups File Amicus Brief in WOTUS, Amie Alexander, William H. Bowen School of Law, June 18, 2018

Pennsylvania Notices
Agricultural Advisory Board Meeting Cancellation, the board meeting scheduled for June 28, 2018 has been cancelled; next meeting scheduled for August 16, 2018.

Pennsylvania Legislation
Agriculture and Rural Affairs (H)
SB 2497: An Act providing for amendments to the agricultural land conservation assistance grant program (referred on June 18, 2018)

Local Government (S)
HB 2468: An Act amending Title 26, providing further definitions on limitations for eminent domain of land subject to conservation easement. (first considered June 20, 2018)

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