Thursday, August 16, 2018

Agricultural Law Weekly Review - August 16, 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.

Pesticides: Court of Appeals Orders EPA to Revoke Tolerance for Chlorpyrifos
On August 9, 2018, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit vacated the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) order maintaining a tolerance for the pesticide chlorpyrifos.  EPA’s 2017 order found that there was “significant uncertainty” regarding the health effects of chlorpyrifos.  According to the court, this conflicts with requirements under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FDCA).  With regard to a pesticide tolerance, FDCA uses the term ‘safe’ when the EPA Administrator “has determined that there is a reasonable certainty that no harm will result from aggregate exposure to the pesticide chemical residue” (21 U.S.C. § 346a(b)(2)(A)(ii)). The Appeals Court remanded the case to EPA and directed them to revoke all tolerances and cancel registrations for chlorpyrifos.

Dairy Policy: Department of Agriculture Announces New Dairy Insurance Plan
On August 8, 2018, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Risk Management Agency announced a new revenue protection insurance plan for dairy producers. The insurance plan will insure dairy producers against unexpected declines in quarterly milk sales. The plan will cover 70 to 95 percent of revenue and will insure the difference between the final revenue guarantee and actual milk revenue. Producers will be able to sign up for new program on October 9, 2018, and coverage will begin in the first quarter of 2019.

Pesticide: California Jury Awards $289 Million to Plaintiff for Injuries Resulting from Glyphosate Exposure
On August 10, 2018, a jury in the Superior Court of the State of California for San Francisco produced a verdict awarding $289 million to a plaintiff in a lawsuit against Monsanto.  The plaintiff, Dewayne Johnson, claimed that the herbicide glyphosate in Monsanto’s Roundup caused him to have cancer. The plaintiff worked as a groundskeeper for a school district and applied Roundup to the school grounds. The plaintiff had direct contact with the herbicide and was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma at age 42.

Raw Milk: Comments Requested for Proposed Regulation of Raw Milk Cheese in Pennsylvania
On August 10, 2018, the Pennsylvania Secretary of Agriculture Russell Redding, published a press release requesting comment on a proposed regulation for raw milk cheese.  The purpose of the regulation is to align Pennsylvania’s standards for raw milk with federal standards. Current Pennsylvania regulations only allow 9 standardized cheeses to be produced from raw milk, whereas 57 types of cheese may be produced under the Food and Drug Administration regulations. In Pennsylvania, there are 90 manufacturers who produce cheese from raw milk and the Department of Agriculture expects this number to grow if the regulation is approved.  The proposed regulation was published on August 4th and the comment period will close September 4, 2018.

From National Ag Law Experts:
Tiffany Dowell Lashmet, 2018 NASS US and State Cash Rent Survey Results Published, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension (August 15, 2018).

Dr. Steve Suppan, Regulate New GE Techniques?, Institute for Agriculture & Trade Policy (August 8, 2018)

Kristine A. Tidgren, Highlights from 199A Proposed Regulations, The Ag Docket (August 13, 2018).

Pennsylvania Notices
Senate Bill 1227, provides for resident fishing licenses, referred to Game and Fisheries (August 9, 2018)

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