Tag Archives: USDA

USDA, EPA, and FDA Aim to Reduce Food Waste Through New Partnership with the Food Waste Reduction Alliance

As previously covered on this blog, food waste is a major issue in the United States. Government estimates indicate that Americans waste between 30 and 40 percent of the overall food supply on an annual basis. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), consumers are responsible for nearly 90 billion pounds of food waste … Continue Reading

USDA Establishes Domestic Hemp Production Act

On October 29, the USDA announced the establishment of the U.S. Domestic Hemp Production Program. As our readers know, the 2018 Farm Bill removed hemp from the Controlled Substances Act and assigned regulation of hemp production to the states with oversight by USDA. The Domestic Hemp Production Program creates a consistent regulatory framework around hemp production throughout the … Continue Reading

States Await USDA Hemp Regulations

As our readers know, the 2018 Farm Bill removed hemp from the Controlled Substances Act and assigned regulation of hemp production to the states with oversight by USDA. The spring Unified Agenda, released in May 2019, indicated that the hemp production rule was to be released as an interim final rule in August. USDA previously … Continue Reading

USDA Announces Renewal of Substance Exemptions in the National Organic Program

As previously discussed on this blog, there is a National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (the “National List”) for synthetic and nonsynthetic nonagricultural (nonorganic) substances that may be used in organic handling, and nonsynthetic substances prohibited from use in organic farming under the National Organic Program (NOP) administered by the United Stated Department of … Continue Reading

Pork Workers Union Sues USDA Over New Swine Slaughter Inspection System

The United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) International Union, together with Public Citizen Litigation Group, filed a federal lawsuit to stop the USDA’s new swine slaughter modernization rule that eliminates line speed limits in pork slaughter plants, and ultimately gives inspection responsibility to the slaughter plants instead of USDA inspectors.  As we have previously covered … Continue Reading

USDA Set to Unveil New Rule Combating Fraudulently Labeled “Organic” Products (Subscription to IEG Policy Required)

On September 13, deputy administrator of USDA’s National Organics Program (NOP), Jennifer Tucker, announced at the Natural Products Expo East in Baltimore, Maryland that the agency will soon release its new organic enforcement rule with the goal of protecting consumers from food products fraudulently labeled as “organic.” The new rule, which Tucker asserted would have … Continue Reading

FSIS Constituent Update on Availability of Food Defense Resources and Upcoming FDA Webinar on the Updated Food Defense Plan Builder

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) work jointly and with other federal agencies, as well as state, local, and tribal government agencies to develop and implement food defense strategies.  Food defense is the protection of food products from intentional contamination or adulteration intended to harm the public … Continue Reading

USDA Releases Additional FAQs on Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard

USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), which promulgated the National Bioengineered (BE) Food Disclosure Standard, has announced additional responses to its Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).   A total of five new FAQs have been published, one of which confirms that BE labeling information need not be provided online or in catalogs (i.e., disclosure on the label itself is … Continue Reading

USDA Publishes Final Rule to “Modernize” Pork Inspection

As we have previously covered on this blog, on February 1, 2018, FSIS put forward a proposed rule to establish a voluntary, opt-in inspection system for market hog slaughter establishments, called the New Swine Slaughter Inspection System (NSIS). The proposal had received pushback from consumer groups and several media outlets, with FSIS defending its proposal … Continue Reading

USDA’s Proposal to Close SNAP Automatic Eligibility “Loophole” Faces Pushback from U.S. Mayors

On July 24, 2019, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service (FSN) published a proposed rule, “Revision of Categorial Eligibility in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)” aiming to close what it calls an automatic eligibility “loophole” in the program. As background, the law authorizing SNAP includes specific income and asset standards … Continue Reading

Flies Are a Potential E. Coli Vector in Leafy Green Illness Outbreaks

Researchers with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service have isolated Escherichia (E.) coli O157:H7 from a variety of pest flies in leafy green fields planted up to 180 meters away from cattle feedlots.  Among most fly species captured on sticky traps at leafy green farms, 22.3-29 flies per 1,000 flies carried E. coli O157:H7. … Continue Reading

FDA Holds Ground in Challenge over GE Animal Regulatory Authority

As previously reported on this blog, on June 11, the President issued Executive Order Modernizing the Regulatory Framework for Agricultural Biotechnology Products, ensuring coordination across federal regulatory agencies for biotechnology products. Referring to gene-edited crops and animals, the executive order told regulators to use their existing powers “to exempt low-risk products of agriculture biotechnology from … Continue Reading

President Trump Issues Executive Order to Streamline Regulation of Genetically Modified Food

On June 11, President Trump issued an Executive Order Modernizing the Regulatory Framework for Agricultural Biotechnology Products.  The purpose of the Executive Order (EO) is to employ a science-based regulatory system that evaluates products based on human health and safety and potential benefits and risks to the environment with an ultimate goal of facilitating innovation, … Continue Reading

USDA Removes Standard for “Jambalaya”

On May 29, 2019, the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced in a letter that it will remove the entry for Jambalaya from the Food Standards and Labeling Policy Book (Policy Book).  The change came in response to a 2013 petition from Zatarain’s, a Louisiana-based food company owned by McCormick & Company, Inc., … Continue Reading

Looking Ahead: Proposed Regulatory Actions by FDA and USDA in the Fall 2018 Unified Agenda

The Executive Office of the President recently released the Spring 2019 Unified Agenda. As we described in our post for the release of the Fall 2018 Unified Agenda, twice a year, federal agencies publish this comprehensive report describing regulations currently under development or recently completed. The agenda provides stakeholders with a preview of agencies’ top … Continue Reading

USDA Updates FAQs Regarding BE Labeling

As previously reported on this blog earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) posted Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and responses for manufacturers concerning its bioengineered (BE) food labeling rule (formally known as the National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard (NBFDS)). We pointed out in that blog that the FAQs were not … Continue Reading

USDA Posts FAQ regarding BE Labeling and Promises Future Guidance

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) has issued an FAQ for manufacturers concerning its bioengineered (BE) food labeling rule (formally known as the National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard (NBFDS)).  The final rule was issued in December 2018 and does not come into effect for several years, but questions are being raised by industry regarding … Continue Reading

USDA Amends National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances for Organic Handling or Production

The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is responsible for maintaining the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (the “National List”) for organic handling and production as part of the National Organic Program (NOP) under the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990 (OFPA; Public Law 101-624, Nov. 28, 1990).  The … Continue Reading

CSPI Calls for National Registry of Gene-Edited Agricultural Crops

Criticizing the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for lack of oversight over foods produced with gene editing technology (e.g., Zinc Finger Nucleases, TALENS, or CRISPR/Cas 9), the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) is calling for a federal registry of all gene-edited agricultural crops. CSPI is not … Continue Reading

Proposed Legislation Would Lock-In USDA’s Oversight of Cell-Based Meat

As we previously reported, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have issued a “Formal Agreement Between FDA and USDA Regarding Oversight of Human Food Produced Using Animal Cell Technology Derived from Cell Lines of USDA-amenable Species” (the press release can be … Continue Reading

USDA Pushes Back Against Washington Post Over New Swine Slaughter Inspection System

On February 1, 2018, FSIS put forward a proposed rule to establish a voluntary, opt-in inspection system for market hog slaughter establishments, called the New Swine Slaughter Inspection System (NSIS). Under the proposed rule, hog slaughter plants may voluntarily join a new inspection system whereby establishment personnel would be responsible for sorting and removing unfit … Continue Reading
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