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The Facts About Food Stamp Fraud

There's too much misinformation about the U.S. government's food stamp scheme. So after some investigation, here are some facts about the benefit, also known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).The takeaway is that food stamp fraud ballooned during the four years through 2016 but that it still represents a tiny percentage of the program. How much did fraud grow? It jumped to $592.7 million in 2016, up a staggering 61% from $367.1 million in 2012, according to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

First Amendment: Skim Milk Labeling Leads Maryland Dairy to Sue FDA

A Maryland dairy farm with its own milk bottling business is suing the U.S. Food and Drug Administration over the labeling of skim milk and if it violates the First Amendment. A lawsuit was filed by the non-profit group the Institute for Justice with Randy and Karen Sowers, owners of South Mountain Creamery near Frederick, Maryland, on April 5 against the FDA. At issue is South Mountain Creamery’s labeling of skim milk. The dairy milks 550 cows and bottles milk on-farm selling to about 5,000 customers.

EU moves to ban sale of lower-quality branded food in eastern Europe

Brussels wants to make it illegal for food and drink multinationals to sell inferior versions of well-known brands to customers in eastern Europe, after studies suggested hundreds of products were involved in the practice. An EU directive banning so-called “dual food” was announced on Wednesday following longstanding complaints from member states in central and eastern Europe. Coca-Cola, Pepsi, HiPP baby food, Birds Eye, Lidl and Spar have denied accusations of selling lower quality goods in the east bearing identical branding to products sold in western Europe.

AG Jeff Sessions halts free legal assistance program for detained immigrants

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has suspended a free legal assistance program for detained immigrants who need  basic advice as their cases wind their way through court. "Every day this program is not in operation puts family unity at risk, harms our communities, and infringes on the right of all people to make informed decisions about their legal claims," the Vera Institute said in a statement Wednesday.

US manufacturers seek relief from steel and aluminum tariffs

Rising costs. Delayed shipments. A baffling bureaucracy. President Donald Trump's tariffs on imported aluminum and steel are disrupting business for American companies that buy those metals, and many are pressing for relief.Hundreds of companies are asking the Commerce Department to exempt them from the 25 percent steel tariff and the 10 percent aluminum tariff.Other companies are weighing their options. Jody Fledderman, CEO of Batesville Tool & Die in Indiana, says American steelmakers have already raised their prices since Trump's tariffs were announced last month.

SCOTUS nixes part of law requiring deportation of immigrants convicted of some crimes

The Supreme Court on Tuesday invalidated a provision of federal law that requires the mandatory deportation of immigrants who have been convicted of some "crimes of violence," holding that the law is unconstitutionally vague.The case, Sessions v. Dimaya, had originated during the Obama administration but had been closely watched to see if the justices would reveal how they will consider the Trump administration's overall push to both limit immigration and increase deportations.

Farm Bill Ties Food Stamps to Work, Adjusts Farm Aid

The House Agriculture Committee released its 2018 farm bill Thursday with proposals to reshape the nation’s largest domestic food aid program, consolidate conservation efforts and tweak farm aid. The bill arrives amid controversy over its focus on shifting funding within the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as food stamps, into work and training programs. It does not have the support of Democrats, who worry that some states could use the tougher work requirements in the bill to push thousands out of the program by making it difficult to meet the terms.

Trump tweet appears to back away from rejoining TPP

President Donald Trump this week appeared to extinguish the glimmer of hope he offered U.S. farmers last week over rejoining the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade treaty. After meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Florida, Trump suggested there was one area where they would have to agree to disagree: the TPP, which Trump pulled the U.S.

Schumer asks Trump to make NY dairy part of NAFTA talks with Canada

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer asked President Donald Trump's administration on Monday to make dairy trade with Canada a priority in any effort to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA. Schumer, D-N.Y., visited Cayuga Milk Ingredients in Aurelius, Cayuga County, to draw attention to how Canadian trade practices have affected the $101 million milk processing plant that opened in 2014.

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