Skip to content Skip to navigation


United States Issues First-Ever WTO Counter Notification Against India’s Market Price Support

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced that the United States submitted a counter notification in the World Trade Organization (WTO) Committee on Agriculture (COA) on India’s market price support (MPS) for wheat and rice. Filed on May 4, 2018, this is the first ever COA notification under the WTO Agreement on Agriculture regarding another country’s measures. Based on U.S. calculations, it appears that India has substantially underreported its market price support for wheat and rice.

SNAP is a boon to urban and rural economies

In case you missed it, Congress is in the midst of a pretty major food fight. At the center of it is the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which is the first line of defense against hunger for more than 21 million American households.  Going forward, however, an estimated 2 million people stand to lose SNAP benefits if the farm bill proposal passed by the House Agriculture Committee last month becomes law. The bill’s draconian work requirementsand eligibility changes threaten to upend the lives of some of the nation’s most vulnerable individuals and families.

Ag budget bill would give USDA jurisdiction over lab-grown 'meat'

As meat substitute products that use new technologies proliferate and the debate over what is and is not meat heats up, Congress jumped into the fray last week with a paragraph in its proposed USDA budget that would give the agency jurisdiction over products made in labs from animal cells.

FSIS boosts outreach to small, very small plants

USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is launching an initiative to prioritize outreach to small and very small establishments in each of the 10 districts throughout the country, enhancing its existing outreach resources, the agency said in its Constituent Update newsletter. More than 90% of the approximately 6,000 plants inspected by FSIS are considered small or very small. Outreach to these businesses is critically important — ensuring they have the tools, guidance, and resources needed to comply with FSIS regulations and deliver products that are safe and wholesome.

Bipartisan bill seeks to expand meat movement across state lines

Three U.S. senators have launched a legislative effort designed to allow meat and poultry products already inspected by state programs to be sold across state lines, which currently is prohibited. The bill introduced by U.S. Sens. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) and Angus King (I-Maine) would open the door for products that are processed in 27 states to be sold in other nearby states and open up new markets to producers.

The New GMO Labeling Proposal

Last week, the USDA finally released its proposed rule outlining the ways in which it may implement the National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard.    Here, I want to point out a few things that were news (at least to me) in the proposed rule.One of the controversial facets of the original bill was that it allowed for disclosure of genetically engineered ingredients via a QR code (this is an issue we have researched - e.g., see here).

Farm Bill Could Undo Part Of The Affordable Care Act

Although the GOP repeal-and-replace mantra seems to have quieted, some Republican lawmakers continue efforts to get around the sweeping federal health law's requirements. Sometimes that happens in surprising places. Like the farm bill.Tucked deep inside the House version of the massive bill — amid crop subsidies and food assistance programs — is a provision that supporters say could help provide farmers with cheaper (and likely less comprehensive) health insurance than plans offered through the Affordable Care Act.

The 2018 Farm Bill, Agricultural Research, and Implications for Global Food Security

This year Congress is expected to pass a piece of legislation that deeply affects the lives of all Americans and determines the strategic positioning of the United States in global agriculture for the next five years. The Farm Bill influences the food we eat, how we grow it, and the lives of the farmers who do so. Funding for agricultural research and development (R&D) only makes up a tiny sliver of the Farm Bill’s budget—about 0.2 percent in the 2014 bill—but it has profound consequences for U.S. agricultural competitiveness and global food security.


Subscribe to RSS - Federal