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Memo Contradicts Ross’s Rationale for Adding Citizenship Question to Census

The U.S. government’s decennial attempt to count every human being within its borders might seem like one of Uncle Sam’s most anodyne activities. But when those overseeing the count belong to a political movement that explicitly regards demographic change as its enemy — and disenfranchising Democratic constituencies as fair game — the Census can begin to resemble an ominous enterprise. Census data shapes the contours of political districts, and determines each state’s clout in the Electoral College.

Farm bill hurts ability of communities to protect health, environment of citizens

As city mayors, we are deeply troubled that Congress is considering taking away our right to home rule. In House and Senate negotiations last week, legislators considered Section 9101 of the federal Farm Bill that would rescind the right of our communities and their elected officials to restrict hazardous pesticides. During the past two years, our neighboring cities passed landmark legislation to restrict pesticides, require organic land care and protect public health. We believe federal preemption of our authority is undemocratic and contrary to our country’s founding principles.

Cybersecurity: ‘We cannot rely on Washington to keep us safe’

The leader of Connecticut’s cybersecurity efforts said Tuesday that Washington, with a deeply polarized Congress and faction-riven White House, has abrogated its role in defending the nation’s electrical grid, natural gas system and public water supplies against hackers who are growing bolder, more numerous and more sophisticated. “I’m often asked in my job, ‘Are we safe from a cyber attack?’ And the answer, of course, is no,” said Arthur H. House, the state’s chief cybersecurity risk officer. “We’re not safe. No one’s safe.

NASDA Debuts Model Preventive Controls for Animal Food Framework

The National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) is pleased to announce the debut of their Model Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Preventive Controls for Animal Food Implementation Framework. The document contains the fundamental and essential components for the operation of a state animal food safety program that can fully implement the FDA’s Current Good Manufacturing Practice, Hazard Analysis, and Risk-based Preventive Control for Animal Food regulation.

Trump's dairy dilemma

The Trump administration wants any NAFTA 2.0 deal involving Canada to feature major concessions on dairy from America’s northern neighbor. The dairy standoff is one of the most challenging issues facing trade negotiators in each country because of political considerations on both sides of the border. Trudeau’s Liberal Party is vying to maintain its supporters in Ontario and Quebec, where the country’s powerful dairy industry is concentrated and provincial elections are approaching.

Major U.S. trade groups link up in anti-tariff coalition

As the Trump administration readies major trade actions this month, including a potential $200 billion in new tariffs on imported Chinese goods, America's biggest trade associations -- representing a wide swath of industries -- have formed what they say will be a sweeping campaign against tariffs. Americans for Free Trade, a group of more than 80 associations, said it represents thousands of businesses and workers.

Fed survey finds concerns about rising trade tensions

The Federal Reserve reported  that its latest survey of business conditions nationwide found rising concerns over the impact Trump administration trade policies could have on the economy. The Fed’s 12 regional banks said the economy is growing at a moderate pace although three districts — Philadelphia, St. Louis and Kansas City — depicted activity as somewhat below average.While businesses remained optimistic about near-term prospects, the Fed found worries about trade had prompted some businesses to scale back or postpone their capital investment plans.

CSP zeroed out in House Farm Bill

The Conservation Stewardship Program provides a 4 to 1 return on investment. The House version of the farm bill would eliminate the program.Eliminating a USDA program that helps farmers increase yields while protecting the environment would cost taxpayers billions of dollars in economic and ecological benefits, according to a study by conservation-minded scientists.  The Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP), which currently helps U.S. landowners manage 72 million acres of agricultural land, is zeroed out in the House version of the farm bill.

UK to replace EU farm subsidies with 7-year transition scheme

The UK government plans to introduce a seven-year transition period for farmers’ funding from 2021, during which direct payments from the state will be reduced and tied more closely to delivering environmental and other “public” goods. The Environmental Land Management scheme will replace EU basic farm payments, which are based on the amount of land farmed, under which farmers who provide the greatest environmental benefit will receive the largest amount of public money.

FDA Announces Fees for the Accredited Third-Party Certification Program

The Food and Drug Administration is announcing the user fees for Fiscal Year 2019 for accreditation bodies seeking recognition, as well as annual fees for recognized accreditation bodies and accredited certification bodies participating in the Accredited Third-Party Certification Program.

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