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Food Policy

Food Policy

Set Alert for Food Policy

Day ahead – May 22, 2020: US-China Phase One agreement, RFS waivers, plant-based seafood

National Economic Council (NEC) Director Larry Kudlow said China is complying with the terms of the Phase One US-China trade agreement despite it importing US goods at a slower pace than originally hoped for. Meanwhile, a group of oil-state lawmakers pressed EPA to grant Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) waiver requests from a slew of state governors and several Hollywood celebrities have invested in a plant-based seafood company.

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Day ahead – May 21, 2020: State food supply chain aid, Iowa meat plant agreement, California property tax initiative

Lawmakers in the House and Senate introduced bipartisan legislation that would provide $1 billion in funding to support state food supply chain efforts. Meanwhile, Iowa reached a Cooperative Interstate Shipment (CIS) agreement with USDA for state-inspected meat plants and Western Growers voiced its opposition to a California property tax ballot initiative.

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Biden talks agriculture, hits COVID-19 response during Wisconsin roundtable

More federal leadership on COVID-19 food supply chain issues and relief programs to support farmers and small businesses were among the actions called for by Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden (Del.) in a virtual roundtable today (May 20) hosted by Rep. Ron Kind (D-Wis.). 

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Nutrition Programmes

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Day ahead – May 20, 2020: COVID-19 border closures, EPA guidance rule, Biden on food supply, school nutrition survey

Non-essential travel restrictions will be extended another month along the US borders with Mexico and Canada, the Department of Homeland Security announced. Meanwhile, EPA released a proposed rule meant to limit the agency from issuing guidance, Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden said the US food supply chain suffering from a lack of leadership but not food and a survey of school nutrition professionals revealed concerns about major financial losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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House Ag lawmakers eye expansion of state ‘farm to food bank’ programs

Support for more state “farm to food bank” projects under The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) due to rising food security concerns and the disposal of surplus ag commodities linked to the COVID-19 pandemic is the goal of legislation offered by three House Ag Committee leaders.

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Day ahead – May 6, 2020: CFAP rule sent to OMB, local food aid, ERS & NIFA staffing, humane livestock depopulation methods

USDA sent its final rule for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and the department’s Section 32 food purchase announcement drew praise from the National Potato Council (NPC). Meanwhile, House Democrats continue to press USDA over aid to small and mid-sized farmers, a new Congressional Research Service (CRS) said two USDA research agencies are operating at just 33% staffing and a group of lawmakers urged the department to ensure the use of humane euthanization methods for the depopulation of food animals.

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Food Safety & Standards

Set Alert for Food Safety and Standards

FDA and USDA sign MOU to allow USDA to exercise DPA authority in FDA-regulated facilities

In the latest move to shield the food supply chain from impact caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, USDA and FDA announced Tuesday (May 19) the two agencies have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) outlining a process to prevent interruptions at FDA-regulated food facilities, including fruit and vegetable processing plants.

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Grain and feed industries wary of USDA biotech crop rule

US grain exporters are worried USDA’s new rule for regulating biotech crops lacks transparency and could lead to trade disruptions.

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Day ahead – May 18, 2020: COVID-19 relief bill, White House task force, meat plant liability bill, ERS/NIFA lawsuit, FDA guidance

The House cleared a fourth COVID-19 aid package Friday (May 15). Meanwhile, USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue was appointed to the White House coronavirus taskforce, House Republicans introduced a bill that would provide meat processing plants liability protection from coronavirus claims, USDA was hit with a lawsuit seeking documents on the relocation of two research agencies and FDA issued guidance on sanitizing food transport vehicles that have been used to carry human remains.

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