Food Policy: Glasgow Climate Change Summit Includes Food Systems Initiatives
On November 13, 2021, the United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland concluded. Among the notable agricultural-related developments was the Glasgow Food and Climate Declaration, a declaration seeking all levels of government entities to become signatories and work in various ways towards, among other things, reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from food systems, in acknowledgment of a United Nations’ finding that food systems account for over one-third of global greenhouse gas emissions, and “the creation of resilient livelihoods for farm and food workers.” The city governments of Philadelphia and Pittsburgh are on the short list of six U.S. signatories so far. Also, the U.S. led the adoption by 30 countries and 45 NGOs of the Agricultural Innovation Mission for Climate (AIM4C) initiative, initially raising more than $5 billion ($1 billion from the U.S.) to “accelerate agricultural and food systems innovation in support of climate action.”
Antitrust: Antitrust Review Completed of Kraft Heinz Cheese Lines
On November 10, 2021, the U.S. Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division announced the completion of its review of the French dairy company B.S.A. S.A’s (Lactilis) acquisition of the Kraft Heinz Company’s U.S. natural cheese business and filed a civil antitrust lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. The suit demands, via the proposed pre-negotiated settlement agreement, the divestiture of Kraft Heinz’s Athenos feta cheese brand and its Polly-O ricotta cheese brand to other buyers in order for Lactilis to achieve U.S. antitrust law compliance for the purchase. Lactilis presently owns the President feta and Galbani ricotta cheese brands. Under the settlement, Athenos will be sold to Emmi Roth USA Inc. and Polly-O to Belgioioso Cheese, Inc., or to approved alternative buyers. The proposed settlement will be published in the Federal Register with a 60-day public comment period, after which the D.C. District Court can act.
Food Labeling: Oklahoma Meat Labeling Law Faces New Constitutional Challenges
On November 9, 2021, the Plant Based Foods Association (PBFA) and others filed an amended complaint setting forth completely new constitutional challenges to Oklahoma’s Meat Consumer Protection Act in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma, this time alleging that the law violates the Dormant Commerce Clause (imposing varying labeling standards among states) and the Due Process and Supremacy Clauses (vague standards and federal preemption) of the U.S. Constitution. Plant Based Food Association, et. al v. Stitt, et. al., No. 5:20-cv-00938. Trial has been scheduled in the case for September 13, 2022. The original set of constitutional challenges filed in the case were primarily based upon First Amendment grounds. The District Court previously refused to grant an injunction against that law, ruling that the law’s labeling requirements for plant-based substitute meat products were “justified and not unduly burdensome.” That was appealed to the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals but the plaintiffs chose to later withdraw the appeal and ultimately changed tactics by amending the Complaint and abandoning the First Amendment claims. For more on the law’s requirements and lawsuit’s previous history, see ALWR—Dec. 11, 2020, “Denial of Injunction Against Oklahoma Meat Labeling Law Appealed” and ALWR—May 29, 2020, “Oklahoma Enacts Meat Labeling Law.”
Pesticides/Herbicides: First Federal Fines Levied for Violations of 2020 Dicamba Cancellation Orders
On November 10, 2021, The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that it fined Nutrien Ag Solutions, Inc. $668,100 for applying dicamba-containing products in 2020 in violation of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act and EPA’s dicamba June 3, 2020 registration cancellation order on 27 occasions in “a manner inconsistent with the approved label” and on 33 occasions in Kansas “during periods of high wind speeds in violation of pesticide label requirements.” This is the first known EPA enforcement action related to EPA’s 2020 dicamba registration cancellation order.
COVID-19: Applications Open for Entities to Administer Farm/Food Workers Relief Grant Program
On November 10, 2021, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) announced that it is accepting applications from state agencies, tribal entities and non-profit agricultural worker organizations for the Farm and Food Workers Relief Grant Program. Eligible entities may apply for grants from $5 million to $50 million to reimburse farm and meatpacking workers up to $600 for COVID-19-related expenses. Entities must show their ability to connect with hard-to-reach worker populations and partner with other local organizations to administer payments. The application period closes February 8, 2022. See also ALWR—Sept. 10, 2021, “USDA Announces $700 Million for Farm and Food Worker COVID-19 Relief Grants.”
Invasive Species: 2021 Spotted Lanternfly Supplemental Environmental Assessment Issued
On November 8, 2021, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announced the publication of a supplemental environmental assessment (October 2021) for its Spotted Lanternfly Control Program in the Mid-Atlantic Region, North Carolina, Ohio, and Kentucky. The October 2021 assessment includes the same treatment and precautionary activities as the June 2020 assessment and recommends ground-based mist blowers on railways, train yards, and rail terminals in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia. See also ALWR—Aug. 20, 2021, “APHIS Issues Spotted Lanternfly Draft Supplemental Environmental Assessment.”
Environmental Policy: North American Meat Institute Members Will Develop Greenhouse Gas Reduction Targets by 2030
On November 9, 2021, the North American Meat Institute (NAMI) announced that, by 2030, its members will develop greenhouse gas reduction targets, independently assessed and approved by the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi), in accordance with the Paris Climate Agreement. NAMI further pledged that, by 2030, all its members will report data in NAMI’s sustainability framework and reduce workplace injuries by 50%. By 2025, NAMI stated that it will work with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to “fill the protein gap” and ensure families have access to “high-quality protein” sufficient to meet U.S. nutritional guidelines and declared that all its animal-handling members will qualify their handling and transportation animal care practices through third-party audits. See also ALWR—July 23, 2021, “Trade Groups Form Protein PACT Initiative.”
Organic Agriculture: Organic Organizations Allege Danone’s Horizon Contract Terminations Violate B Corp ‘Declaration of Interdependence’
On November 8, 2021, eleven organic producer and consumer interest groups submitted a complaint to B Lab, the certifier for socially and environmentally responsive “B Corporations,” alleging that Danone North America (Danone N.A.) violated its B Corp Declaration of Interdependence when its Horizon Organic wholly-owned subsidiary decided to terminate contracts with eighty-nine Northeast organic dairy farms. See ALWR—Aug. 27, 2021, “Danone Terminates Horizon Organic Producers.”
CENTER FOR AGRICULTURAL AND SHALE LAW (CASL) PROGRAMS & RESOURCES
Agricultural Law Podcast:
Three-Part Series on Pennsylvania Milk Marketing Board:
- Special Episode #13. Milk Marketing Board—Part 1: Who Is the Board & What Do They Do? (Nov. 15, 2021).
- Special Episode #14. Milk Marketing Board—Part 2: Pricing, Payments, & Contracts (Nov. 15, 2021).
- Special Episode #15. Milk Marketing Board—Part 3: Bonds, Dean Bankruptcy, & Bulk Tank Calibration (Nov. 15, 2021).
Weekly Episode #199. Investors Adequately Alleged Securities Claims Against Bayer’s Monsanto Purchase & Industry Groups Appeal WOTUS Vacatur (Nov. 5, 2021).
Weekly Episode #198. Court Declines to Dismiss Suit to Compel USDA Animal Welfare Regulation & Producer Groups Challenge Chlorpyrifos Revocation (Nov. 2, 2021).
Weekly Episode #197. Biofuel Group Seeks Supreme Court Review of E15 Vacatur & R-CALF Has Standing to Continue Beef Checkoff Challenge (Oct. 15, 2021).
Weekly Episode #196. Supreme Court Petition Challenges California’s Proposition 12 & New Mexico District Court Vacates Navigable Waters Protection Rule (Oct. 5, 2021).
Special Episode #12. Cell Cultured Food Regulations (Nov. 1, 2021).
Special Episode #11. Bioengineered Food & Genetically Modified Salmon (Oct. 1, 2021).
Penn State News, Research, & Resources:
Adding Herbs and Spices to Meals May Help Lower Blood Pressure (Nov. 8, 2021).
Coal Creation Mechanism Uncovered (Nov. 11, 2021).
Agricultural Law/Policy Resources of Interest:
NALC/Micah Brown, Lending for Livestock, Creditor for Crops: When Default Occurs (Nov. 9, 2021).
NALC/Samantha Mikolajczyk, Legal Update on Federal COVID Vaccine Mandates in the Workplace (Nov. 11, 2021).
UMD/Paul Goeringer, Refresher on Right-to-Farm Laws: What Do They Do (Nov. 9, 2021).
Washburn School of Law (KS)/Roger A. McEowen, Considerations When Buying Farmland (Nov. 7, 2021).
Washburn School of Law (KS)/Roger A. McEowen, Self-Employment Taxation of CRP Rents – Part One (Nov. 12, 2021).
Iowa State Extension, How to Grow and Sell Carbon Credits in US Agriculture (Nov. 2021).
Iowa State Extension, How do Data and Payments Flow Through Ag Carbon Programs? (Nov. 2021).
Farmdoc Daily, New and Beginning Farmers (Nov. 3, 2021).
AEI.ag Presents Podcast Series: Corn Saves America: Ep. 2 ”Origin Story” (Nov. 8, 2021).
Texas Corn Producers, Successful Succession Video Series
Civil Eats, What the Meat Industry Can Learn from the Downfall of Belcampo (Nov. 4, 2021).
Progressive Farmer/Ag Policy Blog/Chris Clayton, There’s No Cow Tax in the Build Back Better Bill (Nov. 8, 2021).
Progressive Farmer/Ag Policy Blog/Chris Clayton, U.S. and China, Agree to Reduce Methane at COP 26, Including Ag Incentives (Nov. 11, 2021).
Yale Center for Business and the Environment, Soil Health Policy: Developing Community-Driven State Soil Health Policy and Programs and accompanying press release. (Nov. 2021).
Yale Center for Business and the Environment, Agrivoltaics: Producing Solar Energy While Protecting Farmland (Nov. 2021).
North American Meat Institute, Animal Care & Handling in Small Plants: A seven-part virtual series. This on-demand series is open to all meat industry professionals and stakeholders. Sessions will be available beginning June 23, 2021.
Part 1: A Regulatory Overview of Humane Handling
Part 2: Developing and Maintaining a Robust Animal Welfare Program
Part 3: The ABCs of Animal Handling
Part 3: The ABCs of Animal Handling LIVE Q&A with Temple Grandin (June 23 | 1:00 PM ET)
Part 4: The Humane Handling of High-Risk Animals
Part 5: Stunning and Determining Insensibility and the Use of Firearms
Part 6: Types of Stunning and Stunner Maintenance
Part 7: What to Expect During a Humane Handling Audit
Agriculture-Related Legislative Hearings:
U.S. House Agriculture Committee, Trade Policy and Priorities (Nov. 17, 2021).
U.S. House Agriculture Committee, A Look at the Renewable Economy in Rural America (Nov. 16, 2021).
U.S. Senate Agriculture/Subcommittee on Nutrition, Agricultural Research, and Specialty Crops, The State of Nutrition in America 2021 (recorded Nov. 2, 2021).
U.S. House Agriculture Committee, The Immediate Challenges to our Nation’s Food Supply Chain, video and written testimony (recorded Nov. 3, 2021).
U.S. House Agriculture Committee, Agricultural Biotechnology: 21st Century Advancements and Applications, video and written testimony (recorded Oct. 26, 2021).
U.S. House Select Subcommittee on Coronavirus Crisis, Hybrid Hearing on “How the Meatpacking Industry Failed The Workers Who Feed America” (recorded Oct. 27, 2021).
U.S. House Agriculture Committee, A Hearing to Review the State of the Livestock Industry, video and written testimony (recorded Oct. 7, 2021). Pre- and post-hearing analysis: DTN/Progressive Farmer, Congress Looking Again at Cattle Markets, Comprehensively (Oct. 6, 2021) and Increase Processing to Offset Packers(Oct. 7, 2021).
Weekly Featured Graphics:
Food Print, The FoodPrint of Fake Meat (Nov. 2021).
AGENCY PRESS RELEASES—STATE/FEDERAL
PENNSYLVANIA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE PRESS RELEASES:
Pennsylvania Phasing In Ban Of Invasive Japanese Barberry (Nov. 12, 2021).
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE (USDA) PRESS RELEASES:
U.S. Department of Agriculture Announces Key Staff (Nov. 8, 2021).
USDA AGENCY PRESS RELEASES:
Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS)
USDA Decreases Membership on United Soybean Board (Nov. 8, 2021).
AMS Enforcement Actions
USDA a Consent Decision Against Jeffery L. Gorr, Sr. (Nov. 9, 2021).
USDA Lifts PACA Reparation Sanctions on Texas Produce Business (Nov. 12, 2021).
Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
Food Safety and Inspection Service
Constituent Update—Time-Limited Trial for NSIS Establishments (Nov. 12, 2021).
Foreign Agricultural Service
Private Exporters Report Sales Activity for Colombia (Nov. 8, 2021).
National Agricultural Statistics Service
Producers Still Have Time to Respond to USDA Hemp Survey (Nov. 8, 2021).
National Institute of Food and Agriculture
Natural Resources Conservation Service
PENNSYLVANIA EXECUTIVE AGENCIES (Pa. Bulletin Vol. 51, No. 46—Nov. 13, 2021):
Center for Rural Pennsylvania
51 Pa.B. 7055 Notice: “Public Feedback Invited for Definition of Rural Municipality.”
Department of Conservation and Natural Resources
51 Pa.B. 7057 Notice: “Conservation and Natural Resources Advisory Council Public WebEx Meeting [November 17, 2021].”
Department of Environmental Protection
51 Pa.B. 7057 Notice: “Applications For NPDES and WQM Permits Under The Clean Streams Law And Federal Clean Water Act.
Presented to Governor
SB 725 “An Act amending Title 75 (Vehicles) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, in licensing of drivers, further providing for classes of licenses; and in commercial drivers, further providing for requirement for commercial driver’s license [Clarification of Legislative Intent – Exemption for Farmers from CDL Requirements].” Presented to the Governor (Nov. 8, 2021).
Legislation in Second Chamber
SB 347 “An Act amending . . . the Tax Reform Code of 1971, in personal income tax, further providing for classes of income [Small Business].” Referred to FINANCE [House] (Nov. 10, 2021).
HB 598 “An Act amending . . . ‘An act encouraging landowners to make land and water areas available to the public for recreational purposes by limiting liability in connection therewith, and repealing certain acts,’ . . . . [Limitations of Prescriptive Easements for Public Use].” First consideration [Senate] (Nov. 10, 2021).
House Resolution Adopted
H.Res 148 “A Resolution urging the [EPA] to exercise its authority under . . . the Clean Air Act to revise the nationwide Renewable Fuel Standard (“RFS”) updating volume mandates to provide relief to refiners in Pennsylvania, the East Coast and elsewhere, and to implement additional reforms going forward which will allow for the blending of renewable fuels consistent with the original intention of the RFS program, while containing costs for independent refiners.” Adopted (192-8) [House] (Nov. 8, 2021).
HB 122 “An Act amending Title 75 (Vehicles) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, in registration of vehicles, further providing for vehicles exempt from registration; and, in licensing of drivers, further providing for persons exempt from licensing [Ag Transportation].” Re-committed to APPROPRIATIONS [House] (Nov. 10, 2021).
HB 1307 “An Act amending Title 75 (Vehicles) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, in registration of vehicles, further providing for vehicles exempt from registration [Multipurpose Agricultural Vehicles].” Re-committed to APPROPRIATIONS [House] (Nov. 10, 2021).
HB 637 “An Act authorizing the Department of Environmental Protection to conduct a public comment process on and submit to the General Assembly a measure or action intended to abate, control or limit carbon dioxide emissions by imposing a revenue-generating tax or fee on carbon dioxide emissions.” Laid on the table [House] (Nov. 10, 2021).
SB 337 “An Act amending Title 34 (Game) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, in enforcement, further providing for jurisdiction and penalties; and, in game or wildlife protection, further providing for the offense of unlawful taking and possession of protected birds and for endangered or threatened species [Increased Penalty for Killing Bald or Golden Eagles].” Second consideration [Senate] (Nov. 10, 2021).
SB 450 “An Act amending . . . the Rural Pennsylvania Revitalization Act, in center for rural Pennsylvania, further providing for board of directors.” First consideration [Senate] (Nov. 10, 2021).
SB 525 “An Act amending Title 27 (Environmental Resources) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, in environmental stewardship and watershed protection, further providing for legislative findings, for fund and for agencies.” Re-referred to APPROPRIATIONS [Senate] (Nov. 10, 2021).
SB 832 “An Act amending Titles 3 (Agriculture) and 27 (Environmental Resources) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, in Conservation Excellence Grant Program, further providing for criteria for evaluation of applications; providing for nonpoint source pollution reduction and establishing the Agriculture Conservation Assistance Program, the Pennsylvania Clean Water Procurement Program and the Municipal Storm Water Assistance Program.” Re-referred to APPROPRIATIONS [Senate] (Nov. 10, 2021).
FEDERAL EXECUTIVE AGENCIES (Federal Register Nov. 8–12, 2021):
Agricultural Marketing Service
86 FR 61668 Final Rule: “Soybean Promotion and Research: Adjusting Representation on the United Soybean Board” (Nov. 8, 2021).
86 FR 61718 Proposed Rule—Comment Period: “Onions Grown in South Texas and Imported Onions; Termination of Marketing Order 959 and Change in Import Requirements” (Nov. 8, 2021).
86 FR 61750 Notice: “Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request [Agricultural Research Service: Meeting the Information Requirements of the Animal Welfare Act Workshop Registration Form]” (Nov. 8, 2021).
86 FR 61750 Notice: “Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request [Forest Service: Storage and Use of Explosives and Magazine Security on National Forest System Lands Under a Special Use Authorization]” (Nov. 8, 2021).
86 FR 62141 Notice: “Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request [Rural Business-Cooperative Service: Business and Industry Loan Program]” (Nov. 9, 2021).
86 FR 62141 Notice: “Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request [National Agricultural Statistics Service: Conservation Practice Adoption Motivations Survey]” (Nov. 9, 2021).
86 FR 62144 Notice: “Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request [Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service: Movement of Plants and Plant Products from Hawaii and the Territories]” (Nov. 9, 2021).
Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
86 FR 61751 Notice: “Notice of Decision To Revise Requirements for the Importation of Fresh Melon Fruit From Japan Into the United States” (Nov. 8, 2021).
86 FR 62465 Rule: “Notification of Decision To Authorize the Importation of Pummelo From Thailand Into the Continental United States” (Nov. 10, 2021).
86 FR 61730 Proposed Rule: “Deadline Extension for Regional Roundtable Discussions Regarding ‘Waters of the United States’” (Nov. 8, 2021).
Farm Credit Administration
86 FR 62530 Notice: “Sunshine Act Meetings [November 18, 2021]” (Nov. 10, 2021).
Fish and Wildlife Service
86 FR 61745 Proposed Rule—Comment Period: “Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Designation of Critical Habitat for the Miami Tiger Beetle” (Nov. 8, 2021).
86 FR 61775 Notice—Comment Period: “Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Draft Recovery Plan for Desert Yellowhead” (Nov. 8, 2021).
86 FR 61778 Notice—Comment Period: “Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Initiation of 5-Year Reviews of Eight Northeastern Species” (Nov. 8, 2021).
86 FR 62434 Proposed Rule—Comment Period: “Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Threatened Species Status With Section 4(d) Rule for Alligator Snapping Turtle” (Nov. 9, 2021).
86 FR 62122 Proposed Rule—Comment Period: “Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Threatened Species Status With Section 4(d) Rule for Egyptian Tortoise” (Nov. 9, 2021).
86 FR 62606 Final Rule: “Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Revised Designation of Critical Habitat for the Northern Spotted Owl” (Nov. 10, 2021).
86 FR 62503 Proposed Rule: “Wild Bird Conservation Act of 1992; 90-Day Rulings on Petitions To Add Cactus Conure and Lineolated Parakeet (Green Form) to the Approved List for Captive-Bred Species” (Nov. 10, 2021).
86 FR 62668 Proposed Rule—Comment Period: “Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Threatened Species Status With a Section 4(d) Rule for Bracted Twistflower and Designation of Critical Habitat” (Nov. 10, 2021).
Food and Drug Administration
86 FR 62178 Notice—Comment Period: “Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Comment Request; Antimicrobial Animal Drug Distribution Reports and Recordkeeping” (Nov. 9, 2021).
Food and Nutrition Service
86 FR 61752 Notice—Comment Period: “Request for Information: Center for WIC Modernization and Delivery” (Nov. 8, 2021).
86 FR 62773 Notice—Comment Period: “Agency Information Collection Activities: Federal-State Supplemental Nutrition Programs Agreement (Form FNS-339)” (Nov. 12, 2021).
86 FR 62772 Notice: “Additional Information To Be Collected Under the Uniform Grant Application Package for Discretionary Grant Programs for the WIC Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program Benefit Delivery Modernization (FMNP BDM) Grants” (Nov. 12, 2021).
Food Safety and Inspection Service
86 FR 62770 Notice—Comment Period: “Notice of Request To Revise an Approved Information Collection: Laboratories” (Nov. 12, 2021).
86 FR 62771 Notice—Comment Period: “Notice of Request To Revise an Approved Information Collection: Records To Be Kept by Official Establishments and Retail Stores That Grind Raw Beef Products” (Nov. 12, 2021).
86 FR 62775 Notice—Comment Period: “Information Collection: Post-Hurricane Research and Assessment of Agriculture, Forestry, and Rural Communities in the U.S. Caribbean” (Nov. 12, 2021).
86 FR 62199 Notice: “2021 Draft List of Critical Minerals” (Nov. 9, 2021).
Susquehanna River Basin Commission
86 FR 62593 Notice: “Public Hearing [December 2, 2021]” (Nov. 10, 2021).
86 FR 62867 Notice: “Grandfathering (GF) Registration Notice October 1-31, 2021]” (Nov. 12, 2021).
86 FR 62867 Notice: “Commission Meeting [December 17, 2021]” (Nov. 12, 2021).
86 FR 62866 “Projects Approved for Consumptive Uses of Water” (Nov. 12, 2021).
U.S. HOUSE AGRICULTURE COMMITTEE:
H.R.3000 “Inspire to Serve Act of 2021.” Referred to the Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet (Nov. 9, 2021).
U.S. SENATE COMMITTEE AGRICULTURE, NUTRITION, AND FORESTRY:
No new actions Nov. 8–12, 2021.
Top #AgLaw HotLinks Nov. 8–12, 2021
Signs of Easing Chinese Demand, a Variable in Soy, Corn Availability, Univ. of Ill. Farm Policy News
JBS Ins Feed Additive Deal to Cut Cow Methane Emissions Globally, Food Navigator
Rising Fertilizer Prices to Affect Brazil’s Largest Corn Crop, Univ. of Ill. Farmdoc Daily
Rabobank: Pork Production Outpaces Demand, Prices Sink, Supermarket Perimeter
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Audry Thompson—Research Assistant
Brook Duer—Staff Attorney