Food Labeling: Iowa Passes Law Prohibiting Meat Terms on ‘Manufactured-Protein’ Products, Requires Schools to ‘Prevent Purchase’ 🌾
On May 15, 2024, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds signed into law SF 2391, titled “an Act prohibiting the misbranding of certain food products, and providing penalties.” The law defines “cultivated-protein food product,” “insect-protein food product,” “plant-protein food product” and “fabricated egg product” as “manufactured-protein food products” and provides that such products are misbranded if labeled with an “identifying meat term” or “identifying egg term” unless the label also contains, “in close proximity to [the] identifying . . . term,” a “conspicuous and prominent qualifying term” such as “cell-cultured,” “insect-based,” “plant-based,” or “egg-free.” The law prohibits the sale of “food products” misbranded as meat or egg products and “requires the [state] . . . to inspect a food processing plant or grocery store for compliance based on a credible complaint that food products are misbranded.” Additionally, the law requires Iowa educational institutions to “establish policies to prevent the purchase of” food products misbranded as meat or egg products and requires the state’s department of health and human services “to request a waiver or other exception to exclude the purchase of cultivated-protein food products and fabricated-egg products from eligibility under the federal nutrition program in the State.” The law provides for a civil penalty up to $10,000 per day for a food processing plant’s violation. According to the law’s fiscal note, it’s “fiscal impact . . . cannot be estimated at this time.” The new law becomes effective July 1, 2024. See also the Center’s Meat Labeling Law Issue Tracker.

Biotechnology: Alabama Passes Law Prohibiting Sale, Manufacture of Cultivated Meat
On May 7, 2024, Alabama Governor Kay Ivey signed into law SB23, which defines “cultivated food product” as “any food product produced from cultured animal cells” and prohibits the “manufacture . . . sale, or distribut[ion] [of] any cultivated food product in th[e] state.” The law establishes a violation as a Class C misdemeanor punishable by a fine up to $500 or imprisonment up to 90 days (Ala. Code § 13A-5-7; § 13A-5-12) and allows for permit suspension of both a “food sales establishment” and “food establishment” “upon the conviction of an owner or an employee of the establishment for a violation.” However, the law does not “prevent[] any federal, state, or local governmental entity or institution of higher education . . . from conducting research . . . regarding the production of cultivated food products.” The law becomes effective October 1, 2024. See also the Center’s Cell-Cultured Food Regulations Issue Tracker.

Water Quality: Maryland Passes Clean Water Justice Act, Allows State Claims for Wetlands with Non-Continuous Surface Water Connection
On May 9, 2024, Maryland Governor Wes Moore signed into law HB1101 (Ch. 535), cross-filed with SB 653 (Ch. 536) and titled the “Clean Water Justice Act of 2024.” The law confers federal standing requirements upon individuals (and other entities) and allows them to “bring a civil action on . . . [their] own behalf against any person or governmental entity political subdivision . . . alleged to have violated . . . any standard,” defined as “any requirement . . . or condition established by [law] . . . related to” ephemeral streams, intermittent streams, or “nontidal wetlands that do not have a continuous surface connection to surface water”—waters which were removed from federal Clean Water Act jurisdiction under Sackett v. EPA. The law allows a “prevailing” or “substantially prevailing” plaintiff to collect “reasonable attorney’s fees, court costs, and expert witness fees,” but also allows a “substantially prevailing defendant” to collect such costs “if the plaintiff’s claim was frivolous, unreasonable, or groundless.” Under the law, a plaintiff must provide a defendant 60 days notice of the defendant’s alleged water violation and may not bring suit “if the Secretary has commenced and is diligently prosecuting a civil action or a consent order is entered.” The law becomes effective October 1, 2024.

Agricultural Labor: DOL Ratifies 2023 H-2A Adverse Effect Wage Rate Final Rule Methodology
On May 8, 2024, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) Employment and Training Administration (ETA) published in the Federal Register a notice (89 FR 38838) of the DOL-ETA Assistant Secretary José Javier Rodríguez’s ratification of the 2023 final rule titled “Adverse Effect Wage Rate Methodology for the Temporary Employment of H-2A Nonimmigrants in the Non-Range Occupations in the United States” (88 FR 12760). DOL states that, due to “any possible uncertainty” arising from the litigation the final rule has faced in the past year, “[t]he Department is issuing this ratification out of an abundance of caution, and this ratification is not a statement that the Final Rule is invalid absent this ratification.” For background see ALWR—Mar. 13, 2023 , “DOL Publishes 2024 H-2A Adverse Effect Wage Rates.” See also the Center’s H-2A Program Issue Tracker.

Agricultural Labor: DOL Prioritizing Heat Inspections for H-2A Employers, Will Advance Rulemaking on Hazardous Heat
On May 8, 2024, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued an announcement in which the agency stated that, under its National Emphasis Program—Outdoor and Indoor Heat-Related Hazards, the agency “is prioritizing programmed inspections in agricultural industries that employ temporary, nonimmigrant H-2A workers for seasonal labor.” Also, on April 24, 2024, OSHA presented the regulatory framework for its rulemaking on heat injury and illness prevention in outdoor and indoor work settings to the Advisory Committee on Construction Safety and Health, which “unanimously recommended OSHA move forward expeditiously on the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking” (OSHA-2021-0009). OSHA states that it “will seek and consider input from a wide range of stakeholders and the public at-large as it works to propose and finalize its rule” and that, “[i]n the interim,” the agency “continues to . . . educate employers and workers and hold businesses accountable for violations of the Occupational Safety and Health Act’s general duty clause, 29 U.S.C. § 654(a)(1) and other applicable regulations.” See also ALWR—Oct. 29, 2021, “OSHA Seeks Comment on Work-Related Hazardous Heat.”  

Biosecurity: USDA Publishes Final Rule Requiring Electronic Eartags for Cattle and Bison
On May 9, 2024, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) published in the Federal Register a final rule (89 FR 39540), which “requires official eartags to be visually and electronically readable for official use for interstate movement of” “all sexually intact cattle and bison 18 months of age or older, all dairy cattle, cattle and bison of any age used for rodeo or recreation events, and cattle or bison of any age used for shows or exhibitions.” Also announced by APHIS, the final rule provides that the “design, size, shape, color, and other characteristics of the official eartag will depend on the needs of the users, subject to the approval of the Administrator” and specifies that “the official eartag must be tamper-resistant and have a high retention rate in the animal.” The final rule also establishes recordkeeping requirements for veterinarians and entities that distribute eartags. The final rule becomes effective November 5, 2024. See also ALWR—Jan. 30, 2023, “USDA Announces New Eartag Rule.”

Animal Welfare: USDA Publishes Horse Protection Act Soring and Inspecting Final Rule
On May 8, 2024, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) published in the Federal Register a final rule (89 FR 39194) amending Horse Protection Act regulations to allow only APHIS inspectors and APHIS-authorized inspectors “to detect and diagnose soring” at “any horse show, horse exhibition, or horse sale or auction.” Also announced by APHIS, the final rule “[e]liminat[es] industry self-regulation and the role of industry-backed Designated Qualified Persons as inspectors” and “[p]rohibit[s] any device, method, practice, or substance applied to a horse that can cause or is associated with soring.” The final rule also establishes recordkeeping requirements for managers of “any horse show, horse exhibition, horse sale, or horse auction that contains Tennessee Walking Horses or racking horses.” The final rule becomes effective February 1, 2025. See also ALWR—Aug. 28, 2023,“USDA Proposes Horse Protection Rule to Authorize All Regulatory Responsibilities Under APHIS.”

Agricultural Labor: Maine Governor Vetoes Two Agricultural Labor Bills, Legislature Fails to Override
On May 10, 2024, the Maine Legislature failed to override Governor Janet Mills’s veto of two bills: LD 525 (HP 330), “An Act to Enact the Agricultural Employees Concerted Activity Protection Act” and LD 2273 (HP 1462), “An Act to Establish a State Minimum Hourly Wage for Agricultural Workers.” According to the governor’s LD 525 veto memo, the law contained “cross references to federal law, including the National Labor Relations Act” and would have “create[d] a new regulatory structure for complaints, hearings, and enforcement by the Maine Labor Relations Board.” In vetoing the bill, the governor cited the “multitude of serious threats” to farming, including “climate change,” “PFAS contamination,” and “inflation,” and stated that “[a]gainst this background [she] cannot subject [Maine] farmers to a complicated new set of labor laws that will require a lawyer just to understand.” In her veto memo for LD 2273—legislation that the governor had introduced herself based upon recommendations from a committee “represent[ing] . . . a broad spectrum of [agricultural] stakeholders”—the governor stated, “If the Legislature had sent me the bill I introduced, I would have been pleased to sign it into law, but unfortunately, that is not what happened.” According to the governor’s LD 2273 memo, the bill was amended “to allow for privately initiated litigation over alleged violations” while the governor’s original bill provided for enforcement through the state’s Department of Labor. See also ALWR—July 31, 2023, “Maine Governor Vetoes Agricultural Employee Wage Bill, Establishes Committee.” 

Antitrust: Federal Court Grants Class Certification in Multi-District Broiler Chicken Grower Litigation
On May 8, 2024, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Oklahoma, entered a memorandum and order granting a motion for class certification by plaintiffs in multi-district antitrust civil class action litigation against Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation, captioned In Re: Broiler Chicken Grower Antitrust Litigation (No II), No. 6:20-md-2977. The court found that the plaintiff’s definition of “Grower class” (“[a]ll individuals and entities in the United States and its territories . . . compensated for Broiler Grow-Out Services by a Defendant or Co-Conspirator (excluding Claxton and Allen Harim), or by a division, subsidiary, predecessor, or affiliate of a Defendant or Co-Conspirator . . .” from January 27, 2013–December 31, 2019) met their burden to demonstrate that the class “satisfies all four requirements of Rule 23(a)—numerosity, commonality, typicality, and adequacy of representation” and that “issues common to the class will predominate over any individual issues.” The court appointed Hausfeld LLP and Berger Montague PC as class counsel and the named plaintiffs as class representatives (See See also the Center’s Agricultural Antitrust Litigation Issue Tracker.


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Understanding Agricultural Law Series. A free monthly Zoom webinar series for agricultural and rural business advisors. One hour of substantive CLE credit available for Pennsylvania-licensed attorneys at no charge. All events on Fridays, noon–1 pm (ET). Upcoming:

Dairy Quarterly Legal Webinar Series. A free quarterly Zoom webinar series covering dairy industry legal and regulatory developments with an in-depth focus topic. One hour of substantive CLE credit available for Pennsylvania-licensed attorneys at no charge. All events on Tuesdays, noon–1 pm (ET). Upcoming:


Agricultural Law Podcast

USDA Takes First Regulatory Steps on Carbon Credit Production (May 14, 2024)

USDA Takes New Approach in HPAI Outbreak in Dairy Cattle (Apr. 26, 2024)

Farmland Legal Energy Podcast

Agrivoltaics & Large-Scale Solar Energy in Pennsylvania Update (May 15, 2024)

Artificial Intelligence in Agriculture (Apr. 29, 2024)

Resources of Interest:

Nat’l Agric. Law Ctr., The Feed: Volume 2, Issue 9, Ramie Parson (May 10, 2024)

Tex. A&M Agric. Law Blog, May 10, 2024 Weekly Round Up, Tiffany Dowell Lashmet (May 10, 2024)

Ohio St. Univ. Ext. Farm Off. Blog, New Bulletin Available: The Charitable Remainder Trust Strategy for Retiring Farmers, Robert Moore (May 10, 2024)

Iowa St. Univ. Ctr. Agric. Law & Tax’n, Iowa Legislature Passes Many Laws of Interest to Landowners and Agricultural Producers, Kristine A. Tidgren (May 10, 2024)

Ohio St. Univ. Ext. Farm Off. Blog, Agritourism operators: now is the time for liability risk management, Peggy Kirk Hall (May 8, 2024)

Southern Ag Today, Paved with Good Intentions: Unintended Impacts of Farm Bill Payment Limitations, Shannon Ferrell, Oh. St. Univ., Bart Fischer, Tex. A&M Agric. & Food Policy Ctr., Tiffany Dowell Lashmet, Tex A&M AgriLife Ext., (May 8, 2024)

Southern Ag Today, New Poultry Contracting Regulation’s Potential Effects on Broiler Growers, Dennis Brothers, Ala. A&M & Auburn Ext. (May 8, 2024)

Agric. Law & Tax’n Blog, Musings in Agricultural Law and Taxation – of Conservation Easements; IDGTs and Takings, Roger A. McEowen (May 6, 2024)

Southern Ag Today, Public Information and the Variability of U.S. Cotton Production Forecasts, John Robinson, Tex. A&M Agric. Law Ext. (May 6, 2024)




USDA, HHS Announce New Actions to Reduce Impact and Spread of H5N1 (May 10, 2024)

EPA, FDA, and USDA Issue Joint Regulatory Plan for Biotechnology (May 8, 2024)


EPA, FDA and USDA Issues Updates to the Joint Regulatory Plan for Biotechnology (May 8, 2024)


Agricultural Marketing Services

USDA Partners with Michigan to Award Over $8 Million to Strengthen Food Supply Chain Infrastructure (May 8, 2024)

National Agricultural Statistics Service

USDA forecasts winter wheat production up 2% in 2024, orange production down 2% from April forecast (May 10, 2024)

Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)

NRCS Texas announces $5 million still available as deadline nears for FY24 National Water Quality Initiative applicants (May 9, 2024)

Announcing a Notice of Intent for the GreenThumb Gardens Water Supply Project in New York City (May 8, 2024)

USDA Seeks Members for Federal Advisory Committee for Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production (May 7, 2024)

FEDERAL EXECUTIVE AGENCIES (Federal Register May 6–10, 2024):   

Agricultural Marketing Service

89 FR 37965 Rule: “Almonds Grown in California; Amendments to the Marketing Order” (May 7, 2024)

89 FR 37160 Notice: “2024/2025 Rates Charged for AMS Services” (May 6, 2024)

Agriculture Department

89 FR 40457 Notice: “Meeting Notice of the National Agricultural Research, Extension, Education, and Economics Advisory Board” (May 10, 2024)

89 FR 38861 Notice: “Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request” (May 8, 2024)

Animal and Plant Inspection Service

89 FR 39540 Rule: “Use of Electronic Identification Eartags as Official Identification in Cattle and Bison” (May 9, 2024)

89 FR 39194 Rule: “Horse Protection Amendments” (May 8, 2024)

89 FR 38596 Rule: “User Fees for Agricultural Quarantine and Inspection Services” (May 7, 2024)

Commodity Credit Corporation

89 FR 39539 Rule: “Dairy Margin Coverage Production History Adjustment and Program Extension; Correction” (May 9, 2024)

89 FR 39579 Notice: “Notice of Funds Availability; Organic Certification Cost Share Program (OCCSP)” (May 9, 2024)

Environmental Protection Agency

89 FR 40396 Rule: “Cyflumetofen; Pesticide Tolerances” (May 10, 2024)

89 FR 40391 Rule: “1-Propanaminium, 3-amino-N-(2-carboxyethyl)-N,N-dimethyl-, N-coco acyl derivatives, inner salts; and 1-Propanaminium, 3-amino-N-(carboxymethyl)-N,N-dimethyl-, N-coco acyl derivatives, hydroxides, inner salts in Pesticide Formulations; Tolerance Exemptions” (May 10, 2024)

89 FR 37224 Notice—Comment Period: “Pesticide Registration Review; Pesticide Dockets Opened for Review and Comment; Notice of Availability” (May 6, 2024)

89 FR 37224 Notice: “Pesticide Registration Review; Decisions for Several Pesticides; Notice of Availability” (May 6, 2024)

Food and Nutrition Service

89 FR 40458 Notice—Comment Period: “Agency Information Collection Activities: Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Repayment Demand and Program Disqualification” (May 10, 2024)

Forest Service

89 FR 40462 Notice—Comment Period: “Sierra Vista Ranger District; Coronado National Forest; Arizona; Hermosa Critical Minerals Project” (May 10, 2024)

Natural Resource Conservation Service

89 FR 38018 Notice: “Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production Advisory Committee” (May 7, 2024)

89 FR 37167 Notice—Comment Period: “Proposed Revisions to Section 1 of the Field Office Technical Guides for Louisiana and Wisconsin” (May 6, 2024)

Rural Housing Service

89 FR 39580 Notice: “Notice of Solicitation of Applications for Section 514 Off-Farm Labor Housing Loans and Section 516 Off-Farm Labor Housing Grants for New Construction for Fiscal Year 2024; Correction” (May 9, 2024)


H.R.8359 “To amend the Federal Crop Insurance Act to require the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation to carry out research and development regarding a policy to insure table, wine and juice grapes against losses due to a freeze event, and for other purposes.” Referred to the House Committee on Agriculture. (May 10, 2024)

H.R.8350 “To amend the Federal Crop Insurance Act to provide premium support for certain plans of insurance, and for other purposes.” Referred to the House Committee on Agriculture. (May 10, 2024)

H.R.8344 “To require the Secretary of Agriculture to submit to Congress a report on available assistance to agricultural producers in the State of Texas that have suffered economic losses due to the failure of Mexico to deliver water.” Referred to the House Committee on Agriculture. (May 10, 2024)

H.R.8326 “To amend the Agricultural Adjustment Act with respect to the treatment of dates for processing under certain marketing orders.” Referred to the Committee on Agriculture, and in addition to the Committee on Ways and Means, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned. (May 8, 2024)

H.R.8305 “To establish a payment program for unexpected loss of markets and revenues to timber harvesting and timber hauling businesses due to major disasters, and for other purposes.” Referred to the House Committee on Agriculture. (May 8, 2024)

H.R.8300 “To amend the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 to establish online and delivery standards, and for other purposes.” Referred to the House Committee on Agriculture. (May 8, 2024)

H.R.8277 “To direct the Secretary of Agriculture to conduct a study on the effects of solar panel installations on covered farmland, and for other purposes.” Referred to the House Committee on Agriculture. (May 7, 2024)

H.R.8270 “To amend the Food Security Act of 1985 to modernize the conservation reserve program, and for other purposes.” Referred to the House Committee on Agriculture. (May 7, 2024)

H.R.4763 “Financial Innovation and Technology for the 21st Century Act” Placed on the Union Calendar, Calendar No. 401. (May 6, 2024)


S.4282 “A bill to prohibit the Secretary of Agriculture from implementing any rule or regulation requiring the mandatory use of electronic identification eartags on cattle and bison.” Read twice and referred to the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry. (May 8, 2024)

Agriculture-Related Legislative Hearings & Reports

U.S. House Ag. Comm. Markup of the Farm, Food, and National Security Act of 2024, May 23, 2024.

U.S. Senate Ag., Nutrition, and Forestry Comm. Oversight of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, May 28, 2024.


PENNSYLVANIA EXECUTIVE AGENCIES (Pa. Bulletin Vol. 54, No. 19—May 11, 2024): 

Department of Agriculture

54 Pa.B. 2503 Notice: “Agricultural Center for Plant Excellence”

54 Pa.B. 2504 Notice: “Pennsylvania Peach and Nectarine Research Program; 2024 Order as Amended”

54 Pa.B. 2506 Notice: “Review Referendum of the Pennsylvania Peach and Nectarine Research Program”

Department of Environmental Protection

54 Pa.B. 2587 Notice: “Application Period for Municipal Recycling Program Performance Grant Applications under Act 101, Section 904 of the Municipal Waste Planning, Recycling and Waste Reduction Act of 1988; Calendar Year 2023”

54 Pa.B. 2508 Notice: “Applications, Actions and Special Notices”

54 Pa.B. 2588 Notice: “Availability of Technical Guidance”


SB 979 “An Act amending Title 3 (Agriculture) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, in domestic animals, providing for posted notice with information on dangerous transmissible diseases.” Act No. 15 of 2024. (May 8, 2024)

SB 709 “An Act amending Title 34 (Game) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, in game or wildlife protection, further providing for the offense of unlawful taking and possession of protected birds and for endangered or threatened species.” Act No. 13 of 2024. (May 8, 2024)

HB 1661 “An Act amending… The Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act, further providing for schedules of controlled substances; and providing for secure storage of xylazine.” Presented to the Governor. (May 8, 2024)

HB 2225 “An Act amending… the Rural Pennsylvania Revitalization Act, establishing the Rural Population Revitalization Commission and providing for duties of the commission; and establishing the Rural Population Revitalization Fund.” Third consideration and final passage. (May 8, 2024)


Victoria Dutterer—Research Assistant
Samuel Sweeten—Research Assistant
Audry Thompson—Staff Attorney