A comprehensive summary of today’s judicial, legislative, and regulatory developments in agriculture and food. Email important additions HERE


JUDICIAL: Includes urb & ag, food labeling,international trade, and forestry issues.

Carousel Farms Metropolitan District, a quasi-municipal corporation and political subdivision of the State of Colorado, Petitioner-Appellee, v. Woodcrest Homes, Inc., a Colorado corporation, Respondent-Appellant, No. 15CA1956, 2017 WL 5897715 (Colo. Ct. App. November 30, 2017) concerned an eminent domain case wherein plaintiff owned a parcel and defendant (developer) purchased surrounding parcels with goal of creating developing using all three parcels. Defendant refused to sell for the price offered, the developer created a “metropolitan district” that then “condemned the landowner’s property and agreed to dedicate it to the town for eventual public use.” Plaintiff argued condemnation of defendant’s property was proper as the land would eventually be used for a “public purpose.”Appellate court, however, found purpose of the taking was to “facilitate the developer’s compliance with the agreement and that the property’s eventual use for a public purpose cannot justify the initial taking.” Court also concluded plaintiff could not demonstrate condemnation of defendant’s property was “necessary.” Reversed.

HOLLY BLAINE VANZANT, et al., Plaintiffs, v. HILL’S PET NUTRITION INC., et al., Defendants, No. 17 C 2535, 2017 WL 5896886 (N.D. Ill. November 29, 2017), plaintiffs claimed defendant’s prescription cat food contains no ingredient not found in other non-prescription pet food and use of the word “prescription . . . deceives consumers into believing that the product has been evaluated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).” Plaintiffs alleged violation of the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act (ICFA), while defendants argued their ICFA claim is “barred by the ICFA safe harbor exemption.” Court noted the FDA’s Compliance Policy Guide (CPG) that “recognizes the gate-keeping role of veterinarians in ensuring that pet owners purchase only appropriate therapeutic foods.” Court concluded that FDA oversees therapeutic pet food and “[p]laintiffs cannot seek to impose stricter requirements upon Defendants in pursuing their ICFA claims.”

THE PEOPLE, Plaintiff and Respondent, v. EDWARD LEMARR JEWELL WILLIAMS, Defendant and Appellant, E066776, 2017 WL 5898585 (Cal. Ct. App. November 30, 2017), defendant was found guilty of importing marijuana after driving from Arizona to California with some marijuana. Defendant argued “import,” per the statute at issue, means “to bring in across a national border, not merely a state border.” He also contended that “taking marijuana from California into Arizona and then back into California again would not constitute ‘import[ing]’ marijuana.” Court affirmed defendant’s conviction after concluding that “if you bring marijuana into California, you are “import[ing]” marijuana, no matter where you may be coming from and no matter where the marijuana ultimately may have come from.”

In WESTERN WATERSHEDS PROJECT, et al., Plaintiffs, v. THOMAS L. TIDWELL, Chief, U.S. Forest Service, et al., Defendants, No. 17-cv-1063 (KBJ), 2017 WL 5900076 (D.D.C. November 20, 2017), plaintiffs challenged U.S. Forest Service’s (FS) issuance of a special-use permit allowing the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission to undertake supplemental elk feeding activities, claiming issuance of the permit violates the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Defendants moved to transfer venue. Court observed that the issues in the case are “clearly centered in Wyoming, and its tie to the District of Columbia is not immediately apparent.” The court similarly noted that “Wyoming and its people, and their property, are most directly affected by the disposition of this case.” Defendants’ motion to transfer venue granted.


LEGISLATIVE:

S. 245: Indian Tribal Energy Development and Self-Determination Act Amendments of 2017. Bill’s text for status Referred to House Committee (Nov 30, 2017) is now available.

S. 343: RESPECT Act. This bill’s text for status Referred to House Committee (Nov 30, 2017) is now available.

S. 825: Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium Land Transfer Act of 2017. Bill’s text for status Referred to House Committee (Nov 30, 2017) is now available.

S. 1285: Oregon Tribal Economic Development Act. Bill’s text for status Referred to House Committee (Nov 30, 2017) is now available.

S. 2182: A bill to provide for the resettlement and relocation of the people of Bikini. Bill referred to the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.

H.R. 3905: Minnesota’s Economic Rights in the Superior National Forest Act. Bill’s text for status Passed the House (Nov 30, 2017) is now available.

H.R. 4489: To provide for the preservation of America’s outdoor heritage and enhance recreation opportunities on Federal land. Bill’s text is now available.

H.R. 4513: To amend the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act to alter and expand eligibility for farm ownership loans by modifying the 3-year experience requirement. Bill referred to the House Committee on Agriculture.

H.R. 4525: To direct the Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to make grants to States and local governments and nongovernmental organizations for purposes of carrying out shoreline stabilization projects. Bill referred to the House Committee on Natural Resources.

H.Res. 639: Honoring the success of the more-than-a-decade-long process by Southern California locals to create the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument. Resolution referred to the House Committee on Natural Resources.

H.R. 4521: To amend the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 to simplify the SNAP recertification process for the elderly and disabled, and to spur innovation in the application processes of SNAP, the Medicare Savings Program, and supplemental security income. Bill referred to the House Committee on Agriculture, House Committee on Energy and Commerce, and one other committee which will consider it before sending it to the House floor for consideration.

H.R. 4518: To expand the boundaries of the Bears Ears National Monument, to ensure prompt engagement with the Bears Ears Commission and prompt implementation of the Proclamation establishing the Bears Ears National Monument. Bill referred to the House Committee on Natural Resources.

H.R. 4528: To make technical amendments to certain marine fish conservation statutes. Bill referred to the House Committee on Natural Resources.


REGULATORY: Includes AMS, APHIS, EPA, FWS, FDA, FS, ITA, and NOAA rules and notices.

AGRICULTURAL MARKETING SERVICE:

Rule would implement a recommendation from the Texas Valley Citrus Committee to decrease the assessment rate established for the 2017-18 and subsequent fiscal periods from $0.09 to $0.02 per 7/10-bushel carton or equivalent of oranges and grapefruit handled under the Marketing Order. Info here.

Rule seeks comments on the establishment of reporting requirements under the Federal marketing order for pecans. Details here.

ANIMAL AND PLANT HEALTH INSPECTION SERVICE:

Notice APHIS will request a revision to and extension of approval of an information collection associated with its efforts to certify certain laboratories that conduct aquatic animal testing for export activities. Details here.

Notice APHIS will request a revision to and extension of approval of an information collection associated with the importation of used farm equipment into the United States from regions affected with foot-and- mouth disease. Info here.

Notice APHIS will seek a revision to and extension of approval of an information collection associated with the regulations for the importation of poultry meat and other poultry products from Sinaloa and Sonora and for pork and poultry products transiting the United States. Details here.

Notice APHIS will request a revision to and extension of approval of an information collection associated with its efforts to safeguard the health of the U.S. livestock and poultry populations by the use of National Veterinary Services Laboratories request forms. Info here.

ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY:

Rule EPA is finalizing action on a revision to the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD or District) portion of the California State Implementation Plan (SIP). Info here.

Rule EPA finds that the Idaho State Implementation Plan (SIP) meets the infrastructure requirements for the 2012 fine particulate matter (PM<INF>2.5</INF>) NAAQS. Details here.

Rule EPA is approving a source-specific revision to the New York state implementation plan (SIP) that establishes Best Available Retrofit Technology (BART) emission limits for the Danskammer Generating Station Unit 4, owned and operated by Danskammer Energy LLC. Details here.

Rule EPA is taking final action to approve a revision to the Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District (SMAQMD) portion of the California State Implementation Plan (SIP). Info here.

Rule EPA is taking final action to approve a revision to the Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District (SMAQMD) portion of the California State Implementation Plan (SIP). Details here.

Rule establishes tolerances for residues of ethofumesate in or on beet, sugar, molasses and beet, sugar, roots. Info here.

Rule establishes tolerances for residues of prometryn in or on multiple commodities which are identified and discussed later in this document. Info here.

Rule establishes tolerances for residues of quinclorac in or on the bushberry subgroup 13-07B, the caneberry subgroup 13-07A, and asparagus. Info here.

Rule establishes a temporary exemption from the requirement of a tolerance for residues of the Bacillus thuringiensis Cry14Ab-1 protein in or on soybean, when used as a plant-incorporated protectant (PIP) in soybean plants, in accordance with the terms of Experimental Use Permit (EUP) No. 264-EUP-151. Info here.

Rule EPA establishes an exemption from the requirement of a tolerance for residues of the HPPD-4 protein derived from the 4- hydroxyphenylpyruvate dioxygenase enzyme of Pseudomonas fluorescens in or on all food commodities, when used as a plant-incorporated protectant inert ingredient. Info here.

FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE: Notice FWS announces the availability of its Mexican Wolf Recovery Plan, First Revision. Details here.

FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION: Notice FDA has submitted the following proposed collection of information to OMB for review and clearance. Title: Establishing and Maintaining Lists of U.S. Manufacturers/Processors With Interest in Exporting CFSAN-Regulated Products to China—21 U.S.C. 371 OMB Control Number 0910-0839—Extension. Info here.

FOREST SERVICE:

Notice FS is seeking comments from all interested individuals and organizations on the extension with no revision of a currently approved information collection, Qualified Products Lists for Fire Chemicals for Wildland Fire Management. Info here.

Notice FS is seeking comments from all interested individuals and organizations on the renewal of the currently approved information collection 0596-0225, Timber Sale Contract Operations and Administration. Details here.

INTERNATIONAL TRADE ADMINISTRATION: Notice ITA is conducting an administrative review of the antidumping duty order on monosodium glutamate (MSG) from Indonesia. Info here.

NATIONAL OCEANIC AND ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION:

Rule NMFS is reallocating the projected unused amount of Pacific cod from trawl catcher vessels (3,083 metric tons (mt)), American Fisheries Act (AFA) trawl catcher/processors (205 mt), and jig vessels (94 mt) to hook-and-line catcher/processors. Info here.

Notice NOAA seeks comment on proposed and/or continuing information collections. Title: National Saltwater Angler Registry Program. Details here.

Notice NOAA seeks comment on proposed and/or continuing information collections. Title: West Coast Region Gear Identification Requirements. Info here.

Notice NOAA seeks comment on proposed and/or continuing information collections. Title: West Coast Region Vessel Identification Requirements. Info here.