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


JUDICIAL: Includes environmental law, local food systems, and food labeling issues. 

In CASCADIA WILDLANDS; CENTER FOR BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY; WILDEARTH GUARDIANS; PREDATOR DEFENSE; and PROJECT COYOTE-a project of Earth Island Institute, Plaintiffs, v. DAVID WILLIAMS, in his official capacity Oregon State Director for USDA-APHIS Wildlife Services; ANIMAL AND PLANT HEALTH INSPECTION SERVICES-WILDLIFE SERVICES, an agency of the United States Department of Agriculture; and UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, a federal department. Defendants, No. 6:16-cv-00177-MC, 2017 WL 1536224 (D. Or. April 27, 2017), defendants, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services-Wildlife Services (APHIS), determined their involvement in Oregon’s wolf management program would not cause a “significant environmental impact” and plaintiffs objected, arguing that the agency “violated the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) by failing to appropriately analyze the impact of its actions in the EA and by failing to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).” Court found APHIS’ activities in Oregon “do not constitute major federal action,” and that the agency’s finding of no significant impact was based on “a hard look at the consequences of the proposed action.” The court also concluded that “no EIS was required.” Plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment denied.

In THE GREEN SOLUTION RETAIL, INC., a Colorado corporation; KYLE SPEIDELL, Plaintiffs – Appellants, v. UNITED STATES OF AMERICA; INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE; JOHN KOSKINEN, Internal Revenue Service Commissioner; DAVID HEWLETT,* in his official capacity, Auditor for the Internal Revenue Service, Defendants – Appellees, No. 16-1281, 2017 WL 1573816 (10th Cir. May 2, 2017), plaintiff, a Colorado-based marijuana dispensary, sued to enjoin the IRS from investigating their business records. District court ruled the Anti-Injunction Act and the Declaratory Judgment Act barred plaintiff’s suit. Appellate court found that because the IRS’s investigation of plaintiff’s business records is “an activity leading up to an assessment,” plaintiff’s lawsuit was filed “for the purpose of restraining any such assessment and is therefore barred by the AIA and DJA.” Affirmed for defendant.

MELINDA DEITER and JOSEPH DEITER, individually, and as parents and natural guardians of MELINDA ROBERTS and GIDEON DEITER, minors, Plaintiffs-Appellants, v. DONALD COONS, SHARON COONS, and PENNY COONS dba DON’S MEATS, and PATTY A. ANDERSON, Defendants-Respondents, and JANAK, INC., and DONALD JANAK, Defendants, No. 42634-2014, 2017 WL 1549946 (Idaho May 1, 2017) involved sale of a steer later contaminated with E. coli bacteria by the slaughterer. Plaintiff alleged defendant was negligent per se for violating the Federal Meat Inspection Act, claiming defendant sold adulterated meat and that the steer was slaughtered under insanitary conditions. Defendants countered that plaintiff provided no evidence “to show a causal connection between any alleged failure to have an antemortem or postmortem inspection and their injuries.” Plaintiff failed to show “that the failure to have the inspections caused their injuries,” and appellate court affirmed district court’s dismissal.


REGULATORY: Includes GIPSA, NIST, NOAA, USPTO and RHS rules and notices.

GRAIN INSPECTION, PACKERS AND STOCKYARDS ADMINISTRATION: Rule GIPSA s revising the U.S. Standards for Barley under the United States Grain Standards Act by revising the definitions of other terms to remove Six-rowed Blue Malting barley and the reference to kernels with white aleurone layers. Info here.

NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF STANDARDS AND TECHNOLOGY: Notice the National Advisory Committee on Windstorm Impact Reduction will hold a webinar initiating the work of the Committee via video conference on Wednesday, May 17. Details here.

NATIONAL OCEANIC AND ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION:

Notice NMFS determined two Exempted Fishing Permit applications warrant further consideration. Info here.

Notice announcing a Sanctuary System Business Advisory Council meeting. Details here.

Notice NMFS received an application from Ocean Wind, LLC, for an Incidental Harassment Authorization to take marine mammals off the coast of New Jersey. Details here.

PATENT AND TRADEMARK OFFICE: Notice USPTO invites comments on a proposed extension of an existing information collection. Info here.

RURAL HOUSING SERVICE: Notice announcing a series of teleconferences regarding USDA, Multi-Family Housing program, which will be scheduled on a quarterly basis. Details here.