Judicial:

ANNJEANETTE GILLIS, et al., Plaintiffs, v. MURPHY-BROWN, LLC d/b/a SMITHFIELD HOG PRODUCTION DIVISION, Defendant. Additional Party Names: State of Missouri, No. 7:14-CV-185-BR, 2018 WL 5831994 (E.D.N.C. Nov. 7, 2018): 

In 1999 and 2002, the State of Missouri filed Petitions against Premium Standard Farms (“PSF”) related to various environmental problems arising out of PSF’s use of anaerobic lagoons for waste-handling on swine farms in Missouri. PSF settled the litigation with the State of Missouri and entered into Consent Judgments in 1999 and 2004. PSF was acquired by Murphy-Brown LLC (“Murphy-Brown”) in 2007 and Murphy-Brown assumed PSF’s responsibilities under the Consent Judgments.
In the instant motion, Murphy-Brown seeks to exclude any evidence related to the Missouri litigation including testimony, argument, documents, statements, or admissions. Plaintiffs oppose the motion, arguing that “[d]efendant claims that there is no odor problem, and hog operations using lagoons and sprayers do not cause odor to neighbors, that there are no new technologies that can assist, and that any that exist are not feasible. The substantive terms and provisions associated with the proceedings in Missouri and the facts regarding the company’s actions, which are public, are relevant and probative on knowledge and notice, on the existence of feasible upgrades, and on the subject of credibility.”
At this juncture and given what the court knows about the evidence to be presented at trial, the court agrees with defendant that the Missouri litigation is not relevant to the issues on trial in this case and that any probative value of that evidence is substantially outweighed by the danger of unfair prejudice, would confuse the issues, and mislead the jury.
Regulatory:

Request for Aerial Photography: Farm Service Agency; The information collection is needed to enable the Department of Agriculture to effectively administrate the Aerial Photography Program. The Aerial Photography Field Office (APFO) has the responsibility for conducting and coordinating the FSA’s aerial photography, remote sensing programs, and the aerial photography flying contract programs. The digital and film imagery secured by Farm Service Agency (FSA) is public domain and reproductions are available at cost to any customer with a need. All receipts from the sale of aerial photography products and services are retained by FSA. The FSA-441, Request for Aerial Photography, is the form FSA supplies to the customers for placing an order for aerial imagery products and services. FSA also collects information using the following two FSA 441B, Customer Digital Print Form, and FSA 441C APFO Service Quality Survey. Info HERE

Notice and request for comments: Food Safety and Inspection Service, USDA; The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is announcing and requesting comments on revised categorization and follow-up sampling procedures relative to pathogen reduction performance standards. FSIS will proceed with web-posting individual establishments’ category status for pathogen reduction performance standards for Salmonella in raw chicken parts and not-ready-to-eat (NRTE) comminuted chicken and turkey, as previously announced, and updating individual poultry carcass establishments’ category status in November. However, the category status reported will be based on FSIS sample results during the 52-week window ending the last Saturday of the previous month, rather than on results during the last 13 completed 52-week windows. At the same time, FSIS will no longer include follow-up sampling results as part of the moving window when determining establishment category status. Finally, FSIS will update the individual establishments’ category status on its website on a monthly basis and will maintain the last six months of historical establishment-specific categorization data on the website, as it becomes available, using the revised categorization procedures announced in this notice.  FSIS intends to use the revised categorization procedures for all establishments subject to a pathogen reduction performance standard for Salmonella or Campylobacter, including beef and pork establishments, in the future. FSIS will announce any expanded use of the revised procedures in the Federal Register and will request public comment.  FSIS will proceed with implementing the changes on the date announced in this notice. However, FSIS is seeking comments on the changes as part of its effort to continuously assess and improve the effectiveness of Agency policy. Info HERE

Final rule: Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA; This rule implements a recommendation from the Texas Valley Citrus Committee (Committee) to decrease the assessment rate established for the 2018-19 and subsequent fiscal periods. The assessment rate will remain in effect indefinitely unless modified, suspended, or terminated. Info HERE

Notice and request for comments: Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA.In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice announces the Agricultural Marketing Service’s (AMS) intention to request approval, from the Office of Management and Budget, for an extension of and revision to the currently approved information collection for Export Health Certificate Request Forms. Info HERE