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

ANNOUNCEMENT:  Join us this Wednesday, September 20, at 12 noon (ET) for an Agricultural & Food Law Consortium webinar: “Tackling the Challenge of Invasive Species to Reduce Impacts to Agriculture.” Details available here.

JUDICIAL: Includes food labeling, administrative law, and labor issues.

In MELISSA STEWART, on behalf of herself and all others similarly situated, Plaintiff, v. RIVIANA FOODS INC., Defendant, No. 16-CV-6157 (NSR), 2017 WL 4045952 (S.D.N.Y. Septmber 11, 2017), plaintiff filed class action alleging defendant violated the New York General Business Law (N.Y. GBL) by engaging in “deceptive marketing practices.” Plaintiff argued defendant misleads consumers into believing its pasta boxes contain the “same net weight of product contained in ‘traditional’ pasta boxes.” Plaintiff claimed defendant packages 12 ounces of pasta in “the same iconic boxes” traditionally sized and priced to contain 16 ounces. Defendant moved to dismiss for failure to state a claim. Court reasoned that “the weight and price of the dry good are clearly the most material aspect of this type of product,” and after “[h]aving considered the content of the label in context, the Court finds that Plaintiff’s N.Y. GBL claims fail.” Suit dismissed.

In Jessie CARTER, Plaintiff v. USDA and Jennifer Weatherly in her official capacity, Defendants, NO. 1:16-CV-01050, 2017 WL 4031467 (W.D. Ark. September 13, 2017), plaintiff filed FOIA request seeking names of institutions “disqualified from participation in the Child and Adult Care Food Program between January 1, 1995, and December 31, 2001.” Plaintiff claimed defendants did not provide information regarding when institutions became “eligible to return/continue to participate in the program.” Court noted defendants provided evidence the agency did not maintain records of specific dates “upon which disqualified entities again become eligible to participate in agency programs.” Case dismissed.

AVILES–CERVANTES, et al., Plaintiffs v. OUTSIDE UNLIMITED, INC., Defendant, No. RDB–16–1214, 2017 WL 3916985 (D. Md. September 9, 2017) involved a class action on behalf of temporary guestworkers hired as landscape laborers in 2013, 2014, and 2015, pursuant to the H–2B visa program. Plaintiffs alleged violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the Maryland Wage and Hour Law (MWHL), and the Maryland Wage Payment and Collection Law (MWPCL). Defendant argued that plaintiffs had not yet “exhausted their administrative remedies,” and argued that Department of labor (DOL) regulations “require DOL to resolve [Plaintiffs’] claims.” Court concluded plaintiffs “were not required to exhaust Department of Labor administrative enforcement mechanisms prior to bringing this action.”


H.R. 2374: Eastern Nevada Economic Development and Land Management Improvement Act. This bill’s text for status Reported by House Committee (Sep 14, 2017) is now available.

H.R. 2423: Washington County, Utah, Public Lands Management Implementation Act. This bill’s text for status Reported by House Committee (Sep 14, 2017) is now available.

REGULATORY: Includes AMS, USDA, EPA, FDA, ITA, and NOAA rules and notices.

AGRICULTURAL MARKETING SERVICE: Rule would implement a recommendation from the Processed Pear Committee to increase the assessment rate established for the 2017-2018 and subsequent fiscal periods from $7.00 to $8.00 per ton of “summer/fall” pears for canning. Info here.


Notice USDA has submitted the following information collection requirement(s) to OMB for review. Title: Single Family Housing Guaranteed Loan Program. Info here.

Notice USDA has submitted the following information collection requirement(s) to OMB for review. Title: Blood and Tissue Collection, and Recordkeeping, at Slaughtering, Rendering, and Approved Livestock Marketing Establishments and Facilities. Details here.


Rule EPA is taking final action to approve portions of the State Implementation Plan (SIP) submission, submitted by the State of Alabama, for inclusion into the Alabama SIP, on December 9, 2015, to demonstrate that the State meets the infrastructure requirements of the Clean Air Act for the 2012 annual fine particulate matter (PM2.5) national ambient air quality standard. Info here.

Rule EPA is approving changes to the Kentucky State Implementation Plan (SIP) submitted by the Commonwealth of Kentucky, through the Kentucky Energy and Environmental Cabinet, on November 10, 2016, for the Louisville Metro Air Pollution Control District. Details here.

Rule EPA is finalizing the updates of the Outer Continental Shelf Air Regulations proposed in the Federal Register on June 17, 2016 and December 12, 2016. Info here.

Rule EPA will conduct a rulemaking to potentially revise certain best available technology economically achievable effluent limitations and pretreatment standards for existing sources for the steam electric power generating point source category, which were published in the Federal Register on November 3, 2015. Details here.

Rule EPA will approve revisions to the Arkansas State Implementation Plan (SIP) minor New Source Review (NSR) program submitted on July 26, 2010, and March 24, 2017, including supplemental information provided on November 30, 2015, May 26, 2016, and July 27, 2017. Details here.

FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION: Rule FDA is amending the animal drug regulations to reflect application-related actions for a new animal drug application (NADA) and abbreviated new animal drug applications (ANADAs) during March and April 2017. Info here.

INTERNATIONAL TRADE ADMINISTRATION: Notice that on March 6, 2017, the Department of Commerce published the preliminary results of the administrative review of the antidumping duty order on certain frozen warmwater shrimp from India. The period of review (POR) is February 1, 2015, through January 31, 2016. Info here.


Rule NMFS adjusts the northern albacore tuna annual baseline quota for 2017 with available underharvest of the 2016 adjusted U.S. northern albacore quota. Info here.

Rule NMFS is correcting a temporary rule that reallocated Pacific cod from vessels using jig gear and catcher vessels greater than or equal to 60 feet (18.3 meters) length overall (LOA) using hook-and-line gear to catcher vessels less than 60 feet (18.3 meters) LOA using hook-and-line or pot gear in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands management area. Info here.

Notice the Pacific Fishery Management Council’s Coastal Pelagic Species Management Team (CPSMT) will hold a meeting that is open to the public. Details here.

Notice the Pacific Fishery Management Council’s Groundfish Management Team (GMT) will hold a week-long work session that is open to the public. Info here.