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


Judicial: Labor, Food Labeling

In UNITED FARM WORKERS, et al., Plaintiffs, v. THE UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF LABOR, et al., Defendants. Additional Party Names: UFW Found., No. 120CV01690DADBAK, 2022 WL 1004855 (E.D. Cal. Apr. 4, 2022), plaintiffs moved for summary judgment asking the court to vacate and remand the Adverse Effect Wage Rate (AEWR) calculation methodology final rule promulgated in 2020. Plaintiffs argued that the 2020 rule disregards the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) by failing to protect workers against adverse effects to their wages and working conditions. Plaintiffs also argued that the 2020 rule failed to offer a reasonable explanation for the wage freeze and failed to adhere to notice-and-comment requirements.

A previous court decision granting plaintiffs’ motion for preliminary injunction found that the 2020 rule violated the INA, the Department of Labor (DOL) failed to offer a reasonable explanation in the 2020 rule, and the rule violated the notice-and-comment requirements. This court granted plaintiffs motion for summary judgment and vacated and remanded the 2020 rule to the DOL for further rulemaking.

In Thornton v. Tyson Foods, Inc., 28 F.4th 1016 (10th Cir. 2022), consumers filed a class action complaint against meat processors that alleged that their labels deceived consumers into paying higher prices for beef based on the mistaken belief that it originated from cattle born and raised in the United States. Ranchers in New Mexico also filed a class action that alleged that they were paid less for domestic cattle because of the processors’ conduct. The cases were consolidated and the district court dismissed the case, consumers and ranchers appealed. The court of appeals held that the Federal Meat Inspection Act preempted consumer’s and rancher’s deceptive-labeling claims. The court of appeals also held that the state’s concurrent jurisdiction over misbranding claims did not affect the fact that under federal law not the products were not misbranded. The court of appeals affirmed the district courts decision.


LEGISLATIVE: Includes Virginia


SB 400 authorizes the Board of Housing and Community Development to promulgate regulations related to agritourism event buildings. Info here.

LEGISLATIVE: Includes Virginia


HB 837 requires any food manufacturer, food storage warehouse, and retail food establishment to obtain a permit from the state’s Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services prior to operating. Info here.

LEGISLATIVE: Includes Virginia


HB 323 increases grant amount for Local Food and Farming Infrastructure Grant Program. Info here.

LEGISLATIVE: Includes Wisconsin


AB 727 creates a commercial nitrogen optimization pilot program and provides crop insurance rebates for cover crops. Info here.




Notice announcing that FWS is inviting public comment on applications to conduct certain activities with foreign species that are listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act. Info here.


Final rule amending the regulations for food additives permitted in feed and drinking water of animals to provide for the safe use of methyl esters of conjugated linoleic acid for early lactation dairy cows to reduce the energy concentration in milk. Info here.

Proposed rule announcing that FDA filed a petition, submitted by Anitox Corporation, proposing that the food additive regulations be amended to provide for the safe use of trans-2-hexenal as a preservative in food for poultry and swine. Info here.


Proposed rule proposing to implement a flexible shortfin mako shark retention limit with a default limit of zero in commercial and recreational Atlantic highly migratory species fisheries. Info here.

Notice announcing a request from Ocean Wind LLC for the Renewal of their currently active incidental harassment authorization to take marine mammals incidental to marine site characterization survey activities off the coast of New Jersey. Info here.