A comprehensive summary of today’s judicial, legislative, and regulatory developments in agriculture and food. Email important additions HERE.
JUDICIAL: FOIA, Food Labeling, National Marine Fisheries Service
In Telematch, Inc. v. United States Dep’t of Agric., No. 20-5378, 2022 WL 3330101 (D.C. Cir. Aug. 12, 2022), the court considered whether the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) required the USDA to disclose the assigned numbers of the plots of enrolled farmland and their owners. Telematch, Inc. is a commercial vendor of agricultural data. In 2018 and 2019, it submitted to USDA seven FOIA requests for records containing farm numbers, tract numbers, and customer numbers. USDA withheld the numbers under Exemptions 3 and 6. Telematch sued to challenge USDA’s withholding of the farm, tract, and customer numbers. The court held that USDA permissibly withheld the requested farm, tract, and customer numbers.
In JENNIFER COLLISHAW v. COOPERATIVE REGIONS OF ORGANIC PRODUCER POOLS, No. 20-CV-09009 (PMH), 2022 WL 3290563 (S.D.N.Y. Aug. 11, 2022), plaintiffs brought actions against Cooperative Regions of Organic Producer Pools. Defendant’s claims included Organic Valley “Fuel” protein shake and the Organic Valley “French Vanilla” coffee creamer. The plaintiffs claimed that the labels were misleading because it contained negligible amounts of extract from vanilla beans. The court held that the plaintiffs have failed to sufficiently plead that either product’s front label or ingredient list is materially misleading. The court granted the defendant’s motion to dismiss all complaints.
In Loper Bright Enterprises, Inc. v. Raimondo, No. 21-5166, 2022 WL 3330362 (D.C. Cir. Aug. 12, 2022), appellants were commercial fishermen who regularly participate in the Atlantic herring fishery. They filed a lawsuit alleging that the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act of 1976 did not authorize the National Marine Fisheries Service to create industry-funded monitoring requirements and that the rulemaking process was procedurally irregular. In view of Congress’s expectation that the National Marine Fisheries Service would consider comments on plan amendments and implementing regulations at the same time, appellants failed to show a lack of fair notice and a meaningful opportunity to comment as the APA required. The court affirmed the district court’s grant of summary judgment to the National Marine Fisheries Service and denial of summary judgment to appellants.
REGULATORY: FWS, NOAA
FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE
Notice announcing that FWS received applications for permits to conduct activities intended to enhance the propagation or survival of endangered species under the Endangered Species Act. Info here.
NATIONAL OCEANIC AND ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION
Notice announcing that NOAA/NMFS received an application from California Department of Fish and Wildlife in Santa Rosa, California for an U.S. Endangered Species Act section 10(a)(1)(A) scientific enhancement permit. Info here.
Notice that NOAA/NMFS has issued an incidental harassment authorization to Atlantic Shores Offshore Wind Bight, LLC to incidentally harass marine mammals during site characterization surveys off New Jersey and New York. Info here.
Notice that NOAA/NMFS, on behalf of the Secretary of Commerce, has found that Atlantic bigeye tuna is still overfished. Info here.