A comprehensive summary of today’s judicial, legislative, and regulatory developments in agriculture and food. Email important additions HERE.
JUDICIAL: Animal Law, Food Labeling
In Minnesota Deer Farmers Ass’n v. Minnesota Dep’t of Nat. Res., No. A21-1387, 2022 WL 3348611 (Minn. Ct. App. Aug. 15, 2022), the Minnesota Deer Farmers Association (MDFA) challenged the validity of an expedited emergency rule adopted by respondent Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) temporarily prohibiting the movement of farmed white-tailed deer in Minnesota. MDFA argued that (1) the rule exceeded the DNR’s statutory authority; (2) the DNR adopted the rule without compliance with statutory rulemaking procedures; and (3) the rule violated constitutional due process. The court concluded that the DNR had the statutory authority to adopt the rule and declared the rule valid in part. But the court also concluded that MDFA’s procedural-compliance and due-process challenges are moot and dismissed MDFA’s petition as to those issues.
In MOLLY BROWN, Plaintiff, v. THE J.M. SMUCKER COMPANY, Defendant., No. 21-CV-06467-HSG, 2022 WL 3348603 (N.D. Cal. Aug. 12, 2022), defendant argued that plaintiff’s labels on their packages falsely inflate the amount of protein in the products. Plaintiff also argued that the protein content should be adjusted based on the Protein Digestibility Corrected Amino Acid scoring (PDCAAS) which showed a lower score than what defendant has on their label. The court concluded that although the FDA regulations themselves do not specify how manufacturers must calculate the amount of protein in a nutrient content claim, the FDA has issued agency guidance clarifying that protein content claims may be based on “either of the methods mentioned” in the regulations. FDA regulations do not require protein content claims on a package’s front label to be calculated using amino acid content testing or to be adjusted for digestibility. Plaintiff’s claims were preempted, and Defendant’s motion to dismiss was granted. Because the defect lied in the legal theory, not the factual allegations, the dismissal was without leave to amend.
LEGISLATIVE: Includes U.S.
HR 5376 enacts the “Inflation Reduction Act of 2022”, which is a climate, tax, and health care spending package. The IRA includes tax credit increases for some entities, such as solar and wind facilities, biodiesel and alternative fuels, and carbon oxide capturing facilities. The legislation also directs funding to several USDA conservation programs and forestry. Additionally, the IRA earmarks $3.1 billion for aid to distressed holders of USDA guaranteed and direct loans. Info here.
REGULATORY: EPA, FSIS
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
Final rule announcing the deletion of four sites and the partial deletion of six sites from the Superfund National Priorities List. Info here.
Proposed rule announcing a Notice of Intent to delete one site and partially delete two sites from the National Priorities List and requests public comments on this proposed action. Info here.
FOOD SAFETY AND INSPECTION SERVICE
Final rule announcing that FSIS is amending its labeling regulations to remove the dual labeling requirements for certain packages of meat and poultry. Info here.