A comprehensive summary of today’s judicial, legislative, and regulatory developments in agriculture and food. Email important additions HERE.
In Pub. Citizen v. U.S. Dep’t of Agric., No. 21-CV-01408 (APM), 2022 WL 3139003 (D.D.C. Aug. 5, 2022), plaintiff filed a Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) suit seeking information pertaining to the operations of certain meat- and poultry-processing facilities during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic. The USDA produced thousands of pages of responsive material, but it withheld portions of four records based on FOIA Exemption 4. According to USDA, the withheld information contained confidential commercial information that USDA obtained from meat- and poultry-processing facilities and a trade association. Plaintiff challenged that assertion. The court found that USDA could not meet its burden as to the records because its factual proffer rested entirely on inadmissible hearsay and were not supported by admissible evidence. The court granted plaintiff’s motion for all withholdings due to USDA’s failure of proof.
REGULATORY: AMS, EPA, FDA
AGRICULTURAL MARKETING SERVICE
Proposed rule to amend the organic livestock and poultry production requirements by adding new provisions for livestock handling and transport for slaughter and avian living conditions; and expanding and clarifying existing requirements covering livestock care and production practices and mammalian living conditions. Info here.
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
Notice of a public meeting of the Good Neighbor Environmental Board. The purpose of the meeting is to continue developing the framework for the Board’s annual letter to the President, focusing on water and wastewater infrastructure issues and challenges along the U.S.-Mexico border region. Info here.
Notice that the National Environmental Justice Advisory Council will meet on Wednesday, September 28, 2022. Info here.
FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION
Notice announcing that FDA is renewing the Allergenic Products Advisory Committee for an additional 2 years. Info here.