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


Judicial: Food Labeling, Right to Farm

In ANKUSH PURI v. COSTCO WHOLESALE CORPORATION, No. 5:21-CV-01202-EJD, 2021 WL 6000078 (N.D. Cal. Dec. 20, 2021), the court decided whether Costco’s labeling of their ice cream bars was misleading. The plaintiff claimed that the product contained mostly vegetable oils and did not contain ingredients derived from cacao beans. The court found that none of the plaintiff’s cited regulations supported a viable theory of liability. Plaintiff claimed that a regulation required that a chocolate product must be made from cacao beans, and while the there is some support for that claim, the regulation does not support the plaintiff’s claim that it must be “chiefly” made from cacao beans. Furthermore, the court held that the plaintiff failed to state a deceptive labeling claim because the reasonable consumer would know that the chocolate must be mixed with something to create a coating for the ice cream bars. The court dismissed the complaint.

In Rural Empowerment Ass’n for Cmty. Help v. State, 2021-NCCOA-693, 2021 WL 6014722 (N.C. Ct. App. Dec. 21, 2021), the court determined whether North Carolina’s Right to Farm Act was constitutional. In 2017 and 2018, the North Carolina legislature passed H.B. 467 and H.B. 711 to clarify and strengthen the state’s Right to Farm laws to protect and ensure farming can continue in the state. Plaintiffs argued that H.B. 467 and S.B. 711 violated the Law of the Land Clause and asserted that the statutes facially exceeded the scope of the State’s police power. The court found that limiting potential nuisance liability from agricultural, forestry, and related operations helps to ensure the State’s stated goal to protect agricultural activities in North Carolina and to encourage the availability and continued “production of food, fiber, and other products.” The court ultimately held that H.B. 467 and S.B. 711 were a valid exercise of legislative and the State’s police powers, they did not violate the Law of the Land Clause or Due Process, were not a special or private law, and did not deprive a prospective plaintiff of the right to a jury trial. The court affirmed the trial courts order.




Final rule changing the membership of the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council under the Blueberry Promotion, Research and Information Order, by removing the first handler member and alternate position and adding two exporter member and alternate positions. Info here.


Notice announcing the EPA received an application from Biotalys NV, Buchtenstraat 11, requesting a pesticide experimental use permit. EPA has determined that the permit may be of regional and national significance. Therefore, EPA is seeking comments on this application. Info here.  

Notice announcing that the EPA has received applications to register new uses for pesticide products containing currently registered active ingredients. Pursuant to the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act, EPA is hereby providing notice of receipt and opportunity to comment on these applications. Info here.

Final rule establishing tolerances for residues of bicyclopyrone in or on the fresh and dried forms of lemongrass, rosemary, and wormwood. Info here.


Temporary rule transferring 19.5 metric tons (mt) of Atlantic bluefin tuna quota from the 28.9-mt General category December 2022 subquota to the January through March 2022 subquota period. Info here.

Final rule announcing routine inseason adjustments to management measures in commercial and recreational groundfish fisheries. Info here.

Final rule modifying catch limits in the Gulf of Mexico exclusive economic zone for lane snapper. Info here.

Proposed rule proposing to remove Johnson’s seagrass (Halophila johnsonii) from the Federal List of Threatened and Endangered Species. Info here.

Proposed rule seeking comments on the amendment to the Fishery Management Plan for the Dolphin and Wahoo Fishery of the Atlantic submitted by the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council. Info here.