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


JUDICIAL: Includes environmental law, NEPA, the ESA, FDA

In Inst. for Fisheries Res. v. U.S. Food & Drug Admin., No. 16-CV-01574-VC, 2020 WL 6495656 (N.D. Cal. Nov. 5, 2020), the court concluded that the United States Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) had failed to completely analyze the environmental impacts of its decision to allow a company to create and farm genetically engineered salmon. Specifically, the FDA failed to fully consider what might happen to “normal” salmon if genetically engineered salmon escaped from the fishery and established themselves in the wild. The plaintiffs’ claims were brought under the National Environmental Policy Act (“NEPA”) and the Endangered Species Act (“ESA”). According to the plaintiffs, the FDA failed to fully consider the impacts that the genetically engineered salmon would have on the environment as required by NEPA. The court agreed, concluding that the FDA had failed to adequately explain in its NEPA document why the potential impacts of the production of genetically engineered salmon will be insignificant. Additionally, the court concluded that the FDA needed to review its ESA determination that the genetically engineered salmon would have “no effect” on endangered species. Therefore, the court has sent the decision back to the FDA for it to reconsider its findings under NEPA and the ESA.




Proposed rule corrects the Supplementary Information to a proposed rule published in the Federal Register on October 5, 2020, regarding amendments to the Lamb Promotion, Research, and Information Order. Info here.


Notice announces the approval of Amendment 50 to the Fishery Management Plan (FMP) for Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands (BSAI) King and Tanner Crabs (Crab FMP) (Amendment 50). Info here.

Denial of Petition the NMFS Assistant Administrator for Fisheries (Assistant Administrator) has denied a petition for emergency rulemaking from Sea Shepherd Legal. Additionally, the Assistant Administrator has issued comparability findings for the Government of New Zealand’s (GNZ) following fisheries: West Coast North Island multi-species set net fishery, and West Coast North Island multi-species trawl fishery. Info here.

Proposed specification NMFS proposes a 2021 limit of 2,000 metric tons (t) of longline-caught bigeye tuna for each U.S. Pacific territory (American Samoa, Guam, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) (the territories)). Info here.

Temporary rule NMFS reopens the General category fishery for two days within the October through November 2020 General category subquota period. Info here.