A comprehensive summary of today’s judicial, legislative, and regulatory developments in agriculture and food. Email important additions to: camarigg at uark.edu

ANNOUNCEMENT: Join us TODAY at 12 noon (ET) for a free webinar: The Veterinary Feed Directive Rules and How They Will Affect You. Details and sign-in information here.  

JUDICIAL: Includes environmental issues.

In Wildearth Guardians v. Hoover, No. CV 16-65-M-DWM, 2016 WL 6683363, (D. Mont. Nov. 14, 2016), plaintiff sought injunction against defendants claiming they did not comply with environmental and regulatory procedures in implementing a federal export program allowing animal pelts to be exported from the U.S. pursuant to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). Defendant claimed plaintiff lacks standing and sought motion to dismiss. The court observed, “CITES is a multilateral treaty that aims to protect wildlife by regulating trade in certain species that are vulnerable to, or adversely affected by, trade. A CITES export permit or certificate is therefore required for the exportation of pelts or other parts of those furbearing animals.” Per pleadings, court determined plaintiff “identified concrete harms flowing from its alleged procedural violation,” and “has sufficiently established causation.” Defendant’s motion to dismiss denied.

DARRELL de TIENNE & CHELSEA FARMS, LCC, Appellants, v. SHORELINES HEARINGS BOARD; PAUL H. GARRISON & BETTY N. GARRISON; PIERCE COUNTY; & COALITION TO PROTECT PUGET SOUND HABITAT, Respondents., No. 74844-1-I, 2016 WL 6683618, (Wash. Ct. App. Nov. 14, 2016) involved a land use permit. Plaintiff owns a parcel of property designated as “a shoreline of statewide significance.” In 2005, plaintiff applied for a “shoreline substantial development permit” to operate a commercial geoduck farm on the property. Eelgrass beds separate portions of the proposed farm and the grass is “a critical and fragile aquatic habitat” protected by Washington’s Shoreline Management Act. The permit was initially approved, but the Shorelines Hearings Board (defendant) reversed the decision concluding the permit “did not adequately protect the eelgrass.” Plaintiff appealed denial of the permit, but the court ruled defendant’s findings established “substantial evidence that the proposed commercial geoduck operation will have adverse impacts on the critical eelgrass habitat and the buffer to protect the eelgrass was inadequate.” The court further concluded defendant “did not err in concluding the Coalition met its burden of proving the permit buffers did not adequately protect the eelgrass from adverse impacts in violation of the SMA and Pierce County SMP.” Judgment for defendant affirmed.

REGULATORY: Includes EPA, FWS, FDA, FSIS and NOAA rules and notices.

ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY: Rule EPA wants to add a nonylphenol ethoxylates category to the list of toxic chemicals subject to reporting under section 313 of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act and section 6607 of the Pollution Prevention Act. Info here.

FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICENotice FWS announces availability of the final long range transportation plan. The Final LRTP outlines a strategy for improving and maintaining transportation assets that provide access to Service-managed lands in the Northeast Region over the next 20 years. Details here.\

FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION: Rule FDA published a direct final rule regarding procedures for refusing to accept premarket tobacco product submissions in the Federal Register of August 8, 2016. FDA withdraws the direct final rule because the Agency received significant adverse comment. Details here.

FOOD SAFETY AND INSPECTION SERVICENotice FSIS announces that while FSIS is in the process of rulemaking to update the Nutrition Facts label format for meat and poultry products, establishments may voluntarily choose to use the Nutrition Facts label format the FDA recently finalized. Info here.


Rule NMFS is opening directed fishing for Pacific cod by catcher/processors using pot gear in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Management Area. Info here.

Rule NMFS will reopen comment period on the proposed rule under the Marine Mammal Protection Act prohibiting swimming with and approaching a Hawaiian spinner dolphin within 50 yards, including approach by interception. Details here.

Notice requesting extension of a currently approved information collection concerning the Large Pelagic Fishing Survey that consists of dockside and telephone surveys of recreational anglers for large pelagic fish in the Atlantic Ocean. Details here.

Notice NMFS will issue exempted fishing permits, scientific research permits, display permits, letters of acknowledgment, shark research fishery permits, and chartering permits for Atlantic highly migratory species in 2017. Info here.