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


JUDICIAL: Includes Oregon state law, the public trust doctrine, climate change

In Chernaik v. Brown, 367 Or. 143 (2020), the Supreme Court of Oregon reviewed a case concerning the public trust doctrine and climate change. The plaintiffs in this case allege that the public trust doctrine, a rule of law which requires states to hold certain natural resources in trust for the benefit of the public, requires the State of Oregon to protect various natural resources within the state from harm due to greenhouse gas emissions, climate change, and ocean acidification. Most of the natural resources identified by the plaintiffs typically do not fall under the protection of the public trust doctrine. For that reason, the lower courts found in favor of the defendants and dismissed the plaintiffs’ claims. However, the plaintiffs have appealed to the Oregon Supreme Court where they argue that the public trust doctrine must evolve to address how climate change is damaging natural resources. Ultimately, the court concluded that while the public trust doctrine can be expanded, it would not be expanded at this time. Specifically, the court declined to adopt the test that plaintiffs proposed for when the public trust doctrine should be expanded. The test proposed by the plaintiffs would have required the public trust doctrine to extend to any resource that is (1) not easily held or improve, and (2) is of great value to the public. According to the court, this test was too broad to be adopted. Therefore, the court refused to expand the public trust doctrine, finding in favor of the defendants. In Oregon, the public trust doctrine will continue to only encompass submerged and submersible lands underlying navigable waters and the navigable waters themselves. The case has been remanded back to the lower court.




Notice The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) of the Department of Agriculture (USDA) proposes to terminate the following 10 U.S. Consumer Standards: The U.S. Consumer Standards for Italian Sprouting Broccoli, U.S. Consumer Standards for Fresh Carrots, U.S. Consumer Standards for Celery Stalks, U.S. Consumer Standards for Husked Corn on the Cob, U.S. Consumer Standards for Fresh Kale, U.S. Consumer Standards for Fresh Spinach Leaves, U.S. Consumer Standards for Brussels Sprouts, U.S. Consumer Standards for Fresh Parsnips, U.S. Consumer Standards for Fresh Turnips, and U.S. Consumer Standards for Beet Greens. Info here.