Today’s quick hits, April 3, 2019

Pork farmers say they need Mexico (National Pork Producers Council): The leading pork industry lobby group urged the Trump administration not to sever trade with Mexico, noting that “American farmers are already facing mounting financial losses from retaliatory tariffs by Mexico and China.”

USDA backs off kitten testing (CNN): The USDA will no longer use kittens in its research into a type of parasite, the agency said. Members of Congress introduced a bill to end the practice in 2018.

FDA considers a ‘healthy’ icon for food (Pacific Standard): FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb says the agency is likely to issue a rule this summer defining what the word “healthy” means and is hashing out ideas for the icon, including whether the FDA logo should be part of it.

Lawmaker proposes a ‘right to food’ (AP): A farmer who is a state representative in Maine has proposed a constitutional amendment that declares, in part, all residents have the inalienable right to consume, barter and produce food.

Food alliance hires an executive director (Urban School Food Alliance): Katie Wilson, formerly a deputy undersecretary of agriculture for nutrition, begins work this month as the first executive director of the Urban School Food Alliance, a coalition of 10 of the largest school districts in the nation.

The other Manhattan project (Harvest Public Media): The National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility, a state-of-the-art facility for research into agricultural diseases and defense against bioterrorism, was originally scheduled to open in Manhattan, Kansas, last year but the completion date keeps slipping into the future.