New York City waits while FDA aims for menu labeling next year

FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb says the agency "will provide additional, practical guidance" to food retailers by the end of the year so they will be ready to comply with menu-labeling rules when they take effect, which is now scheduled for May 2018. The FDA announced it was going forward with the May 2018 target at the same time New York City agreed in court not to enforce its own labeling law until next May.

Impossible Foods defends its plant-based burger

In a public letter, the chief executive officer of Impossible Foods defended the company’s methods of producing a popular plant-based burger that is designed to mimic meat. The method includes genetically engineering algae to produce a soy protein, which the FDA has said could raise allergen concerns.

Senate panel votes to keep top USDA rural development job, tells Trump to fill it

The Senate Appropriations Committee approved unanimously a USDA-FDA funding bill that rejected President Trump's proposals to slash spending on rural development, crop insurance and food stamps. And in the first major congressional disagreement with Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, the $145 billion funding bill overrode his recent elimination of the slot for an undersecretary in charge of rural economic development — and directed the administration to fill the job.

House appropriators open the door to horse slaughter

The long-running ban on horse slaughter in the United States, a rider on the annual USDA-FDA funding bill, would end on Sept. 30 under a vote by the House Appropriations Committee. Before clearing the bill for a floor vote, the committee refused, 27-25, to include the provision in the $145 billion funding bill for the fiscal year that begins on Oct. 1.

Wanted for USDA trade chief: A battler

Farm groups persuaded Congress to create a high-level USDA post to promote U.S, agricultural exports. Lawmakers, in putting up money for the office, want a fearless advocate on the job. "Be cognizant and steadfast in raising trade enforcement issues related to the agricultural practices of foreign nations," says the House Appropriations Committee in a report that accompanies the USDA-FDA funding bill for fiscal 2018.

Report: Many options for replacing antibiotics in meat supply, but is demand high?

Since the FDA began moving three years ago to control antibiotic use in meat animals — an effort that culminated in January with a ban on growth-promoter antibiotics, which fatten livestock inexpensively — farmers have wondered whether anything can take the drugs’ place.

Canadian province approves AquaBounty plan to raise GE salmon on land

The Prince Edward Island environment minister approved a proposal by AquaBounty, the developer of a genetically engineered salmon, to produce 250 tonnes a year of the fish at Rollo Bay West, on the northeastern shore of the province, reported the CBC.

FDA delays compliance date for new Nutrition Facts label

The Food and Drug Administration decided foodmakers need more time to put the updated Nutrition Facts label on their packages and said it will allow additional time beyond the July 28, 2018, deadline set two years ago. The new deadline will be announced later, said the agency, to the applause of the food industry and the dismay of consumer groups.

Consumer groups sue FDA to put calorie counts on menus

Last month, the FDA gave restaurants, fast food companies and convenience stores an additional year, until May 2018, to include on their menus the caloric content of the food and beverages that they sell. Now, the decision is being challenged in U.S. district court by two consumer groups who say the agency is "randomly sowing chaos" with its delay of useful information.

FDA says it will allow more time to comply with farm water standards

In the face of industry complaints, the Food and Drug Administration said it would extend the date, now set for January 2018, to comply with agricultural water standards for produce. In an announcement, the agency said "the length of the extension is under consideration" and will be determined "using appropriate procedures at a later time." The extension does not apply to sprouts.