Bright hopes, uncertain pace for industrial hemp

The 2018 farm bill legalized the production of industrial hemp and farmers are clearly interested in a potential new cash crop, but many obstacles must be overcome before the industry can take root, said lawmakers and federal regulators on Thursday.

Green light for gene-edited animals? Maybe.

At some point, the Food and Drug Administration might exempt gene-edited food animals from regulatory review, said Laura Epstein, a senior policy analyst at FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine, on Tuesday. “We’re not there yet, but we are open to getting there in the …

Put USDA in charge of gene-edited livestock, says hog industry

The U.S. hog industry is going to the White House in its campaign for the USDA to supplant FDA as the federal regulator of gene-edited food animals, leaders said on Tuesday. The industry says American preeminence in science and agricultural exports will suffer if gene-edited advances such as …

White House calls for light regulation of low-risk gene-edited crops and livestock

The three federal regulators of biotechnology, the USDA, EPA and FDA, were ordered by President Trump on Tuesday to modernize their handling of agricultural biotechnology, both to assure U.S. preeminence in the field and a safe food supply for a growing population. Referring to gene-edited …

House USDA-FDA spending bill delays hog slaughter rule, blocks ERS/NIFA move

In its passage of the $153 billion USDA-FDA funding bill for fiscal 2020, the House Appropriations Committee included amendments that would delay implementation of a controversial Department of Agriculture hog slaughter rule and block the relocation of ERS and NIFA outside of D.C. The inclusion …

FDA to delay ag-water rule until 2022

The FDA will soon announce a two-year delay on a rule setting water-quality standards for large produce farms, said Frank Yiannas, the agency’s deputy commissioner for food safety, on Thursday.

As USDA and FDA agree on oversight, aggies rail against ‘fake meat’

In a step that moves a new industry closer to commercial reality, the premier federal food-safety agencies agreed on Thursday on how to jointly regulate cell-based meat, a laboratory-grown protein that farm groups call “fake meat.” The FDA will oversee cell collection and growth, while the USDA will oversee harvesting and processing, and have final say over labeling.

GAO urges more government attention to food safety

Congress may need to intervene to assure the high-level coordination of food safety efforts, said the Government Accountability Office on Wednesday in a report listing three dozen “high-risk” areas throughout the government.

USDA will proceed slowly on industrial hemp

The 2018 farm bill legalized industrial hemp production, but it is likely to be 2020 before the USDA produces the regulatory framework for the new crop, said Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue on Wednesday.