USDA suggests tighter rules for ‘Product of USA’ label on meat
Closing a loophole, the Agriculture Department proposed on Monday to allow packages to carry the "Made in the USA" or "Product of USA" label only if the meat, poultry and eggs in them were born, raised, slaughtered and processed in the United States. Consumer and activist farm groups applauded the proposal while the meat industry said it may violate trade rules.
White House competition checklist cites livestock marketing, ocean shipping
In a summary of achievements, the White House pointed on Monday to progress toward increased competition, including action on livestock marketing, consumer right-to-repair and ocean shipping rates. It said President Biden would "highlight progress we need to continue to make to promote competition and protect consumers" in the State of the Union speech on Tuesday, with so-called junk fees as an area for action.
Ban new CAFOs, boost ‘higher-welfare’ farms, ASPCA says
The new farm bill should reflect "Americans' concerns and compassion for animals and the environment" with steps that include a ban on new factory farms and encourage more attention to animal welfare, said the American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. "Public dollars should not support a cruel, polluting factory farm systems that harms animals, the environment, workers, farmers and rural communities alike."
Sales of antibiotics for food animals rise by 6 percent — FDA
Drug makers sold 11.1 million kilograms (24.5 million pounds) of antibiotics for use in cattle, hogs and poultry last year, up 6 percent from 2021, chiefly because of a large increase in sales of antimicrobials that are not considered medically important, said the FDA on Monday. Despite year-to-year fluctuations, like last year's increase, sales are much lower nowadays than before the FDA barred the use of antimicrobials to encourage weight gain in livestock.
U.S. disaster payments are needed, say organic livestock producers
Abnormally high feed costs, partly the result of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, are ruining organic livestock producers and federal relief payments are vital to keep farmers in business, said organic trade groups and businesses. "A perfect storm of trade disruptions, international conflicts and acute drought conditions has created a situation no farmer could have planned for or foreseen," said the 13 groups in a letter to lawmakers released on Monday.
Piggybacking onto a Supreme Court case over hogs
With varying perspectives, the pharmaceutical industry, the Canadian Pork Council and New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker hope to influence the Supreme Court in deciding whether an animal welfare law approved by California voters is an unconstitutional burden on the rest of America. The pork industry and the Justice Department say it is.
USDA issues rule against unfair practices in livestock marketing
At a meeting of his competition council, President Biden announced on Monday a proposed USDA rule to prevent unfair and deceptive practices in livestock marketing. It was the second of three rules planned by the USDA to give poultry, hog and cattle producers more leverage in dealing with meat processors.
USDA closes loopholes on origin of organic dairy livestock
After years of lobbying by organic farmers, the Agriculture Department tightened its rules on how dairy animals — cattle, goats and sheep — enter organic production, in the name of fairness to farmers and consumers. The new “origin of livestock” rule would end the practice of cycling dairy …
A plateau in sales of antibiotics for livestock after steep decline
Following the FDA ban on use of medically important antibiotics to encourage weight gain in hogs, cattle and poultry, sales of the drugs are averaging 6.1 million kilograms (13.4 million pounds) a year, a decline of 37 percent from their 2015 peak.
Genetic engineering is the future of agriculture, scientists tell lawmakers
The United States must modernize its regulation of agricultural biotechnology, especially in livestock, to reap the benefits of genetic engineering editing and to lead the world in breakthroughs of food production, said a panel of scientists on Tuesday. Joined by some farm-state lawmakers, panelists said the FDA and USDA should share duties in regulation of GE plants and animals.
Over FDA objections, Trump administration says USDA can regulate GE livestock
The Trump administration, in a move sought by the hog industry, pushed through an interdepartmental memorandum before leaving office that allows the USDA to regulate food-bearing GE livestock. FDA commissioner Stephen Hahn publicly objected on Tuesday and said his agency "has no intention of abdicating our public health mandate" over animal biotechnology.
Booker introduces bill that would reshape livestock farming
Sen. Cory Booker, who's seeking the Democratic nomination for president, today introduced new legislation that would reshape how livestock farming operates in the U.S. The Farm System Reform Act includes some changes that Booker and other legislators have proposed in the past, like a moratorium on new concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs). Other elements of the bill are new, like a plan to phase out large CAFOs in the next 20 years.(No paywall)
Researchers improve texture of cell-based meat
Creating cell-based meat that tastes and feels like muscle cuts from livestock has been one of the challenges of the young industry. Now, a team of researchers at Harvard's engineering school said they have grown rabbit and bovine muscle cells on edible gelatin 'scaffolds' that mimic the texture and consistency of naturally produced meat.
A ranch that produces not just beef, but medical parts
Just south of the Oregon border in Macdoel, California, the Prather Ranch has made a successful business not just selling top quality beef — but parts for the medical industry. "The hides are used to make purified collagen used in cell research. And the bones? Some have been made into screws for knee surgery," reports Lisa Morehouse in FERN's latest story, produced in collaboration with KQED's The California Report.
Sight, smell of hurricane damage ‘very impactful,’ says Perdue
Grounded by bad weather, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper visited a flooded poultry farm in livestock-heavy Duplin County on Monday for a first-hand look at recovery from Hurricane Florence. “The driving tour was very impactful,” said Perdue in a USDA audio …
Nixed livestock rule and fraud top organic topics at food policy conference
The Department of Agriculture’s withdrawal of an organic animal welfare rule and fraudulent organic imports were hot topics at Wednesday’s National Food Policy Conference in Washington, D.C. The conference, held by the Consumer Federation of America, is underwritten by some of the biggest food companies in the country, including Cargill, DowDuPont, General Mills, Walmart, and Tyson Foods.
New USDA report finds consolidation across crop, livestock sectors
A USDA report released March 20 finds that consolidation is rampant across agricultural sectors, affecting nearly all crops and most livestock.
Reinstate organic livestock rule, industry asks Perdue
On one of the last days before USDA can carry out its plan to kill the organic livestock rule, the organic food movement put a full-page ad in the Washington Post, asking Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue to drop the idea. The USDA announced in mid-December that it lacked statutory authority to implement the rule, which was a decade in the making, and set a 30-day comment period before it would withdraw the regulation.