When Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said this week that food stamps should not be “a permanent lifestyle” for able-bodied adults without dependents, he may have hinted at a forthcoming USDA proposal.
On the heels of EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s eleventh-hour reversal last March of an Obama-era ban on chlorpyrifos — an insecticide that can permanently damage a child’s developing brain, according to the EPA’s own scientists — the agency is evaluating yet another family of controversial pesticides possibly linked to attention deficit disorders, cognitive problems, and autism.
For the third time in a decade, the USDA is starting anew on modernizing its regulation of biotech plants. As part of the effort, the agency ditched a proposal that would have covered genome-editing techniques if the products created posed a plant pest or noxious weed risk.
After users complained of skin irritation, including rashes, Monsanto is delaying until further notice the launch of NemaStrike — a new farm chemical used to kill worms on corn, soybeans and cotton. “The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) did extensive evaluations of the product before approving it for use, according to Monsanto, which has described NemaStrike as ‘blockbuster technology,’” reports Reuters. Monsanto argues that some of its field testers may have been using the spray incorrectly or not wearing the proper protection.
EPA chief Scott Pruitt says the agency will no longer settle lawsuits with environmental groups behind closed doors, arguing that the Obama administration regularly excluded industry and state governments from those conversations while pandering to green activists.
In a letter released Tuesday, the FDA instructed the Nashoba Brook Bakery in West Concord, Mass., that it needed to remove "love" from the list of ingredients for its granola, Bloomberg reports. “Your Nashoba Granola label lists ingredient ‘Love,’” the agency wrote in the letter, which was dated Sept. 22. “‘Love’ is not a common or usual name of an ingredient, and is considered to be intervening material because it is not part of the common or usual name of the ingredient.”
Monsanto has been banned from attending European parliament proceedings after the corporation refused to appear for a parliamentary hearing, slated for October 11, to investigate regulatory interference. Monsanto is accused of influencing studies on the safety of the glyphosate, the primary ingredient in the company’s weedkiller Roundup.
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said he took over the 70,000-person department certain that “I got 30 percent of the crew that’s not loyal to the flag,” meaning President Trump and his agenda, reported the Associated Press. Zinke said he’s pursuing a major reorganization that would move much of the department’s decision making outside of Washington in an effort to break up entrenched attitudes.
Miles McEvoy, deputy administrator for the National Organic Program at the USDA, said he was stepping down Sept. 30 after eight years in the position, and moving back to his home state of Washington while he considers new opportunities.
John Duarte, a Northern California farmer, has agreed to pay a $1.1 million penalty to settle a years-long case that started in 2012, after he bought and tilled fallow land within a federally protected wetland.