California begins work to ban pesticide that EPA still allows

The California Department of Pesticide Regulation said on Wednesday that it is sending notices to pesticide makers that it will cancel registration of chlorpyrifos in the state because of “detrimental human health effects associated with the products’ use.”

USDA biotech rules nearing update, says undersecretary

The USDA soon will propose a modernized regulatory framework for agricultural biotechnology, said Undersecretary Greg Ibach on Monday, the third attempt since 2008 to overhaul rules that were written at the dawn of genetic engineering. Ibach told a farm conference that he could not discuss the …

State regulators call for early cutoff date for dicamba use

Many states have reported significant complaints from farmers about dicamba damage to their crops and plants, said an association of state pesticide regulators in calling for the EPA to tighten its rules on use of the weedkiller.

Industry proposal: USDA and FDA should share oversight of ‘cell-based’ meat

The U.S. meat industry and nascent competitor Memphis Meats agreed on a standard name — “cell-based meat and poultry” — for food produced from lab-cultured animal cells on Thursday and proposed joint FDA and USDA regulation of cell-based meat.

As a dairy scandal settles, a fight in Oregon about the future of farming

A scandal involving Lost Valley, Oregon’s second-largest dairy, illuminates a broader debate in the state: whether or not it should welcome more industrial, large-scale farming operations, and particularly large-scale dairies. No paywall

USDA may revamp food stamp time limits for able-bodied adults

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.

USDA will try again on update of biotechnology regulations

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.

Monsanto halts sale of new pesticide after skin complaints

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.

Enviros worry EPA will dismiss science showing pyrethroids’ risk to kids

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.

Pruitt says EPA will no longer settle with green groups behind doors

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.