Biden regulatory freeze halts USDA pandemic payments

As part of a government-wide regulatory freeze, the Biden administration has suspended payments while it reviews the $3 billion in pandemic aid to agricultural producers that was announced in the final week of the Trump administration, said the USDA on Thursday.

USDA withdraws proposals on poultry plant line speeds and SNAP

As part of the regulatory freeze announced by President Biden, the USDA withdrew proposed regulations that would have allowed much faster line speeds at poultry slaughter plants and would have ended SNAP benefits for 3.1 million people by tightening eligibility rules. They were among seven USDA …

Shea is acting chief of USDA; Biden freezes regulations

Kevin Shea, a longtime USDA official, became acting agriculture secretary with the arrival of the Biden administration on Wednesday, said a USDA spokesman amid the appointment of several new officials. The White House also announced a freeze on new federal regulations.

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.

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.