Public Meetings, Congressional Hearings, Calls for Comments

 FOOD & AGRICULTURE 

  • Public interest groups are demanding a look at the forthcoming poultry inspection regulations before they are enacted as federal policy. Read more
  • House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas (OK-03), House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings (WA-04), and 12 Members of Congress recently sent a letter to Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack asking for a copy of a report, as required by law, on the cost and effectiveness of the Department's conservation measures for the lesser prairie chicken. 
  • The sheep industry is relieved by congressional action to keep the U.S. Sheep Experiment Station at Dubois, Idaho, open. USDA had requested reprogramming of funds for the station, which would have shuttered its doors. Read more 
  • Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and CoBank CEO Robert Engel are announcing $10 billion in private funding to invest in rural infrastructure projects across the country. Read more
  • Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the creation of the Foundation for Food and Agricultural Research (FFAR) and the appointment of a 15-member board of directors. The new foundation will leverage public and private resources to increase the scientific and technological research, innovation, and partnerships critical to boosting America's agricultural economy. Read more  
  • Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Chairwoman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, today said that school personnel, parents, community leaders and other stakeholders must work together to address challenges in providing healthy meals to children in schools. Stabenow, whose comments came during a Committee hearing as part of a larger effort to update child nutrition laws, said reversing course is not an option because the health of our children is directly linked to the health of our economy, national security, and long-term sustainability as a nation. Read more
  • Rep. Steve King, Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee's Subcommittee on Department Operations, Oversight, and Nutrition, held a public hearing to examine the role of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) in relation to other federal assistance programs.  Read more
  • In a 2-1 decision, the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York ruled Thursday that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is not required to hold hearings concerning the safety of feeding antibiotics at subtherapeutic levels. Read more
  • Agricultural organizations are marshaling forces to defeat a proposed rule by the EPA and the U.S. Corps of Engineers that would expand the regulatory authority of those agencies under the Clean Water Act, with significant impact on U.S. farming practices, they say. Read more
  • Overall U.S. food inflation will remain near the historic norm in 2014, even as prices for meat and seafood are pushed higher by disease and widespread drought, the USDA said on Friday. Read more
  • House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., aims to consolidate several existing programs, including Section 8 housing vouchers, food stamps, and welfare payments, and to increase tax credits for low-income Americans. Read more
  • 2 ag-gag laws facing federal court challenges. Read more 
  • Although the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said in April that it plans to permit a new weed killer called Enlist Duo onto the market, consumer advocates are attempting to dissuade the agency from doing so before a final decision is made. Read more
  • First lady Michelle Obama swore off eating french fries after President Obama told a crowd of children she has a a weakness for the high-calorie food. Read more 
  • The good news is that after decades of furious growth, obesity rates finally seem to be leveling off in the U.S. The bad news is that America's youth still appear to be dangerously unaware of the problem. Read more 
  • View the Times article, "Have the Feds Made School Food Worse with Government-Approved Junk?" 
  • While Arizona is on a list to receive over $98 million in Farm Bill funding to rehabilitate dams that provide critical infrastructure and protect public health and safety, California will receive none of the Natural Resources Conservation Service funding. Read more 
  • Lawmakers urge quick farm bill implementation. Read more 
  • As U.S. farmers turn in record grain crops this autumn, many will have a powerful new tool - giant sausage-shaped storage bags - to help them avoid the lowest prices in years and gain more control over trade with giants such as Cargill Inc. Read more 
  • Chipotle Mexican Grill boasted a near record same-store sales increase for its second quarter based largely on traffic growth, indicating that price increases that began in April have done little to discourage the burrito habits of guests. Read more
  • Starbucks Corp.'s net income for the third quarter ended June 29 rose nearly 23 percent, with global same-store sales increasing 6 percent, the company said Thursday. Read more
  • Gov. Paul LePage announced Wednesday that Maine will no longer seek a federal waiver that allows some able-bodied adults to receive food stamps without fulfilling work requirements. Read more
  • An initiative that would require the labeling of food products containing genetically modified ingredients qualified for the Oregon ballot Wednesday as elections officials presented a final list of seven measures for November. Read more
  • The Agriculture Department reports that Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program enrollment totals have declined each month in 2014, while the expiration of a temporary benefits increase has further reduced the cost of the program. Read more
  • The USDA has selected "green" food activist Angie Tagtow as executive director of the Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion (CNPP). Rep. Tom Latham (R-Iowa), says Tagtow will "do great things" but Americans have reason to wonder. Read more
  • Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that communities across the nation will benefit from a $262 million investment to rehabilitate dams that provide critical infrastructure and protect public health and safety. Read more
  • Tom Vilsack announced USDA is providing $9.7 million in emergency water assistance to 73,000 residents in 11 California counties experiencing the driest year on record. Read more  
  • Tom Vilsack has declared August 3 through 9, 2014, "National Farmers Market Week". Throughout the week, USDA will celebrate our nation's thousands of farmers markets, farmers who make them possible and the communities that host them. 
  • Tom Vilsack announced that USDA is providing support to Native American communities in 18 states to help strengthen tribal business and create jobs. The funding is from USDA's Rural Business Enterprise Grant (RBEG) program, which promotes the development of small and emerging businesses in rural areas. 
  • Tom Vilsack reminded producers that changes mandated through the 2014 Farm Bill require them to have on file a Highly Erodible Land Conservation and Wetland Conservation Certification (AD-1026). The Farm Bill relinked highly erodible land conservation and wetland conservation compliance with eligibility for premium support paid under the federal crop insurance program. 
  • The White House Rural Council announced the creation of the new U.S. Rural Infrastructure Opportunity Fund through which private entities can invest in job-creating rural infrastructure projects across the country. Read more
  • Tom Vilsack announced that the USDA has selected 36 energy facilities in 14 states to accept biomass deliveries supported by the Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP), which was authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill. Read more

TRADE & INTERNATIONAL AGRICULTURE NEWS

  • Officials with the University of California - Davis, and a China agricultural university in Shaanxi province signed an agreement this week to establish the Sino-U.S. Joint Research Center for Food Safety in China. Read more
  • China is growing less cotton - millions of bales less - and that spells opportunity for the U.S., despite China having 50 million to 60 million bales of its own cotton sitting in reserves. Read more 
  • McDonald's and KFC in China faced a new food safety scare Monday after a Shanghai television station reported a supplier sold them expired beef and chicken. Read more 
  • A suspect meat scandal in China engulfed Starbucks and Burger King on Tuesday and spread to Japan where McDonald's said the Chinese supplier accused of selling expired beef and chicken had provided 20 percent of the meat for its chicken nuggets. Read more 
  • Three months after it scrapped plans for a $5.3 billion share sale in Hong Kong, China's WH Group, the world's biggest pork producer, is back with a leaner offering that will seek to raise about $2 billion. Read more 
  • Canadian National Railway Co, the country's largest rail operator, reported a big spike in profit on Monday as it moved record volumes of goods and made a swift recovery from last quarter's brutal winter weather. Read more 
  • Aussie listeria tests led to recall of likely already consumed California fruit. Read more 
  • The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has amended its regulations so that it can fine meat processors for violations of food safety programs such as Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) and non-food safety issues such as labeling and consumer protection. Read more 
  • South Korea has confirmed a case of foot-and-mouth disease at a hog farm, the country's first outbreak in more than three years, the agriculture ministry said in a statement on Thursday. Read more 
  • The US Justice Department announced on Thursday that a Federal court entered judgment against French bank BNP Paribas for $80 million for defrauding a program designed to encourage American exports. Read more 
  • China's overgrown and smog-hit capital Beijing has passed new rules banning the expansion of polluting and resource-intensive industries, the local government said on Friday. Read more
  • Harvest of the world's biggest coffee and sugar cane crops may be stalled by the four to five days of rain that are in store for southeast Brazil starting Thursday, forecasters said on Tuesday. Read more
  • Brazil's government approved the use of pesticides with the active ingredient cyantraniliprole to fight the coffee borer beetle, a note published in the country's Official Gazette. Read more
  • Russia's consumer protection agency has filed a lawsuit in a Moscow court seeking to ban some of McDonald's Corp's burgers along with its milk shakes and ice cream, a court spokeswoman said on Friday. Read more
  • View the statement by Deputy Chief of Mission Chris Wilson at the World Trade Organization Trade Policy Review of Panama.
  • View the remarks by Ambassador Michael Froman at the White House Rural Opportunity Investment Conference. 

USDA REPORTS

WHITE HOUSE

  • President Obama has dispatched a team of Defense and Homeland Security department officials to determine the efficacy of a National Guard deployment to the border, a component of a Republican working group proposal to tackle the situation. Read more
  • Before signing an executive order barring federal contractors from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity, the president called on Congress to extend similar protections to all workers. 

CONGRESS

  • House leadership aims to tackle four key issues ahead of the August recess: a short-term spending bill to keep government funded and operating at current levels beyond Oct. 1; Republicans' funding and policy response to the president's supplemental request; reforms to the embattled Veterans Affairs Department; and formal authorization of Speaker John Boehner's lawsuit over Obama's use of executive actions. Read more
  • Senate Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., is set to unveil a plan to provide $2.7 billion in supplemental funding-$1 billion below the administration's request-while Republicans call for policy changes as a condition for approval. Read more

POLITICS

  • Former Dollar General CEO David Perdue edged 11-term Rep. Jack Kingston in the GOP runoff for Georgia's open Senate seat, garnering 51 percent of the vote and setting up a general-election battle against Democrat Michelle Nunn. Read more
  • Texas Gov. Rick Perry deployed up to 1,000 National Guard troops to the U.S.-Mexico border in an effort to stem the tide of child migrants from Central America, and plans to seek federal reimbursement for the $12 million monthly cost. Read more
  • Incoming House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., hauled in donations from nearly three dozen new donors-ranging from senior executives at Washington lobbying firms to committees representing the defense, financial, and medical industries-in late June. Read more

BUDGET & ECONOMY

  • A divided Securities and Exchange Commission voted Wednesday to impose new rules designed to reduce systemic risks in the $2.6 trillion industry. Read more
  • Sales of existing homes rose for a third consecutive month and the median sale price reached its highest level since 2007, while the Consumer Price Index rose 0.3 percent on the strength of gas-price increases. Read more
  • Over the objections of Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, the Senate agreed by voice vote to require the central bank's board to include at least one governor with a background in community banking. Read more

FOREIGN AFFAIRS

  • Secretary of State John Kerry left Israel on Wednesday without finding a path toward a cease-fire in the Gaza Strip. Read more
  • American intelligence officials detailed evidence that a Russian-made SA-11 brought down Flight 17, but said there is no evidence of direct involvement on the part of the Russian government. Read more
  • Negotiators for the P5+1 nuclear talks with Iran failed to strike a long-term deal by Sunday-their self-imposed deadline-but instead extended the talks until Nov. 24. Read more

HEALTH CARE

  • A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled in Halbig v. Burwell that the federal government may not subsidize the insurance premiums of individuals receiving coverage through the federal exchange, while a panel of the Richmond, Va.-based U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit held in King v. Burwell that the Internal Revenue Service rule establishing the subsidies is "a permissible exercise of the agency's discretion." Read more
  • HHS announced that the U.S. territories of Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands will be exempt from ACA rules. Read more
  • The Justice Department will seek an en banc review of Halbig v. Burwell. As the two sides map out their next steps, the big question is whether the subsidies issue will give the Supreme Court a third crack at the health care law. Read more

FOOD SAFETY

DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE  
Records To Be Kept by Official Establishments and Retail Stores That Grind Raw Beef Products 
SUMMARY: The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is proposing to amend its recordkeeping regulations to specify that all official establishments and retail stores that grind raw beef products for sale in commerce must keep records that disclose the identity and contact information of the supplier of all source materials that they use in the preparation of each lot of raw ground beef. 
Link: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2014-07-22/html/2014-17128.htm 

MEETINGS

August 4-7, 2014
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE 
Forest Service Medicine Bow-Routt Resource Advisory Committee  
SUMMARY: The Medicine Bow-Routt Resource Advisory Committee (RAC) will meet in Walden, Colorado. The committee is authorized under the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act (Pub. L. 110-343) (the Act) and operates in compliance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act. 
Link: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2014-07-24/html/2014-17417.htm 

August 25, 2014
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR  
Notice of Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board Meeting 
SUMMARY: The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) announces that the Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board will conduct a meeting on matters pertaining to management and protection of wild, free-roaming horses and burros on the Nation's public lands.
Link: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2014-07-25/html/2014-17378.htm 

MARKETING

July 28, 2014
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE  
Spearmint Oil Produced in the Far West; Decreased Assessment Rate  
SUMMARY: The USDA is adopting, as a final rule, without change, an interim rule that decreased the assessment rate established for the Spearmint Oil Administrative Committee (Committee) for the 2014-2015 and subsequent marketing years from $0.10 to $0.09 per pound of spearmint oil handled. 
Link: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2014-07-25/html/2014-17505.htm 

OTHER ITEMS

July 15, 2014
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE 

 Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration United States Standards for Whole Dry Peas
SUMMARY: The USDA's Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) is revising the United States Standards for Whole Dry Peas to establish an additional color grading factor requirement for the Whole Dry Peas class "Smooth Yellow Dry Peas'' and establish a definition for "fair color yellow peas.'' These changes will help facilitate the marketing of the class, Smooth Yellow Dry Peas and help ensure the purity of classes for Whole Dry Peas. 
Link: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2014-07-23/html/2014-17256.htm 

July 22, 2014
DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE  
Grain-Oriented Electrical Steel From Germany, Japan, and Poland: Final Determinations of Sales at Less Than Fair Value and Certain Final Affirmative Determination of Critical Circumstances  
SUMMARY: The Department of Commerce determines that grain-oriented electrical steel (GOES) from Germany, Japan, and Poland is being, or is likely to be, sold in the United States at less than fair value (LTFV), as provided in section 735 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act). 
Link: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2014-07-22/html/2014-17226.htm 

August 20, 2014
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY  
Notice of Receipt of Pesticide Products; Registration Application To Register New Uses 
SUMMARY: This notice announces receipt of applications to register new uses for pesticide products containing currently registered active ingredients pursuant to the provisions of section 3(c) of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), as amended. 
Link: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2014-07-21/html/2014-17130.htm 

August 25, 2014
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE  
Outreach and Assistance for Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers and Veteran Farmers and Ranchers Program  
SUMMARY: This notice announces the availability of funds and solicits applications from eligible entities to compete for financial assistance through the Outreach and Assistance for Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers and Veteran Farmers and Ranchers Program (hereinafter the "2501 Program''). 
Link: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2014-07-24/html/2014-17254.htm 

September 22, 2014
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE 
Commodity Credit Corporation Notice of Funds Availability (NOFA); Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance for 2012 Fruit Crop Losses
SUMMARY: The Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) and the Farm Service Agency (FSA) are announcing the availability of Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) payments under the 2012 NAP Frost Freeze (NAPFF) Program, which will provide payments for losses to 2012 annual fruit crops grown on bushes or trees in counties that received Secretarial disaster designations due to frost or freeze for the 2012 crop year. 
Link: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2014-07-22/html/2014-17237.htm 

September 23, 2014
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
Fragrance Components; Proposed Exemption From the Requirement of a Tolerance  
SUMMARY: This document proposes to establishes an exemption from the requirement of a tolerance for residues of various fragrance component substances (when used as inert ingredients) in antimicrobial pesticide formulations for use on food contact surfaces in public eating places, dairy processing equipment, and food processing equipment and utensils.  
Link: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2014-07-25/html/2014-17613.htm 

DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE  
United States Standards for Barley  
SUMMARY: The Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) is proposing to revise the U.S. Standards for Barley (barley standards) under the U.S. Grain Standards Act (USGSA) by revising the Definitions of Other Terms to remove Blue Malting barley and the reference to kernels with white aleurone layers. 
Link: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2014-07-25/html/2014-17258.htm 

October 23, 2014
FARM CREDIT ADMINISTRATION  
Organization; Funding and Fiscal Affairs, Loan Policies and Operations, and Funding Operations; Investment Eligibility 
SUMMARY: The Farm Credit Administration (FCA, Agency, us, our, or we) proposes to amend our regulations governing the eligibility of investments held by Farm Credit banks. 
Link: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2014-07-25/html/2014-17493.htm 

TRADE & INTERNATIONAL AGRICULTURE NEWS

  • Officials with the University of California - Davis, and a China agricultural university in Shaanxi province signed an agreement this week to establish the Sino-U.S. Joint Research Center for Food Safety in China. Read more
  • China is growing less cotton - millions of bales less - and that spells opportunity for the U.S., despite China having 50 million to 60 million bales of its own cotton sitting in reserves. Read more 
  • McDonald's and KFC in China faced a new food safety scare Monday after a Shanghai television station reported a supplier sold them expired beef and chicken. Read more 
  • A suspect meat scandal in China engulfed Starbucks and Burger King on Tuesday and spread to Japan where McDonald's said the Chinese supplier accused of selling expired beef and chicken had provided 20 percent of the meat for its chicken nuggets. Read more 
  • Three months after it scrapped plans for a $5.3 billion share sale in Hong Kong, China's WH Group, the world's biggest pork producer, is back with a leaner offering that will seek to raise about $2 billion. Read more 
  • Canadian National Railway Co, the country's largest rail operator, reported a big spike in profit on Monday as it moved record volumes of goods and made a swift recovery from last quarter's brutal winter weather. Read more 
  • Aussie listeria tests led to recall of likely already consumed California fruit. Read more 
  • The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has amended its regulations so that it can fine meat processors for violations of food safety programs such as Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) and non-food safety issues such as labeling and consumer protection. Read more 
  • South Korea has confirmed a case of foot-and-mouth disease at a hog farm, the country's first outbreak in more than three years, the agriculture ministry said in a statement on Thursday. Read more 
  • The US Justice Department announced on Thursday that a Federal court entered judgment against French bank BNP Paribas for $80 million for defrauding a program designed to encourage American exports. Read more 
  • China's overgrown and smog-hit capital Beijing has passed new rules banning the expansion of polluting and resource-intensive industries, the local government said on Friday. Read more
  • Harvest of the world's biggest coffee and sugar cane crops may be stalled by the four to five days of rain that are in store for southeast Brazil starting Thursday, forecasters said on Tuesday. Read more
  • Brazil's government approved the use of pesticides with the active ingredient cyantraniliprole to fight the coffee borer beetle, a note published in the country's Official Gazette. Read more
  • Russia's consumer protection agency has filed a lawsuit in a Moscow court seeking to ban some of McDonald's Corp's burgers along with its milk shakes and ice cream, a court spokeswoman said on Friday. Read more
  • View the statement by Deputy Chief of Mission Chris Wilson at the World Trade Organization Trade Policy Review of Panama.
  • View the remarks by Ambassador Michael Froman at the White House Rural Opportunity Investment Conference. 

USDA REPORTS

WHITE HOUSE

  • President Obama has dispatched a team of Defense and Homeland Security department officials to determine the efficacy of a National Guard deployment to the border, a component of a Republican working group proposal to tackle the situation. Read more
  • Before signing an executive order barring federal contractors from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity, the president called on Congress to extend similar protections to all workers. 

CONGRESS

  • House leadership aims to tackle four key issues ahead of the August recess: a short-term spending bill to keep government funded and operating at current levels beyond Oct. 1; Republicans' funding and policy response to the president's supplemental request; reforms to the embattled Veterans Affairs Department; and formal authorization of Speaker John Boehner's lawsuit over Obama's use of executive actions. Read more
  • Senate Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., is set to unveil a plan to provide $2.7 billion in supplemental funding-$1 billion below the administration's request-while Republicans call for policy changes as a condition for approval. Read more

POLITICS

  • Former Dollar General CEO David Perdue edged 11-term Rep. Jack Kingston in the GOP runoff for Georgia's open Senate seat, garnering 51 percent of the vote and setting up a general-election battle against Democrat Michelle Nunn. Read more
  • Texas Gov. Rick Perry deployed up to 1,000 National Guard troops to the U.S.-Mexico border in an effort to stem the tide of child migrants from Central America, and plans to seek federal reimbursement for the $12 million monthly cost. Read more
  • Incoming House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., hauled in donations from nearly three dozen new donors-ranging from senior executives at Washington lobbying firms to committees representing the defense, financial, and medical industries-in late June. Read more

BUDGET & ECONOMY

  • A divided Securities and Exchange Commission voted Wednesday to impose new rules designed to reduce systemic risks in the $2.6 trillion industry. Read more
  • Sales of existing homes rose for a third consecutive month and the median sale price reached its highest level since 2007, while the Consumer Price Index rose 0.3 percent on the strength of gas-price increases. Read more
  • Over the objections of Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, the Senate agreed by voice vote to require the central bank's board to include at least one governor with a background in community banking. Read more

FOREIGN AFFAIRS

  • Secretary of State John Kerry left Israel on Wednesday without finding a path toward a cease-fire in the Gaza Strip. Read more
  • American intelligence officials detailed evidence that a Russian-made SA-11 brought down Flight 17, but said there is no evidence of direct involvement on the part of the Russian government. Read more
  • Negotiators for the P5+1 nuclear talks with Iran failed to strike a long-term deal by Sunday-their self-imposed deadline-but instead extended the talks until Nov. 24. Read more

HEALTH CARE

  • A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled in Halbig v. Burwell that the federal government may not subsidize the insurance premiums of individuals receiving coverage through the federal exchange, while a panel of the Richmond, Va.-based U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit held in King v. Burwell that the Internal Revenue Service rule establishing the subsidies is "a permissible exercise of the agency's discretion." Read more
  • HHS announced that the U.S. territories of Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands will be exempt from ACA rules. Read more
  • The Justice Department will seek an en banc review of Halbig v. Burwell. As the two sides map out their next steps, the big question is whether the subsidies issue will give the Supreme Court a third crack at the health care law. Read more

FOOD SAFETY

DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE  
Records To Be Kept by Official Establishments and Retail Stores That Grind Raw Beef Products 
SUMMARY: The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is proposing to amend its recordkeeping regulations to specify that all official establishments and retail stores that grind raw beef products for sale in commerce must keep records that disclose the identity and contact information of the supplier of all source materials that they use in the preparation of each lot of raw ground beef. 
Link: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2014-07-22/html/2014-17128.htm 

MEETINGS

August 4-7, 2014
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE 
Forest Service Medicine Bow-Routt Resource Advisory Committee  
SUMMARY: The Medicine Bow-Routt Resource Advisory Committee (RAC) will meet in Walden, Colorado. The committee is authorized under the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act (Pub. L. 110-343) (the Act) and operates in compliance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act. 
Link: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2014-07-24/html/2014-17417.htm 

August 25, 2014
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR  
Notice of Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board Meeting 
SUMMARY: The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) announces that the Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board will conduct a meeting on matters pertaining to management and protection of wild, free-roaming horses and burros on the Nation's public lands.
Link: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2014-07-25/html/2014-17378.htm 

MARKETING

July 28, 2014
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE  
Spearmint Oil Produced in the Far West; Decreased Assessment Rate  
SUMMARY: The USDA is adopting, as a final rule, without change, an interim rule that decreased the assessment rate established for the Spearmint Oil Administrative Committee (Committee) for the 2014-2015 and subsequent marketing years from $0.10 to $0.09 per pound of spearmint oil handled. 
Link: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2014-07-25/html/2014-17505.htm 

OTHER ITEMS

July 15, 2014
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE 

 Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration United States Standards for Whole Dry Peas
SUMMARY: The USDA's Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) is revising the United States Standards for Whole Dry Peas to establish an additional color grading factor requirement for the Whole Dry Peas class "Smooth Yellow Dry Peas'' and establish a definition for "fair color yellow peas.'' These changes will help facilitate the marketing of the class, Smooth Yellow Dry Peas and help ensure the purity of classes for Whole Dry Peas. 
Link: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2014-07-23/html/2014-17256.htm 

July 22, 2014
DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE  
Grain-Oriented Electrical Steel From Germany, Japan, and Poland: Final Determinations of Sales at Less Than Fair Value and Certain Final Affirmative Determination of Critical Circumstances  
SUMMARY: The Department of Commerce determines that grain-oriented electrical steel (GOES) from Germany, Japan, and Poland is being, or is likely to be, sold in the United States at less than fair value (LTFV), as provided in section 735 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act). 
Link: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2014-07-22/html/2014-17226.htm 

August 20, 2014
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY  
Notice of Receipt of Pesticide Products; Registration Application To Register New Uses 
SUMMARY: This notice announces receipt of applications to register new uses for pesticide products containing currently registered active ingredients pursuant to the provisions of section 3(c) of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), as amended. 
Link: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2014-07-21/html/2014-17130.htm 

August 25, 2014
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE  
Outreach and Assistance for Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers and Veteran Farmers and Ranchers Program  
SUMMARY: This notice announces the availability of funds and solicits applications from eligible entities to compete for financial assistance through the Outreach and Assistance for Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers and Veteran Farmers and Ranchers Program (hereinafter the "2501 Program''). 
Link: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2014-07-24/html/2014-17254.htm 

September 22, 2014
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE 
Commodity Credit Corporation Notice of Funds Availability (NOFA); Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance for 2012 Fruit Crop Losses
SUMMARY: The Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) and the Farm Service Agency (FSA) are announcing the availability of Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) payments under the 2012 NAP Frost Freeze (NAPFF) Program, which will provide payments for losses to 2012 annual fruit crops grown on bushes or trees in counties that received Secretarial disaster designations due to frost or freeze for the 2012 crop year. 
Link: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2014-07-22/html/2014-17237.htm 

September 23, 2014
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
Fragrance Components; Proposed Exemption From the Requirement of a Tolerance  
SUMMARY: This document proposes to establishes an exemption from the requirement of a tolerance for residues of various fragrance component substances (when used as inert ingredients) in antimicrobial pesticide formulations for use on food contact surfaces in public eating places, dairy processing equipment, and food processing equipment and utensils.  
Link: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2014-07-25/html/2014-17613.htm 

DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE  
United States Standards for Barley  
SUMMARY: The Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) is proposing to revise the U.S. Standards for Barley (barley standards) under the U.S. Grain Standards Act (USGSA) by revising the Definitions of Other Terms to remove Blue Malting barley and the reference to kernels with white aleurone layers. 
Link: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2014-07-25/html/2014-17258.htm 

October 23, 2014
FARM CREDIT ADMINISTRATION  
Organization; Funding and Fiscal Affairs, Loan Policies and Operations, and Funding Operations; Investment Eligibility 
SUMMARY: The Farm Credit Administration (FCA, Agency, us, our, or we) proposes to amend our regulations governing the eligibility of investments held by Farm Credit banks. 
Link: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2014-07-25/html/2014-17493.htm 

Call for Comments

IFT calls for comments on the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.  For details please refer to http://www.ift.org/public-policy-and-regulations/advocacy/ift-comments/call-for-comments.aspx.