Public Meetings, Congressional Hearings, Calls for Comments

CONGRESSIONAL HEARINGS

Week In Review

CONGRESS NEWS

  • Senate approves six-year highway bill (with Ex-Im reauthorization attached). The Hill
  • Senate votes to reauthorize Ex-Im bank. The Hill
  • McCarthy: House will not vote on Senate's highway funding bill. The Hill
  • Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) introduces $1.3 billion California drought-relief bill. LA Times
  • Conaway: No increase for CFTC without Dodd-Frank reforms. Agri-Pulse
  • (Opinion) Stabenow's COOL legislation guarantees retaliation. Agri-Pulse
  • (Opinion) The Hoeven-Stabenow COOL compromise, the only path forward for food labeling. Agri-Pulse

WHITE HOUSE NEWS

  • Lawmakers could delay beef imports for 'years', White House says. Agri-Pulse
  • Fact Sheet: Partnering with Africa on food security and climate change adaptation. White House

USDA REPORTS & NEWS

Reports

News

  • USDA announces available funding for Farm Bill broadband loan program. USDA
  • USDA announces $18.1 million to help rural business create jobs. USDA
  • USDA announces first private sector investments through U.S. rural infrastructure opportunity fund. USDA
  • Prieto confirmed as USDA's top lawyer. Agri-Pulse
  • USDA to update food safety practices survey data from producers, processors. Food Safety News
  • USDA announces first investments in Rural Infrastructure Fund. Agri-Pulse
  • Vilsack: More effective bird flu vaccine in the works. Des Moines Register

2016 CAMPAIGN NEWS

  • Sanders vows no third-party run in 2016. The Hill
  • Hillary hints at support for $12 minimum wage. The Hill
  • Two weeks to go: Republicans scramble to make debate stage. The Hill
  • Gov. Christie shares thoughts on USDA, EPA and why he vetoed bill to ban gestation crates. Agri-Pulse

FOOD & AGRICULTURE HEADLINES 

  • Vaccination could save birds but stall poultry exports. Agri-Pulse
  • U.S. expects to pay farmers $191 million for birds lost to flu. Associated Press
  • Memo warns of 'fatal' flaws in WOTUS rule. Agri-Pulse
  • Twelve lawsuits brought against EPA's Clean Water Rule to be heard together. Agri-Pulse
  • Groups urge lawmakers to reject meat-labeling repeal and voluntary program. The Hill
  • The growing fight over food labeling. National Journal

TRADE NEWS

  • Ex-Im supporters worry after defeat. The Hill
  • (Opinion) Congress should reauthorize the Export-Import Bank. NY Times
  • Small businesses bear burden of Ex-Im bank shutdown. Wall Street Journal
  • Old and tired, some Japan farmers see trade pact jolt as only answer. Reuters
  • Dairy trade impasse holding up Pacific trade deal. Reuters
  • Australia seeks sweeter sugar deal from Trans-Pacific Partnership. Wall Street Journal
  • McConnell warns Obama against tobacco carve-out in trade deal. The Hill

IN OTHER NEWS 

  • 4-H builds skills that go beyond agriculture. EDN
  • FFA helps change the world of agriculture careers for young people. EDN
  • Saginaw gets $1 million state grant for farmers market projects. M Live
  • As patents expire, farmers plant generic GMOs. MIT Technology Review
  • (Opinion) A Politico investigation could change the way you look at food safety. CJR
  • How to use the 'best-by' dates on your food. Food Safety News
  • IAFP 2015: Food entrepreneurs, farmers markets, and food safety. Food Safety News
  • IAFP 2015: Debating three food safety perspectives. Food Safety News
  • FDA warning letters: dairy, seafood, and cheese producers. Food Safety News
  • Large farm expansion under attack in Kewaunee County. Green Bay Press Gazette
  • Study: School lunches now healthier at racially diverse schools. The Hill
  • Future unsure for troubled New Mexico Green Chile Production. NY Times
  • Cheap Eats: a cookbook for eating well on a food stamp budget. NPR
  • The way we pay for wildfires could be making them worse. Washington Post
  • FDA wants labeling for added sugars, daily limit. Agri-Pulse
  • How Microsoft and the USDA are trying to solve the sustainable food problem. Fortune
  • Funds flow into agriculture as El Nino threatens crops. Reuters

ANNOUNCEMENTS

AGRICULTURAL MARKETING SERVICE
Notice of Request for New Information Collection
ACTION: Notice of request for new information.
SUMMARY: In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35), this notice announces the Agricultural Marketing Service's (AMS) intention to request approval, from the Office of Management and Budget, for NEW information collection for the Fruit and Vegetable Specialty Crops Inspection Division.
DATE: Comments must be received by September 28, 2015
LINK: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2015-07-30/html/2015-18701.htm 

AGRICULTURAL MARKETING SERVICE
Re-Charter of the Fruit and Vegetable Industry Advisory Committee
ACTION: Notice of Re-charter of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Fruit and Vegetable Industry Advisory Committee.
SUMMARY: The USDA intends to renew the Fruit and Vegetable Industry Advisory Committee (Committee) for a two-year term from 2015-2017. The purpose of the Committee is to examine the full spectrum of issues faced by the fruit and vegetable industry and provide suggestions and ideas to the Secretary of Agriculture on how USDA can tailor its programs to better meet the fruit and vegetable industry's needs.
LINK: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2015-07-27/html/2015-18317.htm 

ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
Proposal To Mitigate Exposure to Bees From Acutely Toxic Pesticide Products; Extension of Comment Period
ACTION: Notice; extension of comment period.
SUMMARY: EPA issued a notice in the Federal Register of May 29, 2015, concerning EPA's Proposal to Mitigate Exposure to Bees from Acutely Toxic Pesticide Products and a second notice on extending the comment period to July 29, 2015. This document extends the comment period for an additional 30 days, from July 29, 2015 to August 28, 2015.
DATE: Comment period is extended to August 28, 2015
LINK: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2015-07-27/html/2015-18413.htm 

ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
Information Collection Request Submitted to OMB for Review and Approval; Comment Request; NESHAP for Polyvinyl Chloride and Copolymers Production (Renewal)
ACTION: Notice.
SUMMARY: The Environmental Protection Agency has submitted an information collection request (ICR), ``NESHAP for Polyvinyl Chloride and Copolymers Production (40 CFR part 63, subpart HHHHHHH) (Renewal)'' (EPA ICR No. 2432.03, OMB Control No. 2060-0666), to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.). This is a proposed extension of the ICR, which is currently approved through July 31, 2015.
DATE: Additional comments must be received by August 26, 2015
LINK: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2015-07-27/html/2015-18243.htm 

ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
Request for Scientific Views: Draft Recommended Aquatic Life Ambient Water Quality Chronic Criterion for Selenium--Freshwater 2015
ACTION: Notice of availability.
SUMMARY: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is opening the comment period for the Agency's draft recommended aquatic life water quality chronic criterion for selenium in freshwater.
DATE: Comments must be received by September 25, 2015
LINK: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2015-07-27/html/2015-18348.htm 

FARM CREDIT ADMINISTRATION
Organization; Institution Stockholder Voting Procedures
ACTION: Notice of effective date.
SUMMARY: The Farm Credit Administration (FCA, we, Agency or our) amended our regulations to clarify and enhance Farm Credit System (Farm Credit or System) bank and association stockholder voting procedures for tabulating votes, the use of tellers committees, and other items as identified.
DATE: Effective Date is July 27, 2015; Compliance Date is January 1, 2016
LINK: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2015-07-27/html/2015-18285.htm 

ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
Board of Scientific Counselors (BOSC) Safe and Sustainable Water Resources Subcommittee Meeting--August 2015
ACTION: Notice of meeting.
SUMMARY: Pursuant to the Federal Advisory Committee Act, Public Law 92-463, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Office of Research and Development (ORD), gives notice of a meeting of the Board of Scientific Counselors (BOSC) Safe and Sustainable Water Resources Subcommittee.
DATE: The meeting will be held on Thursday, August 27 - 28, 2015 at 8:30 am EDT
LINK: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2015-07-30/html/2015-18724.htm 

ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
Notice of Receipt of Requests To Voluntarily Cancel Certain Pesticide Registrations
ACTION: Notice.
SUMMARY: In accordance with the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), EPA is issuing a notice of receipt of requests by registrants to voluntarily cancel certain pesticide registrations. EPA intends to grant these requests at the close of the comment period for this announcement unless the Agency receives substantive comments within the comment period that would merit its further review of the requests, or unless the registrants withdraw its requests. If these requests are granted, any sale, distribution, or use of products listed in this notice will be permitted after the registration has been cancelled only if such sale, distribution, or use is consistent with the terms as described in the final order.
DATE: Comments must be received by August 27, 2015.
LINK: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2015-07-28/html/2015-18541.htm

ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
Pesticide Cumulative Risk Assessment: Framework for Screening Analysis; Notice of Availability and Request for Comment
ACTION: Notice.
SUMMARY: EPA is announcing the availability of draft guidance, Pesticide Cumulative Risk Assessment: Framework for Screening Analysis, for public comment.
DATE: Comments must be received by August 28, 2015
LINK: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2015-07-29/html/2015-18612.htm 

FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION
Request for Quality Metrics; Notice of Draft Guidance Availability and Public Meeting; Request for Comments
ACTION: Notice of meeting; notice of draft guidance availability, request for comments.
SUMMARY: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER) and Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research (CBER), is announcing the availability of a draft guidance for industry entitled ``Request for Quality Metrics'' and a public meeting regarding the Agency's plans associated with a quality metrics reporting program. The draft guidance and public meeting are intended to gain stakeholders' perspectives on various aspects of the development and planned implementation of a quality metrics program launched under the authority of the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (the FD&C Act).
DATE: The meeting will be held August 24, 2015 at 8:30am EDT
LINK: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2015-07-28/html/2015-18448.htm 

OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
Notice of Request for an Extension of a Currently Approved Information Collection
ACTION: Notice and request for comments.
SUMMARY: In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. chapter 35), this notice announces the Office of Advocacy and Outreach, USDA/1890 Program's intention to request an extension for a currently approved information collection for the USDA/1890 National Scholars Program.
DATE: Comments must be received by September 28, 2015
LINK: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2015-07-30/html/2015-18118.htm 

ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
Pesticide Experimental Use Permit; Receipt of Application; Comment Request
ACTION: Notice.
SUMMARY: This notice announces EPA's receipt of an application (88877-EUP-E) from the University of Kentucky's Department of Entomology requesting an experimental use permit (EUP) for Wolbachia pipientis, wAlbB Strain.
DATE: Comments must be received by August 28, 2015
LINK: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2015-07-29/html/2015-18615.htm 

FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION
The Food and Drug Administration's Policy on Declaring Small Amounts of Nutrients and Dietary Ingredients on Nutrition Labels; Draft Guidance for Industry; Availability
ACTION: Notification of availability.
SUMMARY: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA, we, or the Agency) is announcing the availability of a draft guidance for industry entitled ``FDA's Policy on Declaring Small Amounts of Nutrients and Dietary Ingredients on Nutrition Labels: Guidance for Industry.''
DATE: Comments must be received by September 28, 2015
LINK: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2015-07-30/html/2015-18655.htm 

FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION
Multicriteria-Based Ranking Model for Risk Management of Animal Drug Residues in Milk and Milk Products; Extension of Comment Period
ACTION: Notice; extension of comment period.
SUMMARY: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA or we) is extending the comment period for the risk assessment entitled ``Multicriteria-Based Ranking Model for Risk Management of Animal Drug Residues in Milk and Milk Products.''
DATE: Comments in the extending comment period must be received by October 27, 2015
LINK: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2015-07-30/html/2015-18668.htm 

FOOD SAFETY AND INSPECTION SERVICE
Codex Alimentarius Commission: Meeting of the Codex Committee on Fish and Fishery Products
ACTION: Notice of public meeting and request for comments.
SUMMARY: The Office of the Under Secretary for Food Safety, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), are sponsoring a public meeting on September 24, 2015.
DATE: The meeting is scheduled for September 24, 2015 at 1pm EDT
LINK: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2015-07-30/html/2015-18629.htm 

RULES

AGRICULTURAL MARKETING SERVICE
Clarification of United States Antitrust Laws, Immunity, and Liability Under Marketing Order Programs
ACTION: Final rule.
SUMMARY: This rule implements an amendment to the general regulations for federal fruit, vegetable, and specialty crop marketing agreements and marketing orders that would accentuate the applicability of U.S. antitrust laws to marketing order programs' domestic and foreign activities.
DATE: Rule is effective July 31, 2015
LINK: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2015-07-30/html/2015-18700.htm 

AGRICULTURAL MARKETING SERVICE
National Organic Program (NOP); Sunset 2015 Amendments to the National List
ACTION: Proposed rule.
SUMMARY: This proposed rule would address recommendations submitted to the Secretary of Agriculture (Secretary) by the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) following their October 2014 meeting. These recommendations pertain to the 2015 Sunset Review of substances on the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (National List).
DATE: Comments must be received by August 31, 2015
LINK: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2015-07-30/html/2015-18699.htm 

ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
Fluxapyroxad; Pesticide Tolerances
ACTION: Final rule.
SUMMARY: This regulation establishes tolerances for residues of fluxapyroxad in or on cotton, gin byproducts and cotton, undelinted seed. BASF Corporation requested these tolerances under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA).
DATE: This rule is effective July 29, 2015
LINK: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2015-07-29/html/2015-18544.htm 

ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
Benalaxyl-M; Pesticide Tolerances
ACTION: Final rule.
SUMMARY: This regulation establishes tolerances for residues of benalaxyl-M in or on grape and tomato. Since there are currently no U.S. registrations of benalaxyl-M for use on grape and tomato, this tolerance will allow the import of grape and tomato containing residues of benalaxyl-M. Technology Sciences Group, on behalf of Isagro S.p.A, requested these tolerances under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic
Act (FFDCA).
DATE: This rule is effective July 30, 2015.
LINK: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2015-07-30/html/2015-18741.htm 

ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
Isofetamid; Pesticide Tolerances
ACTION: Final rule.
SUMMARY: This regulation establishes tolerances for residues of isofetamid in or on multiple commodities that are identified and discussed later in this document. ISK Biosciences Corporation requested these tolerances under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA).
DATE: This rule is effective July 30, 2015
LINK: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2015-07-30/html/2015-18738.htm 

ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
Zeta-Cypermethrin; Pesticide Tolerances
ACTION: Final rule.
SUMMARY: This regulation amends the tolerances for residues of zeta-cypermethrin in or on corn, field, forage; corn, field, stover; and corn, pop, stover. FMC Corporation requested these tolerances under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA).
DATE: This rule is effective July 30, 2015
LINK: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2015-07-30/html/2015-18737.htm 

FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION
Food Labeling: Revision of the Nutrition and Supplement Facts Labels; Supplemental Proposed Rule To Solicit Comment on Limited Additional Provisions
ACTION: Proposed rule; supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking.
SUMMARY: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA or we) is revising certain provisions of the proposed rule, issued in March 2014, that would amend FDA's labeling regulations for conventional foods and dietary supplements to provide updated nutrition information on the Nutrition Facts and Supplement Facts labels to assist consumers in maintaining healthy dietary practices (``the NFL/SFL proposed rule'').
DATE: Comments on the supplemental notice are due by October 13, 2015
LINK: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2015-07-27/html/2015-17928.htm 

FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION
Food Labeling: Revision of the Nutrition and Supplement Facts Labels; Reopening of the Comment Period as to Specific Documents
ACTION: Proposed rule; reopening of comment period as to specific documents.
SUMMARY: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA or we) is reopening, as to specific documents, the comment period regarding our proposed rule to revise the Nutrition Facts and Supplement Facts labels. We are reopening the comment period for 60 days for the sole purpose of inviting public comments on two consumer studies being added to the administrative record. The consumer studies pertained to proposed changes to the Nutrition Facts label formats.
DATE: The comment period is reopened for the purpose described above, and comments must be submitted by September 25, 2015
LINK: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2015-07-27/html/2015-17929.htm 

FOREIGN AGRICULTURAL SERVICE
Dairy Tariff-Rate Quota Import Licensing Program
ACTION: Final rule.
SUMMARY: This final rule amends the regulation that provides for the issuance of licenses to import certain dairy articles under tariff-rate quotas (TRQs) as set forth in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States. The three most significant changes to the rule are to suspend for an additional seven years the historical license reduction provision which was set to expire with the beginning of quota year 2016; to modify procedures for collecting licensing fees in order to better align the fee collection to the costs of administering the program; and to exclusively use electronic communications in the application, reporting and payment processes. The expected outcome from these changes is to allow license holders to adjust to changing market conditions impacting the dairy sector; increase the Department's ability to more closely align cost recovery with the actual costs of administering the program; and allow the Department to reduce lag times, minimize paper files, and increase the efficiency of the program operations.
DATE: Effective Date is September 1, 2015
LINK: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2015-07-27/html/2015-18122.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.