The House Appropriations Committee narrowly approved an amendment to funding legislation that would stop USDA’s Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) from finalizing rules pertaining to how the Packers and Stockyards Act is interpreted and enforced.
On a 26-24 vote, the committee approved the amendment offered by Rep. Andy Harris (R-Md.) to the fiscal 2017 funding bill that, as similar measures have in previous years, blocked funding for GIPSA final rules that would have sought to ensure poultry grower rights are protected in disputes with contracting poultry processors.
With the most extensive food safety regulations in history set to take effect soon, state agriculture officials across the country are preparing to enforce the federal law, but say their ability to inspect farms and enforce the new standards depends on the receipt of promised federal funds.
It gives the U.S. Food and Drug Administration new authority to regulate the production of fresh fruit and vegetables. It also imposes the same food safety standards on imports as it does on domestic foods, and includes provisions to create a more integrated food safety system across all levels of government — federal, state and local.
This proposed rule would create greater consistency in organic livestock and poultry practices. AMS has determined that the current USDA organic regulations (7 CFR Part 205) covering livestock health care practices and living conditions need additional specificity and clarity to better ensure consistent compliance by certified organic operations and to provide for more effective administration of the National Organic Program (NOP) by AMS.
The Food and Drug Administration has posted a document answering key questions that had been posed to the agency regarding the new policies and requirements concerning the use of medically important antimicrobial drugs in food animals. The questions were asked during a series of workshops conducted last year by Farm Foundation at 12 locations nationwide. At the workshops, producers, veterinarians and feed suppliers had the chance to discuss the new Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD) and two related guidance documents with FDA and USDA officials.