Food Labeling: USDA Publishes Final ‘Product of USA’ Rule for Meat, Poultry, and Eggs 🌾
On March 18, 2024, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) published in the Federal Register a final rule (89 FR 19470) amending 9 C.F.R. §§ 317, 381, and 412 to “generically approve” the “voluntary ‘Product of USA’ or ‘Made in the USA’ label claim[s] . . . [for] use[] on meat, poultry and egg products only when they are derived from animals born, raised, slaughtered and processed in the United States” (emphasis added). Also announced by USDA, the rule additionally allows the label claims on “multi-ingredient FSIS-regulated products if: (1) All FSIS-regulated products in the multi-ingredient product are derived from animals born, raised, slaughtered, and processed in the United States; (2) all other ingredients, other than spices and flavorings, are of domestic origin; and (3) the preparation and processing steps for the multi-ingredient product have occurred in the United States.” The final rule becomes effective May 17, 2024. According to the announcement, “Establishments voluntarily using a claim subject to the final rule will need to comply with the new regulatory requirements by January 1, 2026, and are encouraged to do so as soon as practicable after the publication of this final rule.” See also ALWR—July 9, 2021, “Federal Trade Commission Issues New ‘Made in USA’ Labeling Rule.” Related: see the Center’s Geographical Indications Virtual Resource Room.

Antimicrobial Use: FDA Proposes Revised Rules for Animal Drug Labeling Requirements
On March 12, 2024, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published in the Federal Register a proposed rule (89 FR 18262) outlining revised “requirements for the content and format of labeling for approved or conditionally approved new animal drugs.” FDA states that the revised requirements for “content and format of labeling would also benefit veterinarians, animal owners, and animal producers by providing a more consistent presentation of information on the safe and effective use of these new animal drugs.” FDA is accepting public comment on the proposed rule until June 10, 2024.

Agricultural Data: FCC Report Finds Rural Areas Lack Sufficient Internet, Adopts New Broadband Benchmark
On March 18, 2024, The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) published its 2024 Section 706 Report, which “adopt[s] a new . . . benchmark for defining advanced telecommunications capability for fixed broadband of 100 megabits per second (Mbps) download speed paired with 20 Mbps upload speed”—four times its 25/3 Mbps benchmark set in 2015. However, the report found that “approximately 28% of people living in rural areas . . . lack[] access to 100/20 Mbps fixed broadband services” and 36% of rural Americans lack access to mobile 5G coverage at the 25/3 Mbps minimum speed. Also announced by the FCC, the report “conclude[s] that advanced telecommunications capability is not being deployed to all Americans in a reasonable and timely fashion.” FCC states, “While we expect [that] the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment Program and other federal and state programs will narrow these divides in the coming years, at this time, we find that these physical deployment shortcomings are sufficient to warrant a negative finding under section 706 before we even begin to consider our other universal service goals.”

Biofuels: Department of Energy Publishes 2023 Billion-Ton Report, ‘Largest Growth’ in Energy Crops On March 15, 2024, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) published the 2023 Billion-Ton Report, which “assesses the potential for renewable biomass resources to support DOE goals by displacing fossil resources” and “provides estimates of biomass resource potential in response to market demand scenarios.” According to the report, agricultural lands currently produce 162 million dry short tons of biomass per year but, in five to ten years, could produce an additional 140 dry tons and, in a mature high-demand market, could produce nearly 900 dry short tons of biomass. The report states, “The largest growth in the mature-market scenarios is due to the adoption of purpose-grown energy crops.” Also announced by DOE, the report is the agency’s fourth “billion-ton report,” with other reports published in 2005, 2011, and 2016.

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CENTER PROGRAMS & RESOURCES

Dairy Quarterly Legal Webinar Series. A free quarterly Zoom webinar series covering dairy industry legal and regulatory developments with an in-depth focus topic. One hour of substantive CLE credit available for Pennsylvania-licensed attorneys at no charge. All events on Tuesdays, noon–1 pm (ET). Upcoming:

Understanding Agricultural Law Series. A free monthly Zoom webinar series for agricultural and rural business advisors. One hour of substantive CLE credit available for Pennsylvania-licensed attorneys at no charge. All events on Fridays, noon–1 pm (ET). Upcoming:

Podcasts:

Agricultural Law Podcast

PFAS Soil Contamination Fuels Liability Suit Over Biosolid Land Application (Mar. 21, 2024)

Farmland Legal Energy Podcast

Introduction to Wind Farms and How Farmers Can Utilize Wind Power

Methane Production From Manure

An Introduction to Hydrogen and Agriculture

An Introduction to Anaerobic Digestion

Publications:

Anaerobic Digestion: An Alternative Energy Source for Farmers (Dec. 2023).

Specialty Crop Producers’ Guide to Understanding Liability Protection, Regulatory Processes, & Other Legal Risks (Nov. 2023)

More Center Publications.

Subscribe to the Pennsylvania Farm Employers’ Listserv: a human resources-sharing group for agricultural operations. To subscribe, send an email to pfel-subscribe-request@lists.psu.edu with “subscribe” in the subject line and any word in the body.

Resources of Interest:

Southern Ag Today, EPA Made 2023 Commitment To CAFO Permitting Reform But No Action Evident to Date, Brook Duer (Mar. 15, 2024)

Nat’l Agric. Law Ctr., Plaintiffs Claim Cranberry Bog Not Exempt from CWA Regulation, Brigit Rollins (Mar. 14, 2024)

Iowa St. Univ. Ctr. Agric. Law & Tax’n, Iowa Supreme Court Says No Time Limit for Boundary by Acquiescence Claim Where Property Transferred from a Trust, Kristine Tidgren (Mar. 13, 2024)

Agric. Law & Tax’n Blog, For Chapter 12 Bankruptcy Purposes, what is “Gross Income from Farming”?, Roger McEowen (Mar. 12, 2024)

Univ. Md. Risk Mgmt. Educ. Blog, Agricultural Workers’ Disaster Leave, Sima Majnooni (Mar. 12, 2024)

Nat’l Agric. Law Ctr., France Takes Up Plant Protein Labeling and Cell-cultured Meat, Emily Stone (Mar. 12, 2024)

Agric. Law & Tax’n Blog, Court Reigns in Unconstitutional Federal Power – Impacts BOI Reporting, Roger McEowen (Mar. 10, 2024)

Southern Ag Today, The Corporate Transparency Act and Your (Potential) Duty to Register Your Business, Rusty Rumley (Mar. 8, 2024)

Tex. A&M Agric. Law Blog, The Panhandle Wildfire Aftermath – Resources for Producers & Landowners, Tiffany Dowell Lashmet (Mar. 8, 2024)

Nat’l Agric. Law Ctr., EPA Delays Rescinding Gasoline Volatility Waivers Until 2025, Samantha Capaldo (Mar. 7, 2024)

Southern Ag Today, Reforming the H-2A Guest Farmworker Visa Program: Sectoral Coverage Expansion and Workers’ Path to Permanent Residency, Cesar Escalante (Mar. 6, 2024)

Nat’l Agric. Law Ctr., South Dakota Amends State Restriction on Foreign Acquisitions of Ag Land, Brigit Rollins (Mar. 5, 2024)

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FEDERAL ACTIONS—EXECUTIVE & LEGISLATIVE

U.S DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE (USDA) PRESS RELEASES

USDA Announces $40.5 Million in Grant Awards to Support Processing and Promotion of Domestic Organic Products (Mar. 14, 2024)

USDA Outlines Vision to Strengthen the American Bioeconomy through a More Resilient Biomass Supply Chain (Mar. 14, 2024)

Agricultural Producers to Conserve Land through Climate-Smart Easements as part of President’s Biden’s Investing in America Agenda (Mar. 13, 2024)

USDA Finalizes Voluntary “Product of USA” Label Claim to Enhance Consumer Protection (Mar. 11, 2024)

Biden-Harris Administration invests nearly $66M to improve roads, trails, and water quality as part of Investing in America Agenda (Mar. 8, 2024)

Biden-Harris Administration Invests $2.3 Billion in Projects to Expand Affordable, Reliable, Clean Power in Rural Communities Through Investing in America Agenda (Mar. 6, 2024)

ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY (EPA) PRESS RELEASES

EPA Settles Chemical Accident Prevention Case in New Bedford (Mar. 15, 2024)

Statement by Administrator Regan on the President’s Fiscal Year 2025 Budget (Mar. 11, 2024)

EPA Adds Lot 46 Valley Gardens TCE Superfund Site to National Priorities List (Mar. 5, 2024)

USDA AGENCY PRESS RELEASES:

Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS)

USDA Partners with Virginia to Award Over $6.3 Million to Strengthen Food Supply Chain Infrastructure (Mar. 15, 2024)

USDA Partners with Guam to Award Over $2 Million to Strengthen Food Supply Chain Infrastructure (Mar. 15, 2024)

USDA Announces $40.5 Million in Grant Awards to Support Processing and Promotion of Domestic Organic Products (Mar. 14, 2024)

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS)

USDA Asks Residents to Look for Invasive Egg Masses (Mar. 15, 2024)

USDA and Justice Department Enter into Memorandum of Understanding on Civil Enforcement of the Animal Welfare Act (Mar. 8, 2024)

Economic Research Service (ERS)

Utilizing the USDA’s National Household Food Acquisition and Purchase Survey to Calculate a Household-Level Food Environment Measure (Mar. 7, 2024)

The Nature of the Rural-Urban Mortality Gap (Mar. 5, 2024)

Farm Service Agency (FSA)

USDA Assists Farmers, Ranchers and Communities Affected by Catastrophic Texas, Oklahoma Wildfires (Mar. 7, 2024)

Forest Service

USDA announces $145M from Investing in America agenda to help landowners access climate markets (Mar. 15, 2024)

USDA invests nearly $66M to improve roads, trails, and water quality as part of Investing in America Agenda (Mar. 8, 2024)

Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)

U.S. – Ireland R&D Partnership Aims to Solve Critical Agricultural Issues (Mar. 15, 2024)

FEDERAL EXECUTIVE AGENCIES (Federal Register Mar. 4-15, 2024):   

Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS)

89 FR 17322 Proposed Rule—Comment Period: “National Organic Program; Market Development for Mushrooms and Pet Food” (Mar. 11, 2024)

89 FR 16471 Proposed Rule—Comment Period: “Tomatoes Grown in Florida; Increased Assessment Rate” (Mar. 7, 2024)

89 FR 16521 Notice: “2024 Rates for Grain Inspection Services Under the United States Grain Standards Act” (Mar. 7, 2024)

89 FR 15955 Rule: “Hazelnuts Grown in Oregon and Washington; Decreased Assessment Rate” (Mar. 6, 2024)

89 FR 16092 Rule: “Inclusive Competition and Market Integrity Under the Packers and Stockyards Act” (Mar. 6, 2024)

Agriculture Department

89 FR 18888 Notice: “Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request [Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights: USDA Race, Ethnicity and Gender Data Collection]” (Mar. 15, 2024)

89 FR 18591 Notice: “Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request [Rural Business-Cooperative Service: Bio-refinery, Renewable Chemical, and Biobased Product Manufacturing Assistance Program]” (Mar. 14, 2024)

89 FR 18592 Notice: “Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request [Rural Utilities Service: Electric System Emergency Restoration Plan]” (Mar. 14, 2024)

89 FR 17809 Notice: “Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; Reinstatement [National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS): Fast Track Generic Clearance for Qualitative Feedback on Customer Satisfaction Surveys]” (Mar. 12, 2024)

89 FR 17372 Notice: “Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request [National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS): Fruit, Nuts, And Specialty Crops—Substantive Change]” (Mar. 11, 2024)

89 FR 16523 Notice: “Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request [Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service: Bees and Related Articles]” (Mar. 7, 2024)

89 FR 15970 Notice: “Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request [National Institute of Food and Agriculture: Reporting Requirements for State Plans of Work for Agricultural Research and Extension Formula Funds]” (Mar. 6, 2024)

Environmental Protection Agency

89 FR 18549 Rule: “Cloquintocet-mexyl in Pesticide Formulations; Tolerances for Residues” (Mar. 14, 2024)

89 FR 17804 Proposed Rule—Comment Period: “Standards and Practices for All Appropriate Inquiries; Notice of Proposed Rulemaking” (Mar. 12, 2024)

89 FR 16714 Proposed Rule—Comment Period: “Tetraacetylethylenediamine (TAED), and Its Metabolite Diacetylethylenediamine (DAED); Exemption From the Requirement of a Pesticide Tolerance” (Mar. 8, 2024)

Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS)

89 FR 16524 Notice: “Fiscal Year 2024 Raw Cane Sugar Tariff-Rate Quota Increase” (Mar. 7, 2024)

Forest Service

89 FR 18888 Notice: “Extension of Certain Timber Sale Contracts; Finding of Substantial Overriding Public Interest” (Mar. 15, 2024)

U.S. HOUSE AGRICULTURE COMMITTEE:

H.R.7670 “To amend the Animal Welfare Act to prohibit the captivity of mink, and for other purposes.” Referred to the House Committee on Agriculture. (Mar. 13, 2024)

H.R.7072 “Wabeno Economic Development Act of 2024” Ordered to be Reported in the Nature of a Substitute by Unanimous Consent. (Mar. 12, 2024)

H.R.5665 “Promoting Accessibility on Federal Lands Act of 2023” Ordered to be Reported in the Nature of a Substitute by Unanimous Consent. (Mar. 12, 2024)

H.R.7444 “Rural Partnership and Prosperity Act” Sponsor introductory remarks on measure. (Mar. 8, 2024)

H.R.7588 “To direct the Secretary of Agriculture, acting through the Administrator of the Food Safety and Inspection Service, to reassess certain food ingredients used in the preparation of meat, poultry, and egg products, and for other purposes” Referred to the House Committee on Agriculture. (Mar. 7, 2024)

H.R.7585 “To amend the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 to require the promulgation of cybersecurity and digital service regulations relating to the use of EBT cards under the supplemental nutrition assistance program, and for other purposes.” Referred to the House Committee on Agriculture. (Mar. 7, 2024)

U.S. SENATE COMMITTEE ON AGRICULTURE, NUTRITION, AND FORESTRY:

S.3942 “A bill to amend the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 to include maple syrup under the seniors farmers’ market nutrition program.” Read twice and referred to the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry. (Mar. 14, 2024)

S.3893 “A bill to amend the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 to require the promulgation of cybersecurity and digital service regulations relating to the use of EBT cards under the supplemental nutrition assistance program, and for other purposes.” Read twice and referred to the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry. (Mar. 7, 2024)

STATE ACTIONS—EXECUTIVE & LEGISLATIVE 

DEP Reports Progress on Implementing Shapiro Administration Permitting Reform, Reduces Permit Backlog by 41 Percent (Mar. 14, 2024)

PENNSYLVANIA EXECUTIVE AGENCIES (Pa. Bulletin Vol. 54, No. 11—Mar. 16, 2024): 

Department of Environmental Protection

54 Pa.B. 1354 Notice: “Applications For National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permits And Water Quality Management (WQM) Permits Under The Clean Streams Law And Federal Clean Water Act.”

Environmental Hearing Board

54 Pa.B. 1455 Notice: “Coalition to Save Old Crow Wetland v. Department of Environmental Protection and M & G Realty, Inc., Permittee; EHB Doc. No. 2024-061-BP”

Executive Board

54 Pa.B. 1334 Statement of Policy: “Reorganization of the Department of Agriculture”

Fish and Boat Commission

54 Pa.B. 1456 Notice: “Boat and Marine Forfeiture; Maximum Amount”

Milk Board

54 Pa.B. 1333 Proposed Rule—Comment Period: “Amendment to 7 Pa. Code Chapter 150; Milk Marketing Fees; Notice of Hearing”

54 Pa.B. 1459 Notice: “Hearing and Presubmission Schedule for All Milk Marketing Areas; Over-Order Premium”

State Conservation Commission

54 Pa.B. 1465 Notice: “Action on Odor Management Plans for Concentrated Animal Operations and Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations and Volunteers Complying with the Commonwealth’s Facility Odor Management Program”

Susquehanna River Basin Commission

54 Pa.B. 1466 Notice: “Projects Approved for Consumptive Uses of Water”

PENNSYLVANI A LEGISLATURE

HB 2120 “An Act amending the act of April 14, 1972 (P.L.233, No.64), known as The Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act, further providing for definitions and for misbranding.” Referred to AGRICULTURE AND RURAL AFFAIRS. (Mar. 14, 2024)

HB 2106 “An Act amending Title 34 (Game) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, in game or wildlife protection, further providing for regulations; in hunting and furtaking, repealing provisions relating to hunting on Sunday prohibited, providing for hunting on Sunday, repealing provisions relating to trespass on private property while hunting and to hunting on Sunday without written permission, providing for the offense of trespass on private land while hunting or furtaking and for the offense of hunting, trapping or taking game or wildlife without written permission and further providing for training dogs on small game; in special licenses and permits, further providing for field dog trials; and imposing penalties.” Referred to GAME AND FISHERIES. (Mar. 14, 2024)

SB 1098 “An Act amending Title 65 (Public Officers) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, in lobbying disclosure, further providing for prohibited activities.” Referred to STATE GOVERNMENT. (Mar. 11, 2024)

 

Contributors:
Victoria Dutterer—Research Assistant
Lonzie Helms—Research Assistant
Esther Thomas—Research Assistant
Audry Thompson—Staff Attorney