Senate confirms former Georgia Republican Gov. Sonny Perdue as Secretary of Agriculture; Secretary Purdue creates undersecretary position for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs, focused exclusively on international trade.
FDA Amends Food Additive Regulations
In the May 4, 2017, Federal Register, FDA amended the food additive regulations to no longer provide for the use of potassium perchlorate as an additive in closure-sealing gaskets for food containers because this use has been abandoned. This action, taken in response to a petition filed by Keller and Heckman LLP on behalf of the Society of the Plastics Industry, Inc., means that use of potassium perchlorate covered by the regulation is no longer authorized.
USDA Requests Comments on Actions to Take Regarding The Packers and Stockyards Act
In the April 12, 2017, Federal Register, USDA announced its intention to pursue one of several actions on the Interim Final Rule ("IFR") of the Packers and Stockyards Act, published in the Federal Register on December 20, 2016, by USDA's Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration. USDA asked the public to comment as to the possible actions USDA should take in regards to the disposition of the IFR. The IFR addresses the scope of sections 202(a) and (b) of the Packers and Stockyards Act, 1921 ("P&S Act"), as amended and supplemented in order to clarify that conduct or action may violate the P&S Act without adversely affecting, or having a likelihood of adversely affecting, competition. The IFR was originally set to take effect on February 21, 2017, and is now being extended to October 19, 2017. Comments are due June 12, 2017.
USDA Requests Comments on Actions to Take Regarding the Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices Second Proposed Rule
In the May 10, 2017, Federal Register, USDA announced its intention to pursue one of several actions on the Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices Final Rule ("FR") published in the Federal Register on January 19, 2017, by USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service. USDA asked the public to comment on the possible actions USDA should take in regards to the disposition of the FR. The FR amends the organic livestock and poultry production requirements in the USDA organic regulations by adding new provisions for livestock handling and transport for slaughter and avian living conditions; and expands and clarifies existing requirements covering livestock care and production practices and mammalian living conditions. The FR was originally set to take effect on March 20, 2017, and is now being extended to November 14, 2017. Comments are due June 9, 2017.
Pesticide Residues Detected in Almost All European Foods
On April 25, 2017, EFSA issued reporting data for 2016 on pesticide residues in food and feed. Based on the report, of the 84,341 samples analyzed, 97.2 percent contained traces of one or more available 774 pesticides. One third of all the pesticides detected are illegal in the European Union. Among non-EU sources, 5.6 percent were found to contain pesticide residues above the EU limits (for authorized pesticides). Among EU-sourced products, 1.7 percent of samples were over the legal limits. The data in this report might be used by the national enforcement authorities to better target their inspections.
Italy Introduces New Labeling Law for Dairy Products
On April 20, 2017, an Italian Decree came into force requiring Italian dairy products operators to indicate the country where milking was carried out and where the product was then processed. The decree applies to milk, butter, yogurt, and mozzarella and other cheeses produced from milk of any type that are placed on the market in Italy. It, therefore, does not apply to products produced in Italy and then exported to another country.
Meetings, Workshops, and Conferences
Public Meeting of the General Conference Committee of the National Poultry Improvement Plan, May 18, 2017, in Portland, ME.
Public Meeting of FDA, titled "International Cooperation on Cosmetics Regulation (ICCR)—Preparation for ICCR-11 Meeting," May 25, 2017, in College Park, MD.