• USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue has released a set of legislative principles for Congress to consider as the new 2018 Farm Bill is developed. Issues covered include: farm production, trade, nutrition, food safety and development.
  • Key principles with specific regard to food safety efforts include:
    • Protect public health and prevent foodborne illness by committing the necessary resources to ensure the highest standards of inspection, with the most modern tools and scientific methods available.
    • Support and enhance FSIS programs to ensure efficient regulation and the safety of meat, poultry and processed egg products, including improved coordination and clarity on execution of food safety responsibilities.
    • Continue to focus USDA resources on products and processes that pose the greatest public health risk.
  • Secretary Perdue’s legislative priorities also addressed the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). In particular, Secretary Perdue indicates that USDA would “support work as the pathway to self-sufficiency, well-being, and economic mobility for individuals and families receiving supplemental nutrition assistance.” According to The Wall Street Journal, Secretary Perdue wants some recipients of food stamp benefits to be required to work for them, stating that such a provision regarding SNAP would be key to renegotiating the $900-billion farm bill.
  • The farm bill is slated to be reauthorized this year for five years.