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YOUR SOURCE ON FOOD LITIGATION AND REGULATION
In a petition (USCA Petition) submitted to the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) on February 9, the US Cattlemen’s Association requests that FSIS exclude from the statutory definitions of “meat” and “beef” those products that are not “derived from animals born, raised, and harvested in the traditional manner.”
In almost any area where an emerging technology intersects with a highly regulated industry, there is a dynamic of entrepreneurial spirit facing the realities of existing regulatory frameworks. One novel product facing this dilemma is “cell-cultured meat” (CCM)—meat grown in a cell culture instead of culled from an animal.
On February 6, the Agriculture Marketing Service (AMS) posted a notice in the Federal Register announcing it will delay further rulemaking on a Federal Milk Marketing Order (FMMO) in California while it awaits the US Supreme Court’s decision in Lucia v. Securities & Exchange Commission.
As referenced earlier in this space, the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) hosted a public meeting on Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS) issues late in October (see meeting agenda). It provided a range of helpful information on the implications of the rapid and ongoing adoption of such technology by FSIS and other actors in the public health community at both federal and state levels.
On September 22, 2017, the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced its intention to host a public meeting in October to discuss overall federal food safety agency practices as well as plans for collecting and analyzing whole genome sequence (WGS) data of bacteria isolated from official samples, including the state of the science and other issues surrounding use of this technology.
What is currently unfolding in Texas and Florida is both tragic and unprecedented. Early reports have estimated the reconstruction costs in Texas alone to be around $40 billion dollars. As Texas continues to grapple with the effects of Hurricane Harvey and Florida begins the recovery process, we thought it would be helpful to supply our clients and friends in the food and agricultural sectors with some relevant regulatory information and potential sources of assistance.
Last week FSIS’s Revised Nutrition Facts Panel proposed rule was placed on the list of “inactive” regulations, indicating that the rule is no longer a priority and will be reconsidered at an unspecified time in the future

USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) posted 30 questions for stakeholder input regarding the establishment of a national disclosure requirement for identifying bioengineered foods and food ingredients. The legislation requiring the disclosure of bioengineered foods was enacted on July 29, 2016, and gave AMS two years to establish a national standard and the procedures necessary for implementation (see our LawFlash, New GMO Legislation Signed Into Law, for more information on the legislation). AMS is now seeking input from stakeholders in order to issue a proposed rule this fall, such that it may promulgate a final rule by the mandated July 2018 deadline.  

Recent public controversy surrounding an issue many readers would probably rather not hear about—whether it is acceptable to use heart meat in products labeled as “ground beef”—has raised a series of questions involving not simply what might wind up on your grill this summer, but also how USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) goes about developing, changing, and publicly announcing policy developments and changes in the labelling of the meat and poultry products it regulates.
As our Canadian neighbors gaze south across the border, their minds are no doubt filled with countless questions over what can safely be described as the unusual political circumstances that currently prevail within the United States