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WOTUS: Where Are We Now?

Texas Agriculture Law Blog | Posted onAugust 17, 2017 in Agriculture, Federal News

In February 2017, President Trump issued an Executive Order which required the EPA and COE to “rescind or revise” the 2015 Rule.  The Order said that the agencies should “consider interpreting” the term consistent with Justice Scalia’s opinion in Rapanos. In June, the EPA announced it would be taking the first step to rescind the 2015 Rule and to re-codify the definition of WOTUS prior to the passage of the 2015 rule.Where Are We Now?


FDA Clarifies Sanitary Transportation Rule Waiver for Retail Food Establishments

The Coastal Bend Chronicle | Posted onAugust 17, 2017 in Agriculture, Federal, Food News

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued guidance to clarify that a waiver to the Sanitary Transportation of Human and Animal Food final rule (Sanitary Transportation rule) covers retail food establishments that sell food for humans, including those that sell both human and animal food, but does not apply to establishments that only sell food for animals.


4 Reasons Manufacturing Jobs Are Returning to the USA

The Agurban | Posted onAugust 17, 2017 in Rural News

Manufacturing jobs are (still) being reshored to the US. Here are the main drivers behind this trend. 1. Automotive and Electronics Industry Growth, 2. Increased Labor Cost, 3. Logistical Challenges, 4. Lack of Skilled Workers


2018 Farm Bill: What shiny object will be used to distract this time?

Ag Policy | Posted onAugust 17, 2017 in Federal News

During these last 30-plus years, farmers and major farm and commodity organizations, abetted by agribusiness, have gone after one shiny new thing (policy) after another, often that border on entrepreneurial rent seeking, while playing the sympathy card of public support for family farmers and the agrarian ideal.


FDA eases restrictions on ultra-filtered milk for cheese-making

Wisconsin State Farmer | Posted onAugust 17, 2017 in Agriculture, Federal, Food News

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration says ultra-filtered cow’s milk can now be used to make all types of natural cheeses, a move that Wisconsin cheese-makers have sought for nearly 20 years.


Examining Farm Sector and Farm Household Income

USDA | Posted onAugust 17, 2017 in Agriculture News

 Farm sector net cash income is expected to decline 35 percent between 2013 and 2016, following several years of record highs—though it will remain near its recent 10-year average. Starting in the late 1990s, the median household income for farm households has exceeded the median income of all U.S. households; in 2015, farm households had a median total household income of $76,735, a third gre ater than that of all U.S. households but less than that of U.S. households with a self-employed head.


Would water monitoring changes make Iowa lakes, rivers less safe?

Des Moines Register | Posted onAugust 17, 2017 in Agriculture News

Iowa wants to make changes to its water-quality monitoring rules that would remove 44 lakes and rivers from the federal impaired waters list. It's a move some environmental groups say could endanger public health.The Iowa Department of Natural Resources proposes switching to an average value method that uses multiple water samples to measure E. coli bacteria instead of single samples that catch spikes in bacteria. 


Opinion: FDA overreach on FSMA Produce Safety needs to be addressed

Agri-Pulse | Posted onAugust 17, 2017 in Agriculture, Federal, Food News

The Food and Drug Administration will soon be micromanaging a wide range of farming-related activities for many farms.


Farming activity contaminates water despite best practices

Desert Sun News | Posted onAugust 17, 2017 in Agriculture News

 Lynda Cochart did not realize her water was contaminated with coliform bacteria until she contracted MRSA, an antibiotic-resistant skin infection. She believed it came from the water in her well in Casco, Wisconsin. “There’s no other way I could have gotten it,” she said. A year later, U.S. Department of Agriculture microbiologist Mark Borchardt tested her well while testing others in Kewaunee County. He found total coliform bacteria at levels too dangerous to drink. Cochart lives between two dairy farms with over 1,000 cows each.


Drug-resistant bacteria found in raw milk from North Texas dairy farm

edairynews | Posted onAugust 17, 2017 in Agriculture News

A recall has been issued on raw milk sold by North Texas distributor K-Bar Dairy over worries that some of the products contain a drug-resistant bacteria linked to fever, swelling, fatigue and other symptoms. The small, family-operated dairy farm is in Wise County, about 40 miles northwest of Fort Worth and 60 miles northwest of Dallas. It produces around 120 gallons per day of raw milk, a type of milk that has not been pasteurized to kill harmful microorganisms.A person who drank raw milk from K-Bar was hospitalized with symptoms of fever, joint pain and fatigue.


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