Weekly Food & Agriculture Update 5.7
WEEKLY FOOD & AGRICULTURE UPDATE
May 7, 2018
A quick look at what’s happening in Washington, D.C. that’s impacting food and agriculture. If you would like to subscribe to the receive the updates right to your inbox, please contact Marissa Dake.
Big Picture Outlook
- Schedule- The House and Senate are back in session this week.
- NAFTA’s Final Countdown- Mexican Economy Minister Guajardo and Canadian Foreign Minister Freeland are meeting with U.S. Trade Representative Lighthizer in a make-or-break week to reach a deal on NAFTA. With upcoming elections in both Mexico and the U.S., the trio would need to reach agreement by mid-May. Otherwise, there is almost no chance the current U.S. Congress could vote on it. More here.
- Conservative Groups Oppose Farm Bill – Americans for Prosperity and Freedom Partners wrote a letter to the house in opposition to the farm bill, saying it benefits owners of large agricultural businesses over the average taxpayer. The Heritage Foundation, American Enterprise Institute, and Cato Institute are holding forums this week in opposition to various components of the bill.
- USDA Renames “GMOs” – The USDA has released
its proposed GMO disclosure rule, which would replace “GMO” with “bioengineered food” or “bioengineered food ingredient”. The change was mandated by congress in 2016 in the National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard and the USDA is seeking public comments for 60 days.
- FDA Finalizes Menu Labeling Requirements– Certain restaurants and retail food establishments will be required by the FDA to disclose calorie counts on menus and menu boards. The businesses must also provide, upon request, nutrition information including: calories, total fat, saturated and trans fat, sodium, carbohydrates, sugars, fiber, and protein. This is part of a multi-year Nutrition Innovation Strategy by the FDA that aims to empower consumers with information to select nutritious, affordable foods.
Nominations & Confirmations
- There were no confirmations last week due to the May recess.
The Week Ahead
- USAID will host a meeting of the Board for International Food and Agriculture Development entitled, “Building an Evidence Base on Rural Youth Employment and Livelihoods”.
A Quick Look Back
- Trump grants key U.S. allies an extra month of tariff relief
- Secretary Perdue Applauds President Trump’s Selection for USDA’s Under Secretary for Food Safety
- CBO publishes detailed analysis of House farm bill
- Former Trump aide Sam Clovis to leave USDA
Pertinent Timing Ticker
- 146 total days until the farm bill expires (Sep. 30, 2018).