Weekly Food & Agriculture Update 5.7

Monday, May 7th, 2018


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 FoundationAmerican 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

Tuesday, May 8
  • 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”.
Wednesday, May 9
  • Two House Oversight subcommittees will hold a joint hearing on “Program Integrity for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.”
  • House Ag Appropriations will mark up the fiscal 2019 Agriculture-FDA appropriations bill. Text of the bill is expected to be released late Tuesday afternoon.

A Quick Look Back

Pertinent Timing Ticker

  • 146 total days until the farm bill expires (Sep. 30, 2018).