Weekly Food and Agriculture Update – 3.28

March 28, 2023

Contents

  • What We’re Watching
  • Notable News
  • Upcoming Hearings
  • Contact the Team

What We’re Watching

This week, Members on Capitol Hill have a packed schedule of hearings, including the first of the Senate Agriculture Committee’s farm bill stakeholder hearings this Congress and several budget hearings with Biden administration officials, including Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. A list of hearings pertinent to the food and agricultural industry can be found in the “Upcoming Hearings” section below. 

Nutrition has been a major focus of the Biden administration, and based on recent announcements, that focus will continue to be bolstered in the coming months. The Food and Drug Administration has released draft guidance on Dietary Guidance on Food Labels and a proposed rule on sodium substitutions. 

Last Friday, the White House held a follow-up to its September 2022 conference on hunger and nutrition, now pushing for increased commitments around the goals of ending hunger and reducing diet-related diseases by 2030 through the White House Challenge to End Hunger and Build Healthy Communities. The challenge highlighted several stakeholder announcements, many in the retailer space. Moving forward, the Administration will continue to push for stakeholder commitments across five pillars of the National Strategy on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health: Improve food access and affordability; Integrate nutrition and health; Empower all consumers to make and have access to healthier choices; Support physical activity for all; and Enhance nutrition and food security research. 

Recently, the White House also announced new agency goals and priorities to advance American biotechnology and biomanufacturing. An accompanying report outlines federal R&D needs to achieve goals in climate, food and agriculture, supply chain resilience, health, and cross-cutting innovation. Greater R&D on biofuels, GHG emissions, food waste, alternative proteins, and genomics were some of the priorities identified. 

Notable News

Upcoming Hearings

Tuesday, March 28 

  • 10:00 AM ET: House Ag Committee hearing for the purpose of receiving testimony from The Honorable Thomas J. Vilsack, Secretary, U.S. Department of Agriculture
  • 10:00 AM ET: House Oversight Subcommittee on Health Care and Financial Services hearing titled FDA Oversight Part I: The Infant Formula Shortage 

 Wednesday, March 29 

  • 10:00 AM ET: House Appropriations Subcommittee on Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Oversight Hearing – Addressing the Challenges of Rural America
  • 10:00 AM ET: Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies hearing to examine proposed budget estimates and justification for fiscal year 2024 for the Department of Agriculture with Secretary Vilsack
  • 10:30 AM ET: House Appropriations Committee – Budget Hearing – Fiscal Year 2024 Request for the Army Corps of Engineers and Bureau of Reclamation

Thursday, March 30 

  • 9:00 AM ET: House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies budget hearing – Fiscal Year 2024 Request for the U.S. Department of Agriculture 
  • 9:00 AM ET: House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health Subcommittee Legislative Hearing – “Reauthorization of the Animal Drug User Fee Programs” 
  • 10:30 AM ET: Senate Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Subcommittee on Conservation, Forestry, and Natural Resources hearing to examine forestry in the Farm Bill, focusing on the importance of America’s forests

Contact the Team

Feel free to contact Michael Torrey, Tara Smith, Cassandra Kuball, James Glueck, Barbara Patterson, Katie Naessens, Caroline Snell, Danielle Nelson, Julie McClureJacqueline MuhammadAshley Willits, Perry Harlow, or Tracy Boyle with any questions or comments. 

Food and agricultural organizations that need the right results in Washington, D.C. can trust Torrey Advisory Group to put its relationships, reputation, and expertise to work on your issue. Since 2005, the firm has successfully provided legislative and regulatory guidance, issues management, and association management services to a wide variety of clients. Learn more about us at torreydc.com. 

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