EPA is given 60 days to ban or modify rules for chlorpyrifos
fter blasting the EPA for “13 years of interminable delay,” the federal appeals court in San Francisco on Thursday set a 60-day deadline for the agency to either ban agricultural use of the pesticide chlorpyrifos or set newer and safer exposure levels for the chemical. The dissenter in the 2-1 decision said the short time frame “virtually guarantees” a ban.
DOJ: Tyson was not directed by federal government to continue pandemic production
The federal government never instructed Tyson Foods and other meatpackers to keep their plants open during the early months of the pandemic, according to the Department of Justice in a recent filing in a federal appeals case. Experts say the brief, along with others filed in the case, is a good sign for the plaintiffs, the relatives of four Tyson workers in Waterloo, Iowa, who died of Covid-19 last spring. It is also likely to have broad implications for other Covid-related lawsuits filed by meatpacking workers around the country.
Unusually dry, or worse, in half of Midwest
Large swaths of Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio are abnormally dry and most of Michigan is in moderate drought due to limited spring precipitation, said the weekly Drought Monitor on Thursday. Arid conditions covered 48 percent of the Midwest, the heart of U.S. corn and soybean production.
Today’s Quick Hits
GE food review: The European Commission announced a review of EU rules on the development and approval of genetically engineered foods that could potentially loosen restrictions on gene-edited crops. (Reuters)
China lags (again): While China comes closest in the agriculture category to hitting its “phase one” targets for purchases of U.S. goods and services, even there it falls short: It has imported only 85 percent of this year’s target of $43.6 billion worth of food, agriculture, and seafood products. (Peterson Institute for International Economics)
White farmers sue: Five white farmers in the Midwest are plaintiffs in a lawsuit that accuses the USDA of running a “race-based loan forgiveness program” that unfairly excludes them. (DTN/Progressive Farmer)
‘Laughing at myself’: Dan Glickman, whose career has included stints as a congressman, agriculture secretary, and president of the Motion Picture Association of America, will release a book on June 8 that offers his prescription for comity and success in the public square. (University Press of Kansas)
Six weeks late: The administration is more than six weeks past its self-imposed deadline for issuing a rule protecting workers from the coronavirus while on the job. Just this week, the Labor Department sent its proposal to the White House. (Washington Post)