House votes to create USDA meat investigator – June 17, 2022

House votes to create USDA meat investigator

Over the objections of Republicans, the House passed legislation on Thursday to create a USDA special investigator to enforce fair-play rules in the highly concentrated meatpacking industry. It was the most significant livestock marketing reform to advance in Congress this session.

Advocates fear a hungry summer looms if Congress can’t extend school meal waivers

Summer is always the hungry season for America’s children — when school is not in session, many students don’t get enough to eat. But anti-hunger groups are warning this summer could be worse than usual, since many schools have been forced to scale back or eliminate their summer meals programs because the waivers that vastly expanded access to school food during the pandemic are set to expire on June 30, unless Congress takes action.

Biden signs ocean shipping reforms into law

Ocean carriers will be barred from unreasonably refusing to load U.S. cargo, a practice that blossomed during pandemic-related port congestion, under a bill signed into law by President Biden on Thursday.

Neonicotinoid insecticides have broad reach, says EPA

Three widely used neonicotinoids are likely to adversely affect, in at least some way, most of the threatened and endangered species in the country, said the Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday.


U.S.-Ukraine ag pact: The United States and Ukraine agreed to a three-year partnership to rebuild and strengthen the agriculture and food sectors in Ukraine, said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. (USDA)

Floods close formula plant: Just days after Abbott reopened its infant formula plant in Sturgis, Michigan, torrential rains caused flooding at the plant and forced it off-line, probably “for a few weeks.” (Abbott)

Higher temperatures, fewer tomatoes: Yields of processing tomatoes, used to make ketchup, juice, and other packaged tomato products, will decline by 6 percent in major growing areas, including California, by 2050 due to climate change, said scientists. (Modern Farmer)

Heat wave kills cattle: An estimated 10,000 head of beef cattle died of heat stress in Kansas feedlots this week from a combination of high temperatures and high humidity. (DTN/Progressive Farmer)

Wisconsin gets Clif gift: Clif Bar & Co., which describes itself as the largest private funder of U.S. organic agriculture research, said it would give a $1 million endowment to the University of Wisconsin for organic research and outreach programs. (Businesswire)

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