USDA dismisses finding of agency relocation as unconstitutional
The USDA failed to obtain congressional approval before relocating two research agencies to Kansas City this summer, said an inspector general’s report on Monday. “The budgetary provisions…requiring committee approval are unconstitutional,” responded USDA’s lawyers in rejecting the standard Capitol Hill requirement for agencies to notify Congress and receive permission to reprogram expenditures.
‘A body blow’ to U.S. farmers as trade war deepens
In an escalation of the Sino-U.S. trade war, Chinese companies halted purchases of U.S. farm exports on Monday in response to President Trump’s announcement of higher tariffs on Chinese goods.
Is the U.S. chicken industry cheating its farmers?
Making a living as a chicken farmer has never been easy. But today in the U.S., farmers worry they’re being swindled. Now, as Leah Douglas and Chris Leonard explain in the investigation with The Guardian, there could be a way for poultry companies to insure tight market control of chicken farmers and squeeze their pay.
TODAY’S QUICK HITS
BLM director opposes federal land ownership (Washington Post): The acting director of the Bureau of Land Management, the Interior Department agency that oversees a tenth of the land in the United States, has advocated previously for the sale of all federal land.
Hottest July for the world (BBC): Last month was the hottest July ever recorded, marginally ahead of July 2016, according to the EU’s Copernicus Climate Change Service, and it follows the hottest June globally.
Climate scientist leaves USDA (Politico): Lewis Ziska, one of the top climate scientists in the nation, is quitting at USDA in protest of the department’s efforts to bury his study that says climate change could reduce the nutritional value of rice.
When the economy’s good, cracker prices rise (Wall Street Journal): Food companies are betting that consumers are willing to pay more for food during this period of economic growth, hiking prices on products from Ritz crackers to burritos.
A major matzah merger (New York Times): Keyco will buy Manischewitz in what amounts to a huge merger in the kosher foods space; the two companies account for more than 50 percent of the kosher market.