USDA-FDA funding bill – January 11, 2019

House passes USDA-FDA funding bill that GOP says is doomed by shutdown

On Thursday, in a test of partisan resolve, the Democratic-controlled House passed, on a nearly party-line vote of 243-180, a funding bill to reopen the USDA and FDA. With the exception of essential work such as meat inspection, both agencies have been shuttered since late December by the partial government shutdown.

Combative Rep. Steve King is challenged by high-ranking legislator

Randy Feenstra, a Republican leader in the Iowa Senate, announced that he will run against Rep. Steve King in the 2020 Republican congressional primary in northwestern Iowa on a promise of effective conservative leadership.


Dairy failing in the Garden State (New Jersey Monthly): Although New Jersey once had more than 500 dairy farms, today the state has just 47, as the national dairy crisis ravages local producers.

Going hungry on campus (The Atlantic): A new report from the Government Accountability Office found that more than 30 percent of college students are food insecure.

‘A few dozen’ food inspections delayed (Vox): FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb says the government shutdown has delayed “a few dozen” of the planned 8,400 inspections of food processing plants this year, and that the agency will concentrate on high-risk plants in the short term.

Brazilian meatpacker plays role in USDA trade bailout (Washington Post):  The USDA will purchase $5 million worth of U.S.-produced pork products from Brazilian-owned JBS as part of its plan to buy surplus food and mitigate the impact of the Sino-U.S. trade war.

China ends shutdown of GMO approvals (Reuters): In conjunction with trade talks with the United States, China approved the import of grains grown from five genetically modified varieties of corn, soybeans, and canola, the first such approvals in 18 months.

Senate Ag: Braun joins, Daines leaves (Senate Agriculture Committee):  Newly elected Indiana Sen. Mike Braun is the only newcomer among 10 Republicans on the Agriculture Committee, replacing Sen. Steve Daines of Montana. Illinois Sen. Richard Durbin is the newcomer among the nine Democrats on the panel.

Draining the romaine canal (Food Safety News): An Arizona irrigation district will drain a canal that may be connected to the 2018 E. coli outbreak in romaine lettuce, which will allow officials to investigate a theory that the bacteria colonized sediment in the waterway.

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