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As court denies COOL appeal, groups tell Congress to stay out of issue


October 31, 2014 | The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit today denied a request from the American Meat Institute and other groups for a rehearing on a motion for preliminary injunction to block implementation of the Agriculture Department's May 2013 final rule on country-of-origin labeling. …

Vilsack: China lifts suspension on Washington state apples


October 31, 2014 | China is lifting its suspension of red and golden delicious apple imports from Washington State, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced today. …

On Halloween, Oxfam rates candy companies on gender equity in cocoa


October 31, 2014 | Oxfam, the British-based international charity, said today that Mars, Mondel─ôz International (formerly part of Kraft) and Nestlé have “made some progress” on the promises they made to Oxfam in 2013 to improve gender equality in their cocoa supply chains” but “significant gaps still remain.” …

USDA announces $29 million for farmworker housing


October 31, 2014 | Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that USDA will make $29 million in loans and grants to provide housing for farmworkers and their families. …

Report: Less public research leads to fewer farmer seed choices


October 31, 2014 | The decline in public research on plant breeding has led to farmers' having fewer choices of seed, according to a report released today by the the Rural Advancement Foundation International (RAFI), a farmer-based nonprofit organization based in Pittsboro, N.C., and member of the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition. …

Seeds: The basis of civilization


October 31, 2014 | The Agriculture Department is always look for new uses for agriculture commodities and the James Beard Foundation's caterers found one for their gala dinner in New York City on Monday — as the base for serving hors d'oeuvres. …

Tulane professor: ‘Calorie-dense, nutrient-poor foods’ a health problem


October 30, 2014 | NEW YORK CITY — “Easy access to calorie-dense, nutrient-poor foods” has become a health problem on which doctors should focus, Tim Harlan, an internist who is the executive director of the Goldring Center for Culinary Medicine at Tulane University said here this week at the James Beard Foundation Food Conference. …

National Family Farm Coalition’s Burkett among James Beard Leadership winners


October 30, 2014 | NEW YORK CITY — Ben Burkett, a Mississippi farmer who is president of the National Family Farm Coalition, was one of the winners of the James Beard Foundation Leadership Awards announced this week at a gala dinner here in conjunction with the foundation’s annual food conference. …

Coalition asks Congress to rescind parts of COOL


October 30, 2014 | A long list of agriculture organizations and other groups sent Congress a letter today asking members to “immediately authorize and direct” Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack “to rescind elements of COOL [country-of-origin labeling for red meat] that have been determined to be non-compliant with international trade obligations by a final WTO [World Trade Organization] adjudication.” …

NACD calls on EPA to withdraw WOTUS


October 30, 2014 | The National Association of Conservation Districts today asked the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to withdraw the proposed rule defining “Waters of the United States” in comments it filed. …

Orman takes on Roberts in rural Kansas


October 30, 2014 | Independent Kansas Senate candidate Greg Orman has been campaigning in rural Kansas against Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kansas, the Associated Press reports. …

National Milk hires animal care specialist


October 30, 2014 | The National Milk Producers Federation has hired Emily Metz Meredith as vice president of animal care. …

National Milk’s Mulhern: EU GI approach ‘bastardizing’


October 29, 2014 | National Milk Producers Federation CEO Jim Mulhern parted with the usually restrained and jargonistic world of agricultural trade negotiations Tuesday to present in colorful terms his views of attempts to include provisions in the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership negotiations that would use “geographical indicators” to determine that certain cheeses could only use place names if produced in the places where they originated. ...

Vilsack extends dairy program signup period


October 29, 2014 | The Agriculture Department is extending the signup deadline for the new dairy Margin Protection Program to December 5, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced today. ...

U.S.-Mexico sugar suspension agreements revealed


October 29, 2014 | Here are the agreements that U.S. and Mexican officials have signed to suspend the U.S. countervailing duty and antidumping duty investigations related to Mexican sugar imported into the United States. ...

ERS releases three trade studies


October 29, 2014 | The Agriculture Department’s Economic Research Service has released three studies analyzing aspects of the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership. ...

USDA to provide $4 million for honeybee habitat


October 29, 2014 | The Agriculture Department will provide more than $4 million in technical and financial assistance to help farmers and ranchers in the Midwest improve the health of honey bees that play an important role in crop production, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced today. ...

Halloween campaign urges Lowe’s to take ‘bee-killing’ pesticides off shelves


October 29, 2014 | The consumer campaigns that have had substantial success in convincing food retailers and processors to change their purchasing habits are now urging Lowe’s and other retailers to stop selling certain pesticides that activists say kill bees. ...

Vilsack announces $20 million for Gulf ecosystem


October 29, 2014 | Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack Tuesday announced a new partnership between USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) that will provide $20 million in additional support for restoration of the Gulf of Mexico ecosystem in response to impacts that occurred as a result of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill. ...

Sugar growers praise Mexico agreement while sugar users express concern


October 28, 2014 | The American Sugar Alliance today praised the agreement between the Mexican and U.S. governments to place limits on Mexican sugar shipments to the United States and to suspend the antidumping and countervailing duty investigations of sugar from Mexico, while the Sweetener Users Association said it was “deeply concerned” about the agreement. ...

Kass expects school meal challenges in lame duck session, comments on antibiotics efforts


October 28, 2014 | NEW YORK CITY — The Obama administration expects Congress to consider pulling back on some of the healthier meals regulations in the school lunch and breakfast programs if it passes an omnibus appropriations bill in the lame duck session, Sam Kass, the White House nutrition adviser and executive director of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move program, said today at the James Beard Conference here. ...

Vilsack: COOL rule not to be appealed until January


October 28, 2014 | Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said today that the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative will decide whether to appeal the World Trade Organization decision that found fault with the U.S. country-of-origin labeling regime for red meat, and added that the WTO has asked any appeal to be held until January. ...

Commerce issues initial findings on Mexican sugar


October 27, 2014 | The Commerce Department today made an announcement regarding duties on subsidized Mexican sugar exports to the United States. ...

Ezekiel Emanuel: McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, Disney show impact of first lady’s Let’s Move campaign


October 27, 2014 | NEW YORK CITY — The recent lower earnings reports from McDonald’s and Coca-Cola are the “best indications” the success of First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign, Ezekiel Emanuel said here today at the James Beard Food Conference. ...

Emanuel: Importance of food and drink means physicians, nurses, chefs need more training in nutrition


October 27, 2014 | NEW YORK CITY — Food and drink are more important than genes and the environment in causing premature deaths, but physicians, nurses and chefs do not have enough training in nutrition training to counter the impact on people’s health, Ezekiel Emanuel said here today at the James Beard Food Conference. ...