Abid for the USDA, not FDA, to regulate GE animals for food – December 22, 2020

Abid for the USDA, not FDA, to regulate GE animals for food

In a move celebrated by the hog industry, the Trump administration proposed on Monday to put the USDA in charge of regulating genetically engineered livestock and poultry, a duty now performed by the FDA. The Biden administration would make the final decision on the transfer of power since it will take office before the end of the 60-day comment period on the proposal.

Lawsuit would overturn EPA approval of dicamba

The EPA failed to ensure that dicamba can be used safely when it issued a five-year approval of the weedkiller, said a lawsuit that asks a federal appeals court in San Francisco to vacate the EPA registration of the herbicide. Foes say dicamba is overly prone to evaporate from where it is sprayed and to drift onto neighboring fields, orchards, gardens and trees.

Today’s Quick Hits

Pink bollworm eradicated in Southwest: A combination of biotech cotton and conventional pest control has eradicated the pink bollworm, which had caused tens of millions of dollars of damage annually in the Southwest United States and northern Mexico, scientists report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. (University of Arizona)

Biggest jump in food prices in nearly a decade: Consumers are seeing a 3.5 percent increase in grocery prices this year, the highest since the 4.8 percent surge in 2011. Meat prices are driving the increase, rising by 7.5 percent, just as they did nine years ago with an increase of 8.8 percent. (USDA)

Three states get one-fourth of Covid aid: Farmers in Iowa, California and Nebraska have collected nearly a quarter of the $ 23.4 billion paid through USDA’s coronavirus relief programs since May, with Iowa alone getting $ 2.4 billion. (FERN’s Ag Insider)

Tyson called the shots: As Covid-19 swept through a Tyson Foods pork slaughter plant in Waterloo, Iowa, local officials found they were powerless against the company. Top Tyson managers in Waterloo directed interpreters to downplay the threat of infection at the plant, while privately making winner-take-all bets on how many workers would test positive. (ProPublica)

Vilsack and the rural vote: Tom Vilsack, selected for agriculture secretary by President-elect Biden, has called for years for Democrats to engage with rural America but skeptics question if a centrist approach will close the 2-to-1 gap with Republicans. (New York Times)

America’s Farm Report