FDA cool to USDA push to regulate GE livestock – January 14, 2021

After refusing to overturn election, five House ag panelists oppose impeachment

Although they defied President Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election, five Republicans on the House Agriculture Committee voted on Wednesday against impeaching Trump for inciting the deadly mob attack on the Capitol last week. They said that impeachment was divisive and hasty, while the new Agriculture chairman, Georgia Democrat David Scott, said speedy action was needed.

FDA cool to USDA push to regulate GE livestock

Commissioner Stephen Hahn cited the FDA’s role in approving a genetically modified pig for food and biomedical use — “a tremendous milestone for scientific innovation” — at the same time that his agency has been coolly neutral on Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue’s proposal to have the USDA take over regulation of GE livestock.

TODAY’S QUICK HITS

Biden chooses Power for USAID: President-elect Joe Biden selected Samantha Power, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations during the Obama years, as his nominee for administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development. (Biden Transition)

Less habitat for spotted owl: The Trump administration removed 3.4 million acres in western Oregon from protection as critical habitat for the northern spotted owl, a step one environmentalist said was “perhaps the nail in the coffin” for the dwindling owl species. (Oregon Public Broadcasting)

USDA funds projects against feral pigs: Fourteen projects in eight states, from North Carolina to Hawaii, will share $ 11.65 million in an effort to trap and control feral swine. (Natural Resources Conservation Service)

Food boxes buoy food banks: U.S. food banks face a difficult 2021, but the revival of the USDA’s food box giveaway program has allayed fears of a sudden shortage of supplies, say leaders. (Food Bank News)

Industry expects more RFS waivers: With a week left in office, the Trump administration is likely to approve two-thirds of the pending requests from oil refineries for exemptions from the ethanol mandate for 2019 sales. (Reuters)

America’s Farm Report