John Block: What’s going on in Washington

By former USDA Secretary John R. Block For most farmers across the U.S. there is a big sigh of relief. The harvest is over. Time to sit back and relax. Well, there is no time for relaxation here in the Nation’s Capital. This has been a very busy w… Read More
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John Block: The U.S. Department of Ag Team

By former USDA Secretary John R. Block The U.S. Department of Agriculture is taking a very long time to fill some of our most important management positions. The Administration has 4 under secretary posts unfilled and 3 Assistant Secretary jobs unan… Read More
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FDA’s Proposed Guidance on Convening a GRAS Panel May Result in Higher Costs for GRAS Notifiers

Contributor: Mark L. Itzkoff Principal, The Law Office of Mark Itzkoff, On November 15, 2017, FDA released a proposed guidance document, Best Practices for Convening a GRAS Panel: Guidance for Industry.  The Guidance is, in part,… Read More
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John Block: Thanksgiving

By former USDA Secretary John R. Block We just celebrated another Thanksgiving. And we do have a lot to be thankful for. Our economy is roaring with GDP in the 3% range and near full employment. The best advantage that we have is that we don’t liv… Read More
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2018 Quality Payment Program Final Rule Overview

I.     Overview of Final Rule. On November 2nd, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued the final rule for the second year of the Quality Payment Program (QPP).  The rule outlines the requirements for the 2018 Merit-Based In… Read More
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Trump Administration Personnel Update Through November 21: White House, USDA, HHS, US Attorneys

More announcements are being made each day.  We will update this list, as appropriate. PRESIDENT DONALD J. TRUMP WHITE HOUSE STAFF Chief of Staff – Reince Priebus – head of the RNC (Resigned July 27, 2017) Gen. John Kelly, former Secret… Read More
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John Block: Secretary Sonny Perdue

By former USDA Secretary John R. Block Last week, I attended the Farm Broadcasters Annual Convention in Kansas City.  Over the last 35 years, I have attended almost all of the NAFB events.  This year’s convention attracted a near-record crowd. … Read More
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John Block: Tax Reform

By former USDA Secretary John R. Block Tax reform is a hot topic here in the nation’s capital. That doesn’t mean that Congress will be able to pass the legislation. On paper, the planned tax overhaul will increase the national debt by $1.5 trill… Read More
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John Block: NAFTA

By former USDA Secretary John R. Block Today, let’s talk about trade and tax reform. President Trump wants to improve the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), and the Congress is presenting a tax reform package. NAFTA is in the spotlight r… Read More
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Patient – Consumer – Industry Coalition Suggests Reducing Government Barriers to Medication Non-Adherence

In an October 2017 White Paper, Prescriptions for a Healthy America (P4HA), a broad-based group that includes representatives of the pharmaceutical and pharmacy industries, as well as consumer- and patient-based groups, called for a new anti-kickback… Read More
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